In this episode, we’re daring to re-imagine what Christmas might look like for our gifted families and giving parents permission to make it easier!
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“And so by this time of year, our kids are also tired and frazzled. We all are. So then, I dare say what we don’t need to add to that mix is a lot of stress and the demand of a hectic Christmas. Over the last couple of years, my husband and I and our family have made different decisions around Christmas. And they have been decisions in response to… Where are we at? How are we feeling right now? What do we actually need?” – Sophia Elliott
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[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to this week’s podcast. This week, we’re talking about a very gifted Christmas. What does that even mean? Well, we will get to that, but first of all, thank you. Thank you for coming on this journey with me. We’re like at the end of another year, it’s been another amazing year. And we’re getting very close to reaching a hundred thousand downloads at the, our gifted kids podcast, which is incredible and super exciting.
[00:00:27] And you will certainly hear about it when we do get there and it’s amazingly not far off. So thank you so much for listening for your reviews for sharing it with friends and for letting me know when. Things are. Do you know, when you’re having those aha moments or it’s making an impact and it’s helping.
[00:00:50] Because that helps me too. Keep going. Uh, two. No. What’s resonating with other people. Because we are a big and varied community. Um, but nonetheless, I think many of the themes are very universal.
[00:01:07] So I really appreciate all of the kind words everyone has sent through this year. Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. So this is the last podcast of the year. We’re going to talk about Christmas. And.
[00:01:21] In this podcast, I talk a lot about parenting gifted kids. It’s what I do. And 24 7, it’s a very lived experience thing. And sometimes I am knee deep in living that experience. And I wrote a very recent blog about hitting the wall really badly. Recently I had to cancel some stuff. And make some different decisions about what I needed, what my family needed right now.
[00:01:52] And the reality is as parents of gifted kids are gifted kids themselves. At this time of year, we all do often hit the wall.
[00:02:04] And we hit the wall for a lot of reasons. And we’re going to have a chat about that in this podcast episode.
[00:02:11] And instead of doing the recent webinar that I had hoped to do, we’re going to walk through some of that stuff in this podcast instead. So you won’t miss out. Anyone who’s looking for. Or is having challenges around the whole Santa thing. And what do I say with my kids and how do I deal with that? In the past, we have done a couple of great episodes on.
[00:02:36] Uh, new approaches to the whole Sante conundrum. And I’ll put those links in the show notes. So you can check that out. It’s all still very relevant. And now that we’re a few years in trying that sort of philosophy. I can tell you it has worked. It’s been really useful.
[00:02:54] Also, I want to acknowledge that while Christmas is all about joyful and connection and family time. And. Presence and all sorts of things. It can also just be a really hard time of year for many people, for all sorts of different reasons. And.
[00:03:11] And if that’s you. I just want to say. I see you, it can be really hard and tricky. And encourage you to reach out and get some support around you as you go through this holiday season.
[00:03:27] Next year, we’re going to have more exciting podcasts coming your way. A new course about giftedness, our membership communities. Continue. Uh, eBooks both freebies end for sale on the website. If you love the podcast, you can leave a review and help people find us. You can share it with a friend. You can say, thanks with cake or join our support community for the cost of as little as a coffee a month. But most of all, thank you for listening.
[00:03:57] This is an important conversation. There is real change needed for gifted kids and gifted adults. And we’re all a part of that change by having this conversation and being engaged and involved. So thank you. It means so much to me. That.
[00:04:13] This podcast is, you know, it’s a privilege to do it and to have that impact. And so thank you. So have a great Christmas holidays and we will be back in January. Uh, stay quirky and let’s get on with the podcast.
[00:04:58] Hello. And let’s talk about having a very gifted Christmas. First of all I want to ask you. How are you? Like really. How have you been the last couple of weeks? The last month? This year. How are you going?
[00:05:22] ’cause I know in this family, we get to this time of year and it’s just this slippery slope downwards. As we all just become. More and more fatigued.
[00:05:34] And well, we know that research shows that parenting gifted kids is. As stressful. And difficult as parenting a child with a physical disability. And I think that speaks to the challenge that people have with all sorts of things, where we don’t fit into the mainstream box of life. So if you’re always butting up against that box, it takes extra energy.
