Being Highly Sensitive is the Best Gift
When I think of Christmas and my Highly Sensitive Child I find I often end up focusing on the challenges it can present: the bustle, noise and bright lights, the endless events and socialising, the extreme excitement (and fear!) of Father Christmas visiting…. BUT this year, I’ve taken a different perspective. This year I have been thinking about all the ways in which being Highly Sensitive can be a real gift at Christmas.
Here are the reasons why I think Christmas is a wonderful time if you are Highly Sensitive.
- Christmas is a time for Imagination & Wonder
Christmas can be a truly magical time, and who better to be completely consumed by the wonder and awe of flying reindeer, Santa’s elves, toy workshop and a magic sleigh that can deliver presents all round the world in one night, than Highly Sensitive Children with their active imaginations? Who better to empathise with Rudolph than those of us who are Highly Sensitive, who feel his sadness at being excluded, and who can understand how it feels to be ‘different’?
Christmas is a time for kindness and reflection
Behind the glitz and the commercialism, Christmas is about thinking of and caring about others; it’s a time for reflection, of remembrance, of kindness and giving. All these are things that Highly Sensitive people can have a natural propensity for. Many Highly Sensitive Children love giving to those who are less fortunate than themselves, and take great delight in choosing something really thoughtful and special for their loved ones (including pets!).
- Christmas is a time for truly appreciating the small things
Our ability to feel a special kind of joy and appreciation of beauty that others don’t see is perhaps especially true at Christmas. We do feel everything very intensely, which does make us more susceptible to being overstimulated, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always ‘too’ bright, ‘too’ loud, ‘too’ busy. In-between any periods of overwhelm we are more likely to take great joy and delight in even the smallest wonders: beautifully sung carols, the sparkle and wonder of snow falling and settling on the trees,
the beauty of a snowflake, making a snowman, the sight and smell of a freshly-cut & decorated tree, the roar and warmth of a real fire, the arrival of the chocolates in the advent calendar from the Christmas elves; the warm, fuzzy feelings you get from watching the films “The Polar Express” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” (which always makes me cry).
In an article in the Huffington Post in December 2011, Deborah Ward sums up her feelings when she says “…the best part about being a highly sensitive person at Christmas is the gift we already possess – an amazing and wondrous appreciation of the simplest things in life. Being able to see beauty everywhere, in everything and in everyone is a gift I will always treasure.”
A Modern Story of the Gift of High Sensitivity
This years’ John Lewis Christmas Advert, (#ManOnThe Moon) speaks clearly and eloquently to me of High Sensitivity and highlights many of the reasons why Christmas is a good time to showcase the great things about being Highly Sensitive. The advert starts with a young girl deep in reflective thought. She looks at the moon through her telescope, and notices something on the surface, which she focuses on in more depth. She then realises that there’s a man on the moon, and she feels that he looks really sad. She cares about what she has discovered, and over the coming days she thinks, a lot, about what she has seen, what it means and what she could do about it. She writes a note to him, and she comes up with lots of creative ways of trying to get the message to him, none of which work. The tale ends on Christmas day when, amongst all of the busyness of the family laughing, chatting and opening presents, the Man on The Moon sees a gift drifting towards him attached to lots of balloons. The gift is very thoughtful one, it is a telescope, and when the man looks through it with a tear in his eye, he finally sees the girl looking back at him through her telescope, a connection is made and he suddenly feels less lonely.
I hope you are able to relish the great things about being Highly Sensitive for you and your HSC this Christmas. If it does all become ‘too much’ take a look at How to have a joyful Christmas with your Highly Sensitive Child.
In the meantime – MERRY CHRISTMAS!!