We had almost 20 family members over for Christmas dinner this year. I have to say, it went pretty smoothly. I was not expecting Austin to deal with the situation as well as he did. Very PROUD of you Dude! :) OX
To start, we have a small house, it is very homey and quaint. Almost everyone who comes to our house says that it makes them feel "welcome" and it is "cozy". The wood stove in the living room helps. Did I mention that is where we served dinner with two, or was it three, tables put together? Oh well, I was busy cooking and getting the dishes organized. It was pretty full in our little house but I believe, that is what makes some of the best Christmas experiences. It is wonderful to have a whole bunch of family all together, so what if it is on the "cozy" side. Well, unless you are dealing with a child on the spectrum, then it can be a challenge.
We told Austin that we would be having a lot of people over for Christmas dinner. He did not react well to the announcement. I thought "Oh boy! We are in trouble now!" I thought he would be bouncing off the walls, literally. He was discussing "safety zones", not a term we ever heard from Austin. The weeks leading up to Christmas Day, we thought it was best not to continue to talk about how many people were going to be here. Austin approached me Christmas Day to talk about dinner. Oh my! I thought he was going to want to leave the house at first. He was very agitated that all these "strangers" he called them, were coming into "his house". I told him that they were all family and not to worry. He was concerned that there were way too many ... well, it would be a full house for sure. He did finally settle out when I reminded him that his "safety zone" was my bedroom and he could play on the computer and lock the door to keep people out. He calmed down right away. I thought, "That was easy, too easy". I was sure he would get upset, I was ... wrong.
Once people arrived, Austin went to play in his room with Kaleigh. They have a Wii, so they played for a while and were really good. The house was filled with family when Kaleigh realized one of the cousins had brought a mixture of soda pop. We had coke and ginger ale, things like that but you know kids, soda pop is much more appealing when it has colour! Orange pop, grape pop, cream soda, root beer, the kiddies hit the jackpot! I do not let Austin have this too much because he reacts to the dyes in the soda, especially anything red. They asked their cousin if they could have one and she said it was fine so I thought, well it is Christmas. I am sure my husband was wondering what I was thinking. Anyway, they both had two pops each throughout the whole evening and Austin was fine. He came out to have a bite to eat. He does not eat Christmas dinner so I prepared something separate for him. He went to my room and played on the computer, to his "safety zone". He was pretty calm and very well behaved all night, Kaleigh also.
We all sat down and had dinner. The food was great! Everyone brings a dish and the hosts make the turkey. Everyone enjoyed dinner even though it was a little warm in the living/dining room due to the wood stove and we squeezed almost 20 people at the tables. All in all, it was a really nice Christmas. Whew! :)
So, all that fretting and worrying was for nothing. Some habits are hard to break. ;)
All the best! *HUGS*