Celebrating the holiday season is an exciting time for many people. However, for those who experience disability, the holidays can bring up challenges.
Christmas can cause financial stress. Many holiday-related events and activities aren’t as accessible as they should be. And getting together with family can be tricky.
We’ve put together some key tips to ensure that you can enjoy the Christmas period with minimal stress.
- Homemade and low-cost gifts
- Creating an artwork
- Writing a poem or song
- Making a memories box filled with meaningful moments
- A handmade card
- Upcycled goods
- Gifting a plant or seeds
- Acts of service – offering to assist someone in a small way
- Connection over cost
- Having an inclusive holiday
It’s no secret that buying Christmas presents can be expensive. For some on NDIS plans and those on fixed incomes like the disability support pension, there’s not always a large budget to spend on gifts. That doesn’t mean you can’t give to your loved ones.
Homemade gifts can be a great option. It can be a special touch to make your own gifts––and something hand-crafted often feels more meaningful.
Some homemade ideas include:
Low-cost gifts, such as stocking presents or Secret Santa (Kris Kringle) can be another great option. You can even suggest a limited budget for everyone to adhere to within your family or friend group.
The holidays are a great time to connect with others. The important thing is to be together, not to spend dollars. Therefore, it can be great to focus on free and accessible events in your area. This will ensure you can connect with the local community and avoid feelings of isolation.
Across Australia, there are typically free Christmas events for the community. This includes markets, parades, displays, and fairs. Some places even put on outdoor movies for free, many with accessible seats.
Another fun option is to explore your local neighbourhood to see if there are any decorated homes nearby.
While connecting with family can be great, it can sometimes be tricky too. It’s important to recognise that not everyone enjoys, nor can cope with, social interactions.
If you’re holding an event with a participant, or you’re a participant yourself, communication is essential. Tell your friends and family what’s going to be beneficial and what isn’t. This might mean having smaller events with fewer people or being clear about gifts that won’t be appropriate.
It also means considering the venue and whether everyone will be able to easily access it, thinking about noise, and stimulation, and allowing people to be themselves (and come and go as they please).
Everyone deserves the right to enjoy the holiday season in the ways that they can. With low-cost options, free events, and a little planning, Christmas can be a wonderful time for all.
Get in touch: email us at [email protected] or call our friendly team on 1300 60 33 89.