Hannah Molesworth Christmas photo with quote graphic

 

As the Christmas countdown begins, we chat to Hannah Molesworth, optician and autistic woman.

Hannah shares with us her struggles with sensory issues when it comes to Christmas shopping and roast dinners, as well as describing her perfect Christmas: a mix of mulled wine, twinkly lights and festive-themed pyjamas! 

I have been known to just eat chocolate...

What is Christmas like at your house?

Christmas is filled with mulled wine and soft twinkly lights. We usually go on holiday to Belgium a week before to get in the Christmas spirit. On Christmas Day we usually get up early and have a fancy Christmas breakfast whilst opening presents. Then we have Christmas dinner and have a nap in the afternoon!

Do you have to make changes to a ‘traditional’ Christmas?

We don’t have many family over, Christmas Day is usually reserved for me, my mum, my dad and my sister. And my sister’s boyfriend if he’s on the good list! I don’t eat roast dinner due to sensory issues with it. I don’t like the flavours or textures all mixed up so I have an alternative dinner. Sometimes I have bits of roast dry, with no gravy and all separate and I eat the components in order, but I have also been known to just eat chocolate. We have a fake tree because I can’t cope with the smell or needles from the real ones. We usually turn all the other lights off and just sit by Christmas lights as well. I love that about Christmas. All the twinkly lights! 

How do the challenges you may face at Christmas make you/your family/your child feel?

Shopping is incredibly stressful due to the amount of people and noise. I hate people getting in my personal space and I cannot stand strangers touching me, it induces a melt down almost immediately. It scares me and makes me feel anxious so I do most of my shopping online and try to avoid Christmas markets and things. It’s a shame because I love Christmas but feel like I miss out on some of the experiences.

How do you envision a perfect Christmas?

All normal lights turned off and replaced with Christmas fairy lights. A restriction on the amount of people allowed in a shop at any one time. Chips and chocolate for Christmas dinner. All shopping delivered to me in plenty of time because that’s always a worry. Just my close family on the day. No unnecessary music in shops, save that for home because shops are loud enough anyway. Mince pies for breakfast every day in December! And wearing my pjs constantly from Christmas Eve until Boxing Day! Christmas themed pjs of course! 

Have you been supported by the National Autistic Society ?

I am working with the National Autistic Society towards raising awareness and acceptance of autistic people. They have organised interviews for me with magazines and they organised for me to be part of an entirely autistic audience during the first ever autism friendly episode of Loose Women!  

There is a song, “the most wonderful time of the year”. What would you say Christmas is to you?

Magical but exhausting!

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You can keep up with Hannah's latest adventures by following her on Twitter!

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