This year for Christmas, we did things differently and not just because of the pandemic. Unlike our neighbours, we didn’t decorate our house inside or outside for Christmas; in fact we decided to get rid of the majority of our decorations. The only things that we kept to put out were the refillable advent calendar and the Bethlehem advent stable. We also decided to pin the fairy lights up around the top of the walls in several rooms of the house, and enjoy them all year round.
Pigeon and Parrot struggle with change, especially visual changes at home, their safe place. When so much is changing everywhere else, they need home to be consistent. When home changes too, anxiety brings lots of challenging behaviour and in the case of Parrot, physical illness.
Tradition and convention have their place. Yet, do we have to keep them if they are not helpful in our families? For us, Christmas is about Jesus being born in Bethlehem. Tinsel, gingerbread men and snowmen don’t have a lot of relevance for us, they just add visual noise.
What was the result of not complying with cultural conventions? Well, it was the calmest run up to Christmas that we have ever had. That’s not to say it was without incident, but it was a real improvement. Parrot managed not to get sent home from school with anxiety-based sickness and we have no extra damage to the house.
What else could we do differently in our nest?