ADHD Weekly Question -- How Do You Pr... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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ADHD Weekly Question -- How Do You Prepare for the Holiday Season?


Hello Readers,

ADHD Weekly is looking towards the upcoming holiday season and we'd like to know how you prepare for the festivities. We're putting together an article featuring your funny stories, suggestions and go-to tips for making the holidays happy.

Let us know below what works for you -- or what didn't work for you! -- and we'll share your tips with our readers.



ADHD Weekly Editor

CHADD's National Resource Center on ADHD

9 Replies

Being young worked for me during the holidays.My spirit was amazing,right up into my twenties!

I realize this is a very old post, but felt inclined to respond anyway.

How do I prepare for the holidays? Hadn’t really thought about it...Hmmm...

As best as my ADHD brain will allow, I would say. I either prepare VERY early, or WAY late, like almost too late...there doesn’t seem to be much in-between for me.

Either in minimal fashion, OR deck-the-halls, all out extravaganza 🎅🏻 🎄 I think I wear myself out mentally, and have to take a break in-between years to recover. Surely others can relate to this....or maybe not so much?

Although it may seem haphazard to others, I feel ok in that I’m consistently inconsistent with it. Now that I think about it, this pattern, of early or late, seems to accidentally alternate years. 😏 Prob just to “change it up a bit” for my crazy-brain. Wouldn’t want a once a year event to become too predictable, as I may get insanely bored with the whole thing. Lol.

When I was younger, I had a proper schedule that entailed starting the weekend after Thanksgiving, and had a time-line for each portion of the decorations...and a check-list even. Then about 20 years ago...misplaced my schedule list, so decided just to wing-it 😂

You may ask, why not just re-think a schedule...Eh. That seems like too much bother. Instead, I will just blunder about from Halloween to end of December and figure it out as I go. Sounds easy enough..?

For those that remove their decorations promptly following the holiday, Goody for you! My UN-decorating practices are parallel to those used for decorating. But do seem to be somewhat related to when the final decorations are in place. Notice I said final.

Often a decoration project, or two, doesn’t get quite finished...and then gets carried forward to the next year. What dread! Last year it was replacement of the thousands of tree lights 😳. I may just toss the whole tree out, and start again, we’ll see. Well-intended, unfinished projects...can you even imagine?

If it is a late setup can be assured disassembly will also be running long. Possibly even pushing into February, or later. Who wants to do all that work, and then take it all down right away? For me, there is def a work-to-enjoyment time ratio that must be adhered to, so that I get enough “value” from my efforts.

Looks like I’m right on schedule with this year being an early start... I have been mentally preparing for about over a month now. Of course, that is the first step. I know that if I don’t start mentally preparing until Thanksgiving, then it will def be a last minute/late year.

Won’t be long now until I start gathering, and preassembling things in the basement. Oooooh, this would also indicate a more elaborate set-up year. Oh my! Gotta much to do, and this is the first I’ve heard of all this!! I usually have to wait to “surprise” myself with the holiday prep plans.

Thanks, this has helped me understand my holidays for the last 20 years, and Uhhh...sorry for the lengthy babble. 🎁 🎅🏻 🎄

Prepare.... not sure I know what that word means! Kidding kind of, I probably tend to just hold on and enjoy the ride of the Holidays. Now I am a pastor, so there is a whole different level of being prepared, but honestly, I still tend to hold on and enjoy the ride. I do have to be careful and not let mind come up with pictures of how it “ Should be” because that would be pretty unattainable. So I have learned to just enjoy and appreciate the ride of the holidays. I know, not a good answer.


I disagree, that’s a perfectly lovey answer. It’s a good reminder to check our holiday expectations, and (for me) just to go along with it a bit more...and what better time to rethink our expectations than BEFORE we are in the middle of it all!

This season has always been stressful for me because I was trying to live up to everyone expectations and of course mostly failed in my eyes. Over 20 years ago I stopped it all. All it did was stress me. out. Now I don't do much at all. I will call my friends, and some relatives. If possible I will gather up stuff from my farm if there is any, put it in a colorful basket and take to stores I do business with and if I meet people along the way I offer them some goodies and then I take it to the long term care hospitals, and leave the rest, if I have time I will make a bunch of copper rings and bracelets and share them. Many older people believe in copper, it helps with their arthritis.

I procrastinate terribly around Christmas shopping. Every year, starting around June, I say I'm going to do my shopping early. Then I don't. This year I ordered stuff from Amazon Prime on Dec. 20, meaning it mostly will arrive before Christmas. I wish this were easier. I'm not real fond of the holidays for various reasons. The shopping is a big one.

ME! No really. Me. That's exactly what I did/do & when I did it. I always say I'll do better next time but I just can't do things when I'm supposed to.

It doesn't help that I never have $ but still.... Even when I did have money; I was the exact same way.

Ridiculously stressful or sometimes it's not lol. I just do what I do.

I put a ridiculous amount of time (sometimes) into mentally planning and preparing myself... just to wind up winging it days before the holiday.

Everything is done late/last minute and nothing ends up like the meticulously planned ideas in my mind.

Smh so yea lots of wants and ideas but none of the execution. That's what every day is like for me. 💖

Great question though!

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