ARE FAMILY CHRISTMASES ALL THEY’RE CRACKED UP TO BE? I SAY NO.

Peter Wynn
2 min readDec 24, 2022

Much is made by some organizations about looking out for people who may be on their own over Christmas, but is it really that bad?

I remember reading Bert Facey’s “A Fortunate Life” where he described spending Christmas by himself at a property at Yearling, Western Australia, and said that he “got a pound tin of ham and a pound tin of pudding” and that was all he bothered with. For a number of years, I have had Christmases by myself, and I have thought, “Okay, I’ll buy myself a gluten free cake and some custard and cook a chicken breast fillet and some vegetables and that’ll do,” and I had a reasonable time. This year, however, I am feeling annoyed as I have had to have virtually nothing in my fridge because my big-noting sister-in-law decided that she was going to do all the catering for the family, except me. I didn’t want her to cater for me as I have dietary restrictions and say, “If I want gluten and lactose free this or that, I have to provide it for myself.” I wanted to get a pavlova base and decorate it with some gluten free whipped cream and some strawberries, but I can’t because she wanted space in the fridge. And I wasn’t asked, either. I wouldn’t have minded if she’d only wanted a shelf, but she wanted a whole fridge virtually! And then, my father, in his words, “massaged some space in the fridge,” by putting things where I don’t want them! Some might say that it’s only for one day, but it’s annoying! I can’t have my comfort foods! And nothing was offered to compensate, either!

When I had a meltdown a couple of weeks ago, because I was in sensory overload, my father later on said that my sister-in-law was the only sister-in-law I was ever going to have, even though she’s a pain in the neck! Yes, she told my mother that I am as classic a case of an autistic as you’ll meet, but there was no consideration for me when she and my brother decided to have a “working bee” at my parents’ place and seeing the sensory overload that I was in. My sister-in-law wouldn’t even listen when I told her that I had to get ready to go to a doctor’s appointment!

Are Christmases all they’re cracked up to be? If you have a big-noting sister-in-law and a brother who insists upon arriving at your place early on Christmas morning and hogging your fridge, no. A less selfish thing for them to do would be to say, “We’ll arrive later, and bring a prepared lunch, and the presents can be opened after lunch.” If Christmas is SUPPOSED to be about some co-operation, that isn’t it!

--

--

Peter Wynn

Diagnosed with autism at 35. Explained a lifetime of difference.