Simplicity is the perfect antidote to perfectionism during a special needs holiday season for families of kids with special needs, says Rebekah Benimoff.

With Thanksgiving almost here and Christmas not far behind, guest blogger Rebekah Benimoff is gearing up for the holidays. As the parent of two boys with special needs and a husband with PTSD, she’s learned valuable lessons about managing the holidays. Today’s post is the first installment of a three part series about how to make the holidays enjoyable for her family.

Special Needs Holiday Lesson 1: Simplicity

This time of year, it is easy to get sucked into the whirlwind of activity, and especially to be ransacked by perfectionism. The holiday season can be especially stressful for families with special needs.  I work all year long to care for my special needs family, and the holidays sometimes seem to offer only a flurry of more things to do. I lose sight of the reason for the season when I  get caught up in perfectionism and people pleasing.

It creeps in, and often I do not even realize it. I think, “I am just trying to meet all my family’s needs.” Yet quite often it’s not necessary to bombard my already full plate with EVEN MORE.  For example, I may think that my son with a gluten intolerance MUST have an entire menu of homemade (from scratch) gluten free options for Every. Single. Extended Family Gathering. But the truth is, he is okay with just bringing along his favorite gluten free foods from our nearest health conscious grocery store.

Special Needs Holiday Lesson 1, for me, is that sometimes what I think I have to do is motivated by that inner drive of perfection, when simplicity meets the needs just as well, while encouraging my own peace of mind. I don’t have to do all and be all. My husband and kids will be better served if I let go of the extraneous, and so will I–even if our life does not look like something out of a magazine.

How do you encourage simplicity during the holiday season? Leave a comment.

Part 2
Part 3

Photo Credit:

Do you like what you see at You can receive more great content by subscribing to the quarterly Different Dream newsletter and signing up for the daily RSS feed delivered to your email inbox. You can sign up for the first in the pop up box and the second at the bottom of this page.