I don't know about you, but I have mixed emotions about holidays. I love the thought of spending time with my family, and doing exciting things with my LO, but at the same time I know that he struggles with the change of routine. This manifests itself with him feeling really unsettled, he asks millions of questions, can't comprehend what is happening when and then it basically results in a lot of melt downs (some of them mine!).
So to counteract this, for the first few days of the holiday, I draw out a picture time table for each day. We spend 5 minutes in the morning drawing out the plan and talking through it and then I take it with me where ever we go and can go through it over and again.
My LO is very much a visual learner so having the pictures, really helps him put the day into context and feel more on top of what is happening. We might go somewhere that needs a bit more explanation, so for example with the party, I will draw that box in more detail. We've had a few times recently where we've forgotten to do this, and it's been tricky, so I am hoping by getting on top of this from the beginning especially with Christmas excitement going through the roof, we will have a more settled Christmas!!
As you can see my drawing isn't the same standard as Picasso or Rembrandt, but my simple drawings do get the message across. I try and keep symbols the same and consistent too.
I've made up a blank template for you to use, if you think this would help. Even for just tricky days such as Christmas Day or specific events, it might help them understand more. Just click on the link and then print off as many copies as you need.
Another article I found interesting was this one from understood.org, it will be really helpful for clarifying those trickier social situations. Working out what has happened in the past and how we can think differently about these things. These things seem quite simple, but hopefully they can really help.
I hope you have a great Christmas!