Christmas is big, loud, and brash. This can be exciting, but it can also be terrifying. The lack of routine can be confusing; the deregulation can be mind-blowing. Since Christmas now seems to begin as soon as the Halloween decorations are reduced in shops, it can be a two-month long panic-fest. And that’s how it feels to well-adjusted adults. For young people who have encountered Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) it can be simply too much to bear.

In the swirl of all this madness, home has changed. We have been cautious to keep Christmas decorations to a minimum, but we still want to acknowledge a period that can be fun, which Little Chick’s peers enjoy, that he may even have enjoyed in the past. We want to protect him and keep him safe, but at the same time we don’t want to deny him potential pleasure.

As we search for this middle ground we have invested in a new safe space for Little Chick. An igloo. It meets the requirements of a winter wonderland of festive whimsy, but, most importantly, is a haven. This cardboard construction (a bargain at just £6 from Hobbycraft) will take pride of place in our living room until twelfth night. A wee raft of tranquillity in the ocean of Christmas mayhem.

Edit (January 2019): The igloo was a resounding success. Lined with a duvet and stuffed animals, it was a cosy Christmas dwelling. All visitors commented on it and Little Chick took great pride in showing off his new abode. Those people he was most comfortable with were even invited into his inner sanctum, though not all could squeeze into the tiny structure. We will purchase another (or a suitable alternative) next Christmas, the first of our new Christmas traditions.

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