[00:06:04] Uh, and extra work to, to kind of work. You know, work around that box. And within the gifted community. That means us too. We did our kids. Don’t fit into the education system easily. I often have a range of therapies and accommodations and support that they need. Accommodations in parenting. That’s harder for us as parents.
[00:06:32] I got this wonderful validation recently. And, and I’ve had it before in my parenting journey where talking to a psychologist and they’ve said to me, do you know. All these things you’ve tried. Any one of those things. Would most likely have worked with a typical child. But your child, your child is a very complicated and complex.
[00:07:00] And so it’s not that you’re doing anything wrong. It’s just finding the correct approach or solution. He is taking so much more effort and work because you have this child that just doesn’t fit in the box. And as a parent, it’s really nice to hear that. Because. Oh, that’s, you know, sometimes you, if there’s a particular issue or challenge, you try a million different things and.
[00:07:28] You feel like it’s you. Do you know, I feel like it’s like, what am I doing wrong? Why can’t we move forward and find some progress on this? And it helps to know that. You know, And a typical parenting situation.
[00:07:44] Those things probably would have worked any number of those things, but without complicated complex, Little asynchronous. Gorgeous fabulous children. They haven’t. And so we, we need to keep trying, but that takes extra energy, extra effort. And so that empties our cup. So by the time we get to this time of year,
[00:08:09] We’re knackered. But then our kids are knackered too, because they’re also at the coalface trying to engage with and work their way through. Uh, an education system in a world that is not made for them. So they get weary. They get tired. And it’s hard for them. And so by this time of year, they too are.
[00:08:34] Tired and frazzled. So then if we consider. You know, A family of tired and frazzled individuals.
[00:08:45] I dare say what we don’t then need to add to that mix. Is a lot of stress. And demand of a hectic Christmas.
[00:08:57] Over the last couple of years, my husband and I and our family have made different decisions around Christmas. And they would decisions in response to.
[00:09:09] Where are we at? How are we feeling right now? And even recently. Uh, you know, living the experience of having all this going on. I had to ask myself. What can I cancel? Like, do I really need to be doing it? Well, can I reschedule? What can wait until January. What can I delegate? Like, do I have to do it, or can I just delegate this to someone?
[00:09:35] And so I’ve been left with a list of things that I do need to do, but it is a smaller list. After being quite ruthless. And sometimes that is just absolutely necessary.
[00:09:49] So how do we apply some curiosity to Christmas?
[00:09:54] I want to give you permission. To make life easier for yourself and your family. This Christmas. And this is what the ebook is all about. It’s all about re-imagining Christmas as a family of gifted neurodivergent complex, complicated. Grownups and children. And kind of asked ourselves. What does a fabulous Christmas look like to us?
[00:10:26] What. You know, we often feel. You know, at Christmas time that there is all these things that we have to do. What if we did not have to do them. What would it look like to you?
[00:10:41] What do you actually want more of in your life right now? And what do you actually want less of.
[00:10:48] So I’m going to go through. A few questions that we talk about in the book that help us to start to reimagine what kind of Christmas we might have.
[00:11:02] And first of all, I want to ask you. What does your family need? What kind of year have you had? And so what do you actually need right now? Because from thinking about this, we can actually create a holiday intention. So, for example, our family. Has had another very busy year. There have been some big things going on that have impacted us all.
[00:11:30] In the home front. That have worn us down. And I think it’s okay to acknowledge that. So we’re all got to the end of this big year and we’re all feeling quite tired. And, you know, our cups are empty. So, what we need is rest. That connection with nature, because that always helps you ground and feel good. And it helps us to move. Be.
[00:11:56] We’ve had a very wet and cold yell. And the sun has finally emerged. I think we’re now having summer. And so we desperately need to get outside, enjoy that warmth and get moving. And really just. KA reconnect in that space. So our holiday intention is all about resting. Eating well, moving our bodies and connecting.
[00:12:27] As simple as that. And so if it doesn’t fit into that box, we’ve got to ask ourselves, why are we doing it?
[00:12:36] So think about what maybe your family needs, what kind of a year have you had? Has it been really busy, like, like RC. You need a rest or. Have you, are you still feeling the impact of COVID and what you’re all desperately seeking is connection with your extended family. What is it? Reflect on your year and the year that you’ve had.
