Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Christmas is Autistic (Episode 49)

Christmas is Autistic (Episode 49)

Featuring the story of "The Christmas Dragon"
Listen to Autistic Podcast hosts discuss: Christmas is Autistic. Featuring the story of The Christmas Dragon
M: Because when you go to somebody's house, it's rude—apparently—to not eat all the food. A: That's the really hard one. M: What is up with that?

#ActuallyAutistic podcast hosts, Dr. Angela Lauria and Matt Lowry, LPP, discuss their complicated feelings around Christmas—there is holiday magic but also overstimulation, family stress, and past trauma.

They talk about Christmas TV specials that resonate with autistic experiences, like Charlie Brown feeling overwhelmed while others find joy, or the Grinch hating loud noises.

They talk about Autistic glimmers (the opposite of triggers) like time with special interests, sensory delights, and routines; using the example of Matt's son who loves Christmas villages and light decorations. They also validate the seasonal triggers like excessive noise, increased social expectations, gift-giving misalignments, and food sensitivities.

“Every gift you receive is a risk and then every gift you give is a risk. And…expectation sensitivity and Christmas, it's hard to find that magic…I think that's like the lights, like…Every year, the lights are pretty much the same. Yes! and I get so excited to see them every year.”
- Angela

They analyze Santa Claus’ many Autistic traits and discuss certain elements of Christmas stories that reflect Autistic characteristics. Connections are drawn between neurodivergent people feeling excluded for being "different," and outcast characters like Rudolph and Hermie the elf/dentist.

“It very much resonates with neurodivergent people and, you know, people who have been excluded for being different—even though our differences matter and our differences are valuable. Because we need dentists in the world. We need bright lights in the fog. Because just by being like the other ‘normal’ reindeer, Santa would have failed.” - Matt

The hosts emphasize wishing for more openness and peace during the holidays and the entire year. Matt shares another “Autistica” story he wrote about an Autistic child who meets a magical Christmas dragon that understands him when Santa could not. The dragon embodies acceptance, celebration of difference, and bringing people joy.

“The dragon huffed and it puffed and held its breath for a bit, and all of a sudden, this dragon was lit. The dragon's horns and its spikes lit up every hue. The boy basked in the glow. What a marvelous view.” - The Christmas Dragon, by Matt

What are some of your holiday glimmers? Tell us in the comments and use #AutisticCultureCatch to share your answer on your social media and connect with other listeners!

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Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Welcome to the Autistic Culture Podcast. Each episode we dive deep into Autistic contributions to society and culture by introducing you to some of the world’s most famous and successful Autistics in history!
Whether you are Autistic or just love someone who is, your hosts, Dr. Angela Lauria, the Linguistic Autistic and Licensed Psychological Practitioner, Matt Lowry, welcome you to take this time to be fully immersed in the language, values, traditions, norms, and identity of Autistica!
To learn more about Angela, Matt, and the Autistic Culture Podcast visit