I was around 12 or 13 years old when I discovered an amazing thing.
If I took a nap on Christmas Eve Eve, the day before Christmas Eve, not only would Christmas seem to arrive faster, but I had an easier time navigating any family obligations that came up during that holiday.
The discovery itself was a bit of an accident. I found myself noticing how worn down I was feeling that day and so I laid down to nap.
I never napped when I was that age. It wasn’t my idea of fun and I’d much rather be reading – even to the degree that I’d stay up at least half of most nights reading without my parents’ knowledge.
So, I took my nap.
Afterwards, I woke up refreshed and ready for dinner. Oddly, my parents seemed to hardly believe that I’d actually taken a nap when I responded to their repeated queries about where I’d been and what I’d been doing all day. I had no reason to lie about it and kept repeating myself until they seemed to be satisfied and stopped asking.
That year Christmas was easier, somehow, than it had been in the preceding years. I didn’t know *why at the time, but I knew that I’d just found my new Christmas Eve Eve tradition.
It’s been a tradition for me ever since. No matter how short it might end up being (and with children in the house, it can end up being pretty darn short sometimes), I always get a nap during **this day.
Sometimes something as simple as a nap can make all the difference.
I want to be very clear about this next part though, because “naps are beneficial” was a lesson I needed to learn for myself. I know for a fact, based on past experiences, that had my parents been the ones to initiate naps on this day, I would never have taken the first nap, let alone any of the following ones. My perception of naps was that negative at the time.
Instead, thankfully, I made this discovery on my own and it’s one of my very favorite Christmas traditions!
*Of course it was almost certainly that I needed more rest because of all the extra peopling this time of year and being Autistic.
**I’ve also started napping more on other days now, but this was the day that convinced me that naps could be beneficial and weren’t just boring wastes of time.