"It's likely that any venue you are forced to party in will only have about three accessible seats among acres of shiny dance floor - which I find is so much better for slipping over on."
I have finally decided to take a look around to see what magic would present itself and lo and behold! There is actually some out there to find. Some of the cheer harkens to the past, while some of it presents hope for the future, showing signs of perhaps far better to come.
For example; what would the holiday season be without decorations? For time out of reckoning ornaments have been a part of the holiday season. When I looked around for decorations, I came across one's from Cafepress. They are from the past, but the images and messages alone were enough to perk me up. The one I like the best reads, "You may not hear my words, but just look into my eyes and listen with your heart." You can find these ornaments at:
Disability Ornaments - www.cafepress.com/+disability+ornaments
Despite a somewhat, 'less-than-festive,' demeanor shall we say. Disability Bitch is filled with good holiday party advice. She very plainly has attended more than one seasonal and mixed-company affair. Having been to a few myself, I suggest that her advice is more than worth reading, particularly if you use a wheelchair. Disability Bitch's Christmas Party Survival Guide - www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/opinion/b1tch/db_christmas_party.shtml
Her first rule is perhaps one of the best. The rule states:
"RULE ONE: Don't get trapped
It's likely that any venue you are forced to party in will only have about three accessible seats among acres of shiny dance floor - which I find is so much better for slipping over on. It'll also have a few dozen tall bar stools which only very well-balanced people can sit on. Many discerning disabled party-goers prefer to sit down rather than stand up. The ones who don't, will probably find themselves ushered to the nearest seat by a well meaning yet idiotic Normal Person anyway, within seconds of entering the venue."
Every single year finds people dashing around, trying to find last minute gifts for others. We go through Black Friday and all of the endless sales, only to find ourselves going, 'hmm...I wonder what I should get this person.' It can be hard to find just the right present for a person. Try to choose a present that someone can enjoy when they cannot see, watch television, movies, or has to have books read to them because they are unable to use their hands! Some people think the obvious thing to do would be to get the person some music, right?
Well; how about an audio-book
An audio-book is just like a printed book. Reader's Digest presents a, 'talking book,' for people who are unable to read a printed version. There are a great variety of books that are now available in audio-book format. Audio-books are a wonderful and disability-friendly gift choice. There are also things such as:
The holiday season all too often finds people with disabilities wondering why they are not involved in activities to a greater extent. It is important to involve people with disabilities in Christmas activities, whether those activities include the Christmas play, putting up the tree, singing, cooking, or anything else. Family members - remember; shopping together means, 'together.' For people who use wheelchairs, scooters, and adaptive equipment - crowds at stores can be a royal challenge. For example; here is one person who describes her experiences attempting to shop during the holiday season.
Christmas Shopping and Wheel Chairs Don't Mix
"Getting to the store to shop is only the first obstacle I encounter. Once at the store, sometimes getting inside is a battle. There are simply some stores where I can't shop, either because I can't even access the front door due to steps or a 'landing' that doesn't include a ramp or in the case of Malls - stores that are so crammed full of merchandise that there isn't enough room in the aisles to stop and look at anything, pass another shopper or turn a corner from one aisle to another. My name is Robin, I'm a 46 year old wife and mother living with physical disabilities that require the use of a power chair."
Well, Robin - I can really only say two things...
"BOWLING PIN!!!" and, "MANAGER!!!"
Ok; maybe not. Did I say those things out loud? Perhaps a cattle prod and a nice sledge hammer would do. Wendy says, "Nah, just put one of those bumpers on; you know, so you can hit ramming speed" We both think that would be great. Personally, I would never, ever approach a Toys-R-Us store on Black Friday; family with me or not.
Are you aware that the world is experiencing something that has not happened in four-hundred and fifty-six years?
It is; and it is something both natural and magnificent. This year's Christmas is truly special because there is a solstice-lunar eclipse overlap that has not occurred since the seventeenth century. The event is happening on Monday, December 20th overnight into Tuesday.
The event is a celestial eccentricity that has particular significance for spiritualities that tap into the energy presented by the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. The day is associated with the re-birth of the sun. Nicole Cooper, a high priestess of Toronto's Wiccan Church of Canada said, "It's a ritual of transformation from darkness into light. It's the idea that when things seem really bleak, (it) is often our biggest opportunity for personal transformation."
Some suggest the eclipse of the moon during this solstice is a sign of incredible renewal of human spirit and transformation. While things in the world may not seem to be going as good as they might be, bear in mind this magnificent natural sign of hope during the Christmas holidays. Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!
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