Beyond Black Friday

May 03, 2024

With Thanksgiving now behind us, my thoughts have turned to all that December holds. I love the celebrations and festivities, but always feel a moderate amount of pressure to take advantage of special holiday events and activities, show extra kindness to everyone who matters to me, honor family traditions, and conserve just a little bit of energy for what promises to be a very busy new year.

These feelings can become overwhelming for parents of young people with disabilities. Daily life is often more challenging for us, and those challenges easily become more pronounced as we attempt to do it all and do it well during December.

Depending upon where you live, winter snow and ice can be especially treacherous for families with wheelchairs. Loud concerts and school assemblies often pose unique difficulties for kids with sensory issues. And even a simple holiday gathering or gift exchange can become upsetting for young people with behavioral challenges or limited social skills.

If you encounter parents of complex kids in your daily life and work, please try to remember this and extend a little extra patience and understanding to them — especially at this time of year. If you or your child struggle personally, try to be more kind to yourself over the next month. Consider adjusting your holiday traditions (without guilt) so they work for everyone in your family, and try to find even just a little time to make yourself and your needs important and worth tending to.

Lastly, please use your purchasing power this holiday season to buy from disability-owned businesses and employment training programs. With holiday shoppers spending an average of nearly $1,000 over the next month on gifts, imagine the positive impact this could have. 

Gifts that keep on giving.

Below are five favorites from my personal holiday shopping list. Check them out and order online to help simplify your gift-giving. And please sharing today’s newsletter with folks you know to help these businesses grow and serve more young people:

21 Pineapples. I love this casual apparel company founded by a young man with Down syndrome. Check out their online shop of great t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other clothing that celebrates individuality and authenticity.

Beloved Bath was started by two mothers of adult sons with autism. Purchase handcrafted soaps and candles here and help provide meaningful work for young adults with autism.

Good & Strong Coffee tastes great and feels empowering, just in the name alone. It’s available for online purchase here from Anastasia & Katie’s Coffee Shop, which employs workers with developmental disabilities. A great hostess gift or stocking stuffer.

Sweet Heat Jam Co. is a social enterprise that provides culinary training and employment for adults with intellectual disabilities. Shop their full line of delicious gifts here.

Team Woofgang & Co. This nonprofit provides free vocational training to young people with disabilities after high school. And their all-natural dog treats are a huge hit with pups of all shapes and sizes. Order online here and make your favorite pooch extra happy this holiday season.


Interested in learning more about one-to-one coaching? Contact Kris for information on what this might look like for you, including outcomes, availability, fees and more.

Contact Kris

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.