“Merry Cripmas”

We’re just a day away from Christmas, a time that in addition to an abundance of fairy lights and Santa hats, can also be full of apprehension and pressure. For disabled, neurodivergent or chronically ill people this season can have extra complexities whether they’re around managing energy, social interactions, dietary requirements, navigating access barriers or coping with the many depictions of ‘Tiny Tim’!


A digital drawing by Jess Thom, at the centre of the image is bushy Christmas tree, covered in colourful decorations. Some are pretty standard like stars, paperchains, fairly lights, snowmen and glittery baubles. Some decorations are less usual and include a wheelchair, several biscuits, hedgehogs and some baubles inspired by the Palestinian flag. Under the tree are six presents each tied with a different colour ribbon. Bold outlined text at the bottom reads: Merry Cripmas. This message was inspired by a tic and uses Crip which is a reclaimed version of Cripple used by some politicised disabled people.

I’ll be keeping it simple this year, hanging out with Fat Sister, King Russell, Sausage, Bean, Erik, Leftwing Idiot and of course Monkey. I’ll also be sticking to the routines that help me manage my impairments, including maintaining my afternoon naps and pain management schedules. I’ll unapologetically use the tools that help me, whether that means wearing a bib at Christmas dinner, using techniques to help me manage transitions, or drawing on my iPad to alleviate the mild peril of festive films!

However you’re spending the next few days, take care of yourself, and prioritise your wellbeing and access requirements as best you can.

And in the words of my tics: “Merry Cripmas! It’s like Christmas but with more Crip.”

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