Christmas has never been picture-perfect, or at least not since our first child was born almost thirteen (ouch) years ago. That first Christmas we just enjoyed having her home after three months’ worth of hospital stays, two open-heart surgeries, and three separate life-or-death crises. She was home, but with feeding tube, high-calorie formula, many prescriptions, and weekly physical therapy. Her physical abilities were like a newborn’s even though she was 10 months old. I avoided the obligatory comparisons with other young moms (“My child is doing this, is yours?”) by keeping to myself.
Through the years, we made adjustments to accommodate her abilities. We used gift bags because it was almost too difficult for her to grasp an item and pull it out. She couldn’t manage wrapping paper and ribbon. We search for gifts weren’t ridiculously expensive (slap the label “special needs” on anything and you can go ahead and quadruple the price). We worked our food processor to death with holiday foods so she could enjoy treats too.