The role of Disability Support Workers (or, as we call them, Lifestyle Attendants) becomes even more important over the festive season. While some of our customers will have jam-packed itineraries, others will experience a lull. Christmas can also be a delicate time of year for a person’s mental health: some love this time of year, but others don’t. If you suspect this may be the case for someone you know, check out our collection of mental health blogs here.

If your customer is eager to get into the festive spirit, boy, do we have the blog for you! Keep reading for the Disability Support Worker’s ultimate guide to Christmas with customers.

Know your customer’s calendar

Maintaining a regular routine is often one of a customer’s key goals – however, Christmas time is anything but routine. That’s why it’s important to understand what (if any) social commitments they have coming up. From there, you can work together to brainstorm strategies for maintaining their routine.

If a customer has a lot of events or activities planned, identify where some downtime can fit in. After all, Christmas can create pressure to do things that we’re not in the mood for. Keep scrolling to see our suggestions for activities that won’t demand too much energy.

On the other hand, if the customer doesn’t have plans, check in and see if there’s anything they’d like to do. Some people might want to operate as though it’s any other time of year, while others may want to start their own Christmas traditions.

Pro tip: If you don’t already know, ask your customer what they do or do not like about Christmas. Keep their preferences in mind when you plan together.

A calendar with a santa claus figurine next to it.

Plan ahead to balance customer needs with their commitments.

Make like a boy scout…

And be prepared! A customer’s support network likely consists of more than one service provider and different Allied Health professionals. In the lead up to the holiday season, work with your customer to keep a list of their support network’s holiday contact arrangements. It’s a good way to reduce stress and uncertainty, as well as empower their independence.

Pro tip: Write this information on paper and keep it somewhere easily accessible. As our festive season often coincides with extreme heat, the risk of power outages increases, so this is a good way to help reduce your customer’s reliance on electronic devices. For more tips like this, check out our summer safety blog.

Get crafty

We can’t be the only ones who’ve noticed fewer and fewer Christmas cards in the letterbox over the years?

Well, this decline creates a fantastic opportunity to really make someone’s day. If your customer enjoys getting creative, suggest an afternoon of hand-making Christmas cards for their loved ones. All you need is paper, some coloured pens or pencils, or even paint.

Once the cards are done, post them off to the customer’s loved ones. If they live close by, you absolutely get bonus points for cards that are hand-made and hand-delivered. We guarantee the recipients will appreciate the effort – maybe they’ll even send something equally as lovely back.

As far as how rewarding this activity is, it certainly ranks high. Nothing beats getting a thoughtful, homemade Christmas card, except maybe giving one!

Pro tip: If your customer needs some inspiration to get started, try searching for ideas online, or go and look at some examples in a shop.

Christmas is what you bake it

Maybe your customer wants to improve their cooking skills, or maybe it’s already one of their favourite hobbies. Either way, this could be the perfect way to spend a few hours!

Baking Christmassy is a surefire way to get into the festive spirit. and Australia’s Best Recipes both have a huge number of festive recipes, with something for every skill level. Puddings, fruit mince pies, gingerbread, caramel popcorn, white Christmas, rum balls, decorated sugar cookies… the mouth-watering possibilities are (almost) endless!

Pro tip: Baked goods make affordable and thoughtful gifts for loved ones. A stack of cellophane-wrapped cookies could be a nice accompaniment to a hand-made card.

Gingerbread cookies on a plate with christmas decorations.

Dough my goodness, how cute do these look?!

Become a wrap star!

An often overlooked (but seriously fun) Christmas craft is customised wrapping paper.

If your customer is giving gifts this year, why not suggest they take some plain wrapping paper and make the presentation their own? You could use pencils, paint, markers, stencils, stickers, or even glitter to decorate. Wrap it up in ribbon or twine to really take the present-ation (sorry!) to the next level.

Pro tip: Can’t find plain wrapping paper? Use baking paper or brown craft paper instead. No one will be able to tell once it’s covered in art.

Christmas decorations on a green background.

Experiment with patterns and colours to create uniquely festive gifts.

Christmas movie marathon

If your customer is partial to a good film, consider organising a Christmas movie marathon. This can become an especially fun group activity for customers with housemates.

There are so many great festive flicks out there, ranging from romantic comedies to animated epics. If your customer lives with sensory sensitivities or finds certain themes triggering, you can easily vet films by checking their ‘parent’s guide’ (these are useful for everyone, not just parents) via Common Sense Media or IMDB. You can also check popular films for potentially unsuitable content with this handy list compiled by Children and Media Australia.

Pro tip: become an amateur film critic and score the movies!

There you have it: a collection of ideas for making Christmas fun, stress-free, and memorable for your customer. With your customer’s consent, be sure to snap a photo of your Christmas activities and send them through to us at for the newsletter!