Inspiration logo with Christmas puddings as the dots on each i. Light blue starry background. Christmas tree in each bottom corner.

Have a very neuro-inclusive Christmas!

Yes, the shops are full of mince pies and stocking fillers, and the Christmas tunes are on repeat; Christmas is nigh! Often considered the jolliest time of the year, December can be packed full of activities and expectations. Friends and families are expected to spend quality time together, trekking halfway across the country, sharing stories, catching up, and preparing the feast of all feasts.

Whilst this is all wonderful, the notion that we must all be constantly ‘merry’ can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. And for neurodivergent people, Christmas can be a time of heightened anxiety levels brought on by overindulgence, sensory overload, a change to the normal routine, and overwhelming social expectations.

What can we do to ensure everyone enjoys Christmas?

Everybody thinks and feels differently about Christmas and the various aspects of it. So, let’s make sure we support others through this time of year with the following tips:

  • Talk to those with a neuro difference about who will be at different Christmas events and get-togethers, what they will do, and even what they may eat so they can feel a bit more prepared.
  • Create a safe space for your family members to go to if they feel overwhelmed, somewhere that’s set away from the main celebrations in the house.
  • Involve your family in decisions, and let them have some input with the Christmas decorations around your home. Choose lights, colours, and textures that everyone feels happy and comfortable with, too.
  • The shake-up of the normal routine can cause neurodivergent people to feel stressed or anxious: maybe create a schedule for those who need it so they know what to expect for this time, as this could help to reduce upset.
  • Present-giving can be overwhelming; it can sometimes help to spread gift-giving over a few days or choose to open presents privately. You could also give gifts without using any wrapping paper, or opt for gift bags instead.
  • Maybe skip the Christmas crackers this year, if it causes sensory overstimulation or anxiety. There are plenty of fun alternatives nowadays.
  • And, don’t stress about the Christmas dinner - scrap traditions altogether; you could even go for takeaway if that works better for you and your family. 

Self-care at Christmas

Everyone is busy at Christmas and we can feel extra pressure to try to do too much. And if this sounds like you, take a breath and accept that there is no such thing as the ‘perfect Christmas’. Remind yourself of these key points:

  • Acknowledge the expectations and then gently lower them; don’t fall into the trap of setting unrealistic and stressful goals.
  • It can be a very busy time, your schedules may be packed from early December and well into the new year; try to avoid being overwhelmed, and don’t be afraid to say “no” if your schedule gets too much.
  • Social norms intensify at Christmas and there is an increased pressure to decorate in a certain way, over-spend on presents, and even eat specific food and drinks. But remember, Christmas isn’t a one-size-fits-all occasion, and festive traditions can change.
  • All that excitement and socialising can lead to burnout, so check in with yourself, and your family, to ensure no one is becoming too drained.
  • Create a budget and stick to it! Another top tip is to budget for presents, nights out, events, grocery shopping, etc over the whole year. 
  • And remember, it’s ok to put yourself first!

So, whatever you do this Christmas, make sure it's a very merry, neuro-inclusive one!


UK: TechEdology Ltd: + 44(0)1672 560387 , US: TechEdology LLC: 813-421-2002

+ 44(0)1672 560387 |

Company Registration No.: 08234244  

Terms & Conditions of Sale | Privacy Policy

Inspiration® and RapidFire® are the registered trademarks of Diagramming Apps, LLC.

TechEdology® is the registered trademark of TechEdology Ltd.

British Assistibe Technology Association