An autistic person's Christmas: not bah humbug, just bald incomprehension

Sometime around the beginning of December my colleagues start to speak a foreign language – Christmasese. I can’t help thinking that for those of us who are autistic it should come with a phrase book of ready-made questions and answers. But it doesn’t, so we get through as best we can.

At work it’s the social side of Christmas that proves most challenging; the “let’s all have a merry little Christmas time”. While I’m reasonably tolerant of the additional noise, sparkly lights and overload of red and white these days, there are questions I’ve learned to dread. Top of the list is “Have you got all your presents yet?” I find it hard to explain to people whose Christmas budget may run into thousands that my list looks like this:

1 Turnip (horse)

2 Pig’s Ear (dog)

3 Catnip (neighbour’s cat)

I’ve opted out of the Secret Santa this year for everyone’s benefit.


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16th December 2015