Blogmas #15 plus how to survive the holidays part 2

Hi guys,

I just realized we have already passed the two week mark for this blogmas. I think that means we’re on two thirds now. I do notice it’s getting harder and harder to keep up. Tomorrow we’re leaving for a weekend away with my family, so I hope I’ll manage to keep writing. I will defenitely bring my laptop.

My breakfast was same old same old again. Then I finished writing yesterdays blog. After that I went to the local Turkish bakery to get some bread for the hotdogs we’ll be having for dinner tonight. The lady actually gave me 10 buns instead of 8, because both amounts cost the same, she is so incredibly sweet. So I had sandwiches for lunch.

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One with biscoff and apple.

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And one with mayo, cucumber, fake salmon (which kind of looks and feels like balony, but actually tastes quite realistic, but then again, that is coming from someone who hasn’t had the real thing in over three years) and wakame salad.

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Oh and here is the leftover pancake I had before that. Pancakes with bacon and sugar syrup were always my favorite before I went vegan, but honestly it works pretty well with fake bacon too.

Today someone came to pick up a bunch of fancy glasses we never used anyway and were therefore just eating dust and taking up space. Now we have one less jenga like cupboard again.

For dinner we had those hotdogs I mentiond earlier, but I totally forgot to take pictures. Just imagine one of those buns from the other pictures with a veggie dog and fried onions oozing with mayo, mustard and ketchup. Well two for me and three for my partner actually.

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We have even packed our suitcase for the weekend. Our toiletries, my pyjamas and my partners sneakers still have to be put in, but there’s plenty of space. Last year I overfilled this suitcase all by myself. And on top of that it only took us about 10 minutes to pack. What decluttering can’t do. I will bring a backpack as well, but that’s mostly for my laptop and to take my stuff with me on trips once we’re there.

Food is another matter though. This year we’re having two dinners at the holiday home instead of one and all of us were asked to bring our own breakfast, so we’re bringing two boxes of food. I still have to pack most of that though, because I want to pack the refrigerated items last minute. So I’ll show you that tomorrow.

I promised I would write down some tips to deal with the holidays with autism and a budget so here they are.

How to survive the holidays with autism

Of course I can’t speak on everyones behalf for this one as autism is different for everyone. For me socializing isn’t particularly hard, but I do easily get sensory overload, so it can be very exhausting. Since this is what my experience is this will be where my focus will be, simply because I know most about it.

1 Bring earplugs. If you don’t have sensory issues with putting things in your ear I would recommend getting protective earplugs. I have earplugs I initially bought to protect my ears from loud music at concerts, but now I pretty much always carry them with my. They’re pretty good at canceling out background noise while still being able to hear the people you’re having a conversation with. Mine are pretty basic and you will probably be able to get them at most music shops for around €20, but you can also get them fitted at an audicien these days, those are quite expensive though.  If you’re looking for a super cheap short therm solution foam earplugs will probably work too.

2 Take toilet breaks if you get sensory overload. This is a quick way to get out of the crowd for a bit without having to explain why.

3 Don’t be afraid to ask about plans. If you are like me and feel the need to know what to expect just to be able to plan stuff as your meals and personal hygene just ask. This may be hard at first, but trust me, it will probably be easier than not knowing. If you are spending your holidays with poor planners you might need to ask even the most basic things like at what time you leave to be able to plan your day.

4 Don’t be afraid to tell people you want to go home early because you are tired. Just like with people with an invisible illness people can forget we can get tired more easily. Having a good time for a short period of time is better than being miserable all night. You’re probably no fun to anyone else if you’re not having fun yourself, so you might as wel put yourself first.

I think that’s it. On to the budget tips. These are for people without kids who celebrate the holidays with their family or other loved ones. I can’t give any budget tips for the holidays with kids, simply because I don’t have any and aren’t planning on having kids in the future.

How to survive the holidays on a budget:

1 Suggest not to do any presents. After all it’s about the company, not about getting stuff.

2 Suggest homemade gifts. Not everyone might be open to the idea of not having gifts at the holidays, so instead try suggesting to give homemade gifts, this could be anything. If that isn’t a gift that’s truly from the heart I don’t know what is.

3 Suggest secret santa. Some people are picky gift getters or lazy gift givers and therefore won’t want to give homemade gifts. With these people you can have a secret santa. Rather than buying everyone a gift, this way you can give somewhat bigger gifts while still saving money.

4 Don’t eat out. Whether you’re hosting or not, homecooked meals are always cheaper. You can even suggest that everyone (or every couple, every family if you’re with extended family or even just random teams) cooks one course. That way you can spread the costs and the work and still have a fancy multiple course meal.

5 If you’re a vegan or vegetarian skip the meat subs. If you are a meat eater skip the meat. After all, animals deserve a nice holiday to, compassion for all right? Meat subs may be tasty but they can be rather expensive and they’re definitely not necessary. The internet is full of super festive plant based meals for the holidays and I have yet to encouter one that isn’t (unlike store bought meat subs) cheaper than meat.

I think that was it for today. I hope my tips were even remotely usefull to anyone. If you think anything should be added to the list or if I’m wrong about anything just let me know. See you tomorrow!

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