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Happy Holidays… How to Make Them Happy

The season for giving is upon us! The problem is, with our wounded children, that is a recipe for disaster! Children with RAD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, write the “gift list” with what they expect to receive to avoid the meltdown (like blackmail). Then they still melt down!! My children did the “gift list” with what they were going to give. On the day of the big event, instead of my children running in to rip to shreds the packages with no regard for who they were from, we did it the opposite. Sitting on the couches and chairs, each person would collect the gifts they had purchase or made for each member of the family and present the presents. We would all watch as each was unwrapped and admire the gift together. The emphasis was on the giving not the getting. Of course we were filled with anticipation and excitement about what was to come for each of us, but the giving was the focus. It helped our children that suffered with RAD to be in a better balance of give and take. We got a lot less screaming meltdowns over the “stuff”.

Fill their Hearts with Giving

Weeks before the big event my children were focused, like little elves, making gifts or doing extra work to earn cash for purchasing a special item for someone. Their hearts were filled with giving! Packages to loved ones were carried by the child to the post office as we all stood in line, arms loaded with treasures to make someone happy. We gave to the community donating time to help others. It was a busy time and a great time with lots of warm memories of singing around the tree with homemade eggnog and feasting with family that each made a dish to contribute.

A New Christmas Idea

One year we tried a new Christmas idea; to give gifts that “need no dusting ever.” I gave my cowboy a mule ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. (Yes, it did include the ride back up!!) It was beyond amazing! On the way home we picked up our new daughter, Beth. She was a mess! She was also to become one of our best gifts ever! She was a surprise package that has filled us with happiness for years. I hope your children get there soon.

(side note: Please love them enough to not purchase a cell phone or iPad. Also if you need more help to handle the holidays it is here)

Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Merry Christmas,

Nancy Thomas


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