Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas shopping

Every time we come around to this time of year, I'm filled with a little heartache. Christmas shopping for a child with developmental and physical disabilities is very challenging in a "normal" store. I have shopped for Hollis in the infant toy section for eight years. I have seen the same toys, over and over, changing little from year to year, and wondering if there's anything new I can find that she might enjoy. She has a very limited amount of things she likes, so we continue to repeat the mantra of gift choices - books, magazines, musical toys. We've tried adaptive toys as well, but surprisingly, they are very much like the infant toys available anyway.

Christmas itself has to be pretty low key too. We have put up a tree about 3 times since she was born because she has pulled them down onto herself or broken ornaments by chucking them. She gets overwhelmed when there's a lot of new "stuff" around, hates wrapping paper, and doesn't want to sit and go through the whole presents hoopla anyway. So, we typically spread things out over the course of a few days: give a gift here and there, to gradually introduce her to the new things. We have learned from various meltdowns that this is what works best for her, and everyone is a lot happier at the end of it all.