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Terri Mauro

The Twelve Day-Ruiners of Christmas: Family Traditions

By December 13, 2012

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Day 1They're supposed to make the holidays filled with joy and familiarity, those traditions passed down through the generations and unpacked each year like treasured ornaments. The baking. The decorating. The carols around the tree. For families touched by special needs, those traditions can sometimes take a traumatic turn, as you realize your child will never be able to connect with the holiday the way you do, will never be well enough to engage in activities you remember from your childhood, will never be able to safely ingest those long-in-the-family gluten-filled or peanut-filled goodies. A Christmas Eve service or a trip to see Santa at the mall or a long day with extended family can suddenly start to look more like a bane than a blessing. Bah humbug, indeed.

Yet you don't have to do away with traditions altogether to accommodate your child with special needs. You just need to start new ones, custom-made for your own unique family going forward. Read How to Tweak Your Holiday Traditions for nine places to start, share your own tweaks, and come back here every day between now and Christmas for more ways to turn those holiday day-ruiners into day-makers.

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