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Holiday Season

My wife an I spent the holiday at home, with one friend, and that was fine with us. We'll likely spend New Year's Eve quietly watching movies, as well. Our ideal holiday, like most days off, is spent quietly with just the two of us. That's about as social as either of us wants to be. I might want out of the house at times, but I don't want to attend social events.

I never enjoyed family gatherings, which are just too loud and too stressful. I want to enjoy a holiday, which means I don't want the stress of people. Yes, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve are about family, but I can call and e-mail family members. I don't need to be in a crowded house, anxiously waiting for the holiday to end.

Holidays were rarely pleasant as a child. I dreaded them. I still do. The fact we are several thousand miles away from family was somewhat "helpful" over the last five years. It means we can be alone without offending anyone.

I care about my family, but crowding gatherings into a day is too intense.


  1. I think my oldest (aspie) feels that way too. It's usually just the 5 of us and when my brother and sister in law came for dinner he just did not do well. We let him settle down in another room and then he was fine.

    Personally I miss the chaos and noise of a large family holiday but it wasn't meant to be. Perhaps this is why.

  2. Five would be too many for me. Much too many. I can sometimes handle one or two extra people beyond my wife, but no more. We don't do group social gatherings because I get too stressed hearing so many conversations and trying to decode all the activity. Too many things to follow in a larger group.

  3. I have recently grieved this for my son, who at 18 lives in a group home wiht one other resident. It's nearly a perfect setting for him. I understand that our big family gatherings (5 generations in one county, dish-to-pass dinners nearly once/month) are unpleasant for him, so we no longer try to take him. BUT, all those loving relatives, who ask about him, do not visit him, and have pretty much dropped out of his life. It grieves me, for I know he misses at least some of them, although he's not able to express it.
    But it is very helpful to have articles such as this, to point to, when people want to know why he doesn't attend church or family gatherings, or social events. Thank you.

  4. The challenges with large groups affect everything from being a student to working in most environments. Maybe the issue should have a complete post to help people understand how tough group gatherings are.


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