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Mike Walker opens up about why he is celebrating being ‘in control’ this Christmas

Christmas is a time when I really appreciate having a personal budget.

A personal budget means I can organise how I want to celebrate the festive season whereas when I used to live in residential care my Christmas was the way the home wanted it to be, not the way I wanted. All I got was Christmas the way the home wanted.

Being 'in control' at Christmas means that every year I have a big shopping trip with Sylvia my personal assistant. This year we went to Leeds and visited the Christmas market. I bought some candles to give as presents. We had lunch at a German sausage stall. We then went shopping in the arcades.

The next big part of Christmas is when we put up the decorations. It's become a tradition that I put up the tree with Sylvia. The decorations are from all over Europe and I always bring a new decoration home from work trips in winter.

The week before Christmas Sylvia helps me bake. We make mince pies and ginger bread men.

The weeks before Christmas are busy and Sylvia is here more than normal helping me get everything ready. Celebrating Christmas my own way is very important to me. For a lot of my life I have had an institutional Christmas but having a personal budget means that I can use my Personal Assistant time to make my home festive and comfy.

This is why I am celebrating being 'in control' this and every Christmas.

This post has been published as part of our #BeInControlXmas social media campaign, find out more about how you can  join in.

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Last Updated : 17 December 2013. Page Author: marijke.hirst.