[00:13:01] To help you answer that question.
[00:13:03] And then once you’ve had that reflection, what we do every Christmas is we have a family board meeting. And this concept came from a book. And I can’t remember what the book was called. If I do, I will put it in the links, but the idea is, and we do this periodically throughout the year. We have our family board meetings.
[00:13:28] And it’s an opportunity for everyone in the family to have a voice. And to have a say in guide, you know, where we’re going and we definitely do this at Christmas. And what we ask each other is.
[00:13:43] What does Christmas mean to you? You know, if you think about Christmas, What are the things that you love to do? First of all, what do you love to do? So. For me personally, I love baking with the kids, Christmas cookies and things like that. I really love. Getting them involved in making some kind of gift.
[00:14:10] I love having a quiet, easy day.
[00:14:14] My kids love swimming in the pool. My kids love it. When some of our extended family visit. They of course love the gifts. Uh, and they love food. And so we also talk about food and it’s like, when you think of Christmas, what food do you think of? And everyone’s got their own little personal take for me. It’s Pannetone Annie. I love it. I would just eat the whole thing if I had the chance. So I really only get it at Christmas so that I can share it. And. Do I need it all myself. One of my kids said pavlova.
[00:14:48] Another one. My kids loves those gold coins with the chocolate inside and candy canes.
[00:14:54] One of my other children talked about fruit mince pies, which they really love. Um, my husband loves chocolate orange, and I usually get tonics teacakes, which is a Scottish sort of marshmallow biscuit. At Christmas time because they are absolutely divine. And it’s one of my Christmas treats. So we all have something and we all write the contribute, and we have this conversation about what food. Inspires us at Christmas and we add that to our list.
[00:15:26] Then we talk about the activities that we like at Christmas, and we add that to our list. And we talk about. Who Christmas means to you? Like. Who do you love to have here at Christmas and as much as possible, we try and incorporate that as well. So by the time we’ve had this family board meeting, we’ve got the food that we really love, the things we love to do, who we love to see. And from that we create a day.
[00:15:52] Or, you know, it’s usually a few days. In which we can fit some of those things in, but we tend to take the view of that. Christmas is not just one day it’s, it’s a number of days. And that way there’s less pressure on doing all, everything in one day. Yeah. We see family Christmas Eve and boxing day as well as Christmas day. And that just makes it easier for everyone. And we eat the food we love over numerous days.
[00:16:22] Rather than trying to eat all of our favorite desserts on the one day. Because let’s face it. When you start talking about Christmas and your favorite fruit food, there’s usually at least six different desserts you want to eat. So we do that over a week.
[00:16:38] But this way, everyone is kind of scratching that itch for Christmas. We’re meeting all of our needs. And when we talk about needs, we may also reflect on those needs that are particular to being gifted and you are divergent. So. For some of us may, may be avoiding the crowns. And for some of us, it may be avoiding going out to dinner or those things that we just don’t fit well into. Or if we do, it’s having a strategy about how do we get through that?
[00:17:12] So it’s about taking that power back to ourselves to make those decisions so that we end up with. Uh, holiday experience that is actually meeting our needs. And working for us. So they are some of the ideas that we. Are included in the Christmas ebook that we have. So take some time to look at your Christmas traditions and ask yourself, are they working for you? What could be different? What would make it easier and more enjoyable for everyone?
[00:17:46] You can check out our new ebook, a very gifted Christmas. Uh, on the website, it’s there for sale. There’s a heap of ideas about how to make it through a new re-imagined Christmas for your gifted family. There’s planning pages. There’s some stories there’s. There’s a whole kind of framework to work through. It’s like 50 pages.
[00:18:09] There’s tons in it. But if that feels too overwhelming. Check out the blog. There’s some questions in the blog. And maybe just start to imagine what Christmas might look like for you. And build on it over a number of years, don’t feel like you have to achieve all these things in one year. So Merry Christmas.
[00:18:32] Thank you for coming on this journey with us this year. Um, it’s hugely appreciated. We’re very grateful. We will see you in January. We’re super excited about that. So stay quirky, stay safe and have fun. Bye.