Happy Hanukkah.

Merry Christmas.

Happy Kwanzaa.

Happy New Years.

These are joyous signature moments most of the world anticipates every year. The chestnuts roasting. The warm gingerbread cookies. The smell of fresh pine trees. All the gifts and the givers. The resolutions and new beginnings are all exciting times that people cherish for a lifetime.

Now, holidays can be full of happiness for most but for other people holidays can be filled with loss, memories, or sadness. Holidays can bring a strong sense of hopelessness to a person experiencing any of those things. Ever been in a crowd of people and felt alone?

For special needs families these down and depressing feelings sometimes become overwhelming. It can be easy to compare our family life with the commercialized family image. Here are some of my 2018 holiday moments that caused me to sit on a floor and cry:

  • My father is no longer alive. The cinnamon broom stick he would purchase annually to hide in an unsuspecting place for us to find by sniffing throughout the house… Gone.
  • A beautiful holiday dinner set out with the best dishware is now plastic plates, forks, spoons and chicken nuggets or pbj’s for Christian. While his siblings complain that they just want pizza, wings or cereal because Christian always gets to eat what he wants. Then we all end up sick. So, we all just end up eating our preferred meal of choice with a smile.
  • A few invitations to friends’ holiday events to which I politely decline because I know it is just not for ‘us’. Some people get offended when I decline, but honestly there are things I consider before going to any activity or event. Will the kids enjoy themselves? Will everyone feel comfortable?  What if Christian starts seizing? What if something gets broken or damaged? I would just rather sit at home with them and rest because a holiday event sounds too much like work not fun.

The list goes on…

There are so many things that go on within our families. So many tears are masked by a smile. Well, I want you to know you are not alone. Special Needs Siblings is an open and nonjudgmental community. We are not always going to agree on methods or practices, but we can agree to LOVE.

We can agree that we are all doing our best.

 Sometimes the best is simply making sure everyone has brushed teeth and food to eat.

Be patient with yourself this year. We will be sharing stories and tips from siblings, parents, experts regarding different topics that effect special needs families. If you have ever experienced depression, isolation or loneliness during the holidays we would love to hear from you.

You are loved,

Jeniece Stewart – SNS Founder