This post was published last year but many found it helpful so I decided to re-post it again:
Holidays can be a real challenge for some people. It can be emotional, expensive, and stressful.
Shopping is the biggest pain (unless you actually like to go malls, get aggravated finding parking, and trying to maintain good humor while fighting crowds and aggravated store clerks).
Nothing makes me angrier, though, than lazy arrogance! When I see a car (especially an expensive one) sitting in a disabled parking space with no handicap tag, sticker, license or any other notification that the vehicle is being used by an individual with special needs.
Another issue that gets my blood boiling is hearing about someone who parks legally AND legitimately in a handicapped spot and is scolded and harassed by ignorant fools who assume that a person getting into or out of a car appears perfectly healthy and doesn’t bother to check for a handicap tag or sticker. NEWS FLASH IGNORAMUSES: Special needs are not always visible but handicap tags are! My advice to anyone legally parking in a handicapped zone during this stressfully joyous time of year (or any time) and is rudely and wrongly accused, just smile, point to your tag, and wish them a very happy holiday.
Ok, enough ranting. Onward to the rest of my holiday tips.
If you happen to have a disability, there are even more considerations that families and hosts need to consider so the holiday get togethers and parties can be joyous for everyone. Don’t be shy about educating others. It will more than likely minimize embarrassment. But try not to be too demanding either.
If a guest (or family member) has a gastric disorder, such as celiac, crohn’s, or diverticulitis requiring special diets, the guest should let the cooks know of these limitations. It doesn’t mean that the whole meal revolves around one person but consider making some dishes that everyone can enjoy.
When setting the table, think about where a wheel chair bound will sit and can easily navigate.
For hosts of those who suffer from fibromyalgia, CFIDS, or another disability who tires easily, don’t be offended if they need to lay down for a bit, leave early, or decide to cancel at the last minute.
For hosts who have guests with therapy pets, be respectful of their needs. Typically dogs, service animals work to support people with special needs. When they are in working mode, they are not play pets (but ask their boss if it’s okay to pet them).
(And don’t spoil any begging pooches with those tasty leftovers. An overweight dog is not a happy dog plus many of your favorite foods can be poison for your pup)
If you are traveling, be sure to have plenty of medication. I always have at least two days more worth of meds just in case flights are cancelled or highway traffic is more than you can handle and you spend an extra night in a motel.
These are just a few suggestions. If you have additional ideas or tips, add them in a comment.
I hope everyone has a joyous holiday regardless of how you celebrate.