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Updated on September 12, 2011

The Presents are wrapped and the shopping is done! Now comes the fun, some of us will be hosting Christmas at home, and some will be going to family and friends. Even if you are hosting this year it is likely that you will be doing some visiting as well.

As we have discussed in other articles, short literal “Social” stories can be a life saver. They can be used in so many situations to make unique or novel circumstances more enjoyable for your child on the spectrum ( and more relaxing for you).

Below you will find a story you can print, add pictures too and read with your child (it is suggested that you read it over a number of times before the big day).

What has worked well for many parents is to ask talk to your host ahead of time and find out in what order events will take place.., will you be eating after you arrive or will there be time to say have conversations first? When will you be opening gifts? What will happen after that. Usually friends and family are more than a happy to answer these questions when you explain what you are trying to accomplish.

The story below is written in a systematic format with blanks for you to fill in. Use the answers you received from your host. This will assist you in composing a personal and effective story.


Today is Christmas! It is a very special day. This morning I will open presents. I am Happy!

_____________________________will open their presents too. It is fun to open presents Christmas morning.

Then it will be time to get ready to go too _______________ house. It is okay, I will be able to play with my presents when I get home.

I can ask my parent if I can choose one present to take with me when we go too ___________’s.

We get in the car and drive to _____________’s house.

There may be a lot of cars in the driveway when we get there. I am Okay, I am Happy! It is fun to visit ____________!

Then we go in the house. There may be a lot of people in the house. I am okay, I am happy.

Everyone will want to say hello to me, I will say hello. I am safe, people like to say hello when they see you.

Next it will be time to_________________________________________.

Then we will _________________________________________________.

Now it is time to ______________________________________________.

Finally it is time to go home, I have had fun visiting everyone! I am happy! My parents are happy too!

That is the end of the story, just a couple of suggestions for filling in the sentences.

1. Discuss with the host how opening of gifts will take place. Will they pass out all the gifts before anyone opens them? Or will each person get one gift at a time and open their gift when they receive it?

2. When sitting down for dinner, will there be place cards on the table? If the answer is yes it would be a good Idea to add that into the corresponding fill-in in your story.


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      Lorna d'Entremont 

      8 years ago

      Thanks Sybil for this great post, actually it is a gift to all parents who can really make use of it allowing their whole family to enjoy a more relaxing Christmas visit. Social Stories are such a valuable resource and one, like yours, a perfect template for parents.


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