Christmas Decorations – Special Needs Style

The holiday season allows us to take a break from a lot of things, but with Andres (8) in OT recovering from his Chiari 1 malformation issues and Noah (6) with Down syndrome, we’re trying not to skip a beat as far as speech, language, fine motor, gross motor, sensory processing, well, you know the drill.

Knowing how every year my husband mentions that he’d really like to string cranberries and popcorn for the tree (translated as he’d really like us to string cranberries and popcorn for the tree) and discovering 3 bags of frozen cranberries in the back of my freezer from all the years I meant to make his little cranberry popcorn dream come true, I decided this was the year I was going to make it happen.  Remember, this is my year to go over-the-top, to do all the Christmas activities and go to all the Christmasy places that in years past just seemed like too much work.

So I scrounged up all the long needlepoint needles I had, bought some fishing line (strong quilting thread works too), thawed out the cranberries (partially thawed works best), popped some raw popcorn in a paper bag in the microwave (isn’t that how Laura Ingalls did it?), sat down with Andrew and the kiddos, and we had a night of family fun.  I figured Noah was too young to handle a needle, but he insisted on joining in the fun, so I pulled out my plastic canvas needles, which are long, big-eyed plastic needles, and Noah got to work.  The plastic needle was too thick and broke the popcorn, but it worked fabulously with the cranberries, so Noah strung cranberries only.

By the time it was all said and done, we had an impressive bunch of strands for our tree.  And Noah and Andres got a dose of OT without even realizing it.  And my husband finally has a tree decorated with popcorn and cranberries.  And I have, oh, one bag less of cranberries in the freezer.

All’s well that ends well.


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