Christmas as a Spoonie

Image from

Image from

So everyones getting ready to celebrate christmas. Some are already prepared; presents wrapped, stockings filled and pigs-in-blankets in the freezer. It’s the party season and the busiest time of the year. For spoonies/those with chronic illnesses & pain, this time of year can be very tricky – we can’t just forget about the debilitating symptoms we suffer with every day and enjoy the moment (to find out why we are called spoonies see my post on The Spoon Theory). It’s really difficult for us to keep up with the social occasions or to manage a bit of christmas shopping. There is a lot to do on the lead up to christmas and it’s very overwhelming. We often end up burning ourselves out before the big day has even arrived.

We feel especially frustrated at this time of the year. Everyone’s out and about soaking up the festivities; christmas shopping, sipping mulled wine, dinners with friends/family, parties etc. All things that we so desperately want to be doing! I have planned a night in with my two best friends to watch christmas films and might pop to a christmas market but that is about all I will be able to manage this year. I have already been to one christmas market a couple of weeks ago though which was so lovely and made me feel quite christmassy! I also have a list as long as my arm of festive things I want to bake/cook which will also have to be limited to one or two things to save spoons. One of the things on the list that I ticked off yesterday though was mince pies… :)

Paleo Mince Pies!

Paleo Mince Pies!

This year I will be doing most, if not all of my shopping online. I miss the atmosphere in the shops – the decorations, hustle and bustle and christmas songs blaring. But then again, perhaps I am looking at it through rose-tinted glasses as I know it is stressful and there are queues everywhere! Maybe I am the lucky one then?!

I put pressure on myself every year to buy THE most thoughtful gifts for everyone. I think I got that from my Mum who is the most thoughtful person in the world and gets christmas right every single year! Shopping online doesn’t help me to meet the expectations I set myself as you cannot browse properly and kind of already need to know what you want before you shop. This year I am trying to lower those expectations a little, as hard as it is. I have asked people what they would like to make things easier, and I keep reminding myself that friends and family don’t expect much and simply want to spend time with me.

Christmas’s in spoonie households are usually a little quieter than the rest. We aren’t able to cope with lots of people around as it’s overstimulating and incredibly energy draining. I have quite a big family and ever since I can remember there has been a house full of people on Christmas day. Last year was different though because I was ill; we had a relatively quiet christmas and I think it will be much the same this year. It was just as lovely though :) On the day, I have to prioritise what I’d like to do the most, whether it be to put a little bit of make up on, or to help make the christmas trifle etc. There is no point in pushing myself to help cook the whole christmas dinner as I’d be in bed with so much pain and fatigue for the rest of the day if I did. Pacing is so important and I will have lots of mini rests throughout the day to keep me going.

Despite the frustrations and limitations, I really enjoy the festive period. I focus on counting my blessings and the things I am able to do, rather than the things I can’t. Spending quality time with my family means the world, it’s not often we are all together so christmas is really special. And then there’s the food!! I am so excited for mince pies, turkey and our christmas trifle that’s been a tradition for so many years now! This year we’re going to try and make it paleo – wish us luck!

I am already feeling quite festive but on the lead up to christmas I am going to watch as many of my favourite Christmas films as possible, listen to good old Michael Bublé, try to organise and pace myself but most importantly, accept the fact that pain and illness will be a part of Christmas Day whether I like it or not and try not to get down about that.

To all of my spoonie friends out there, I wish you a very Happy Christmas! I hope you have a ‘good’ day on christmas day and santa brings you extra spoons!


  1. Polina December 17, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    Sophia, as much as I love your posts, this is a special one. So thoughtful…I feel that in some way it’s your present for those who need it right now, in this festive but still tough for some people time. Your thoughtful present. And thank you from all my heart for that.

    I’m not in love with shopping…I feel tired and desperate in big malls after (or during) first shop, it’s so draining…but it must be really sad when you want shopping and can’t. And I really wish that one and (hopefully) another one christmas market this year turns into several next one.

    I really hope that you’ll manage to have lovely and peaceful Christmas which will cost you as little as possible. And though we celebrate Christmas on another date, on 25 December I will think about you and those who I know and wish them a very merry Christmas. Gentle hugs to you and hope it wasn’t too long for comment.

  2. Beautylymin December 17, 2015 / 9:27 pm

    I can totally relate to all of this. I’ve done all of my shopping online & did it early so that I could pace myself wrapping (one of my favourite things to do!). I’ve done all I can in advance but the thoughts of all the chatter on Christmas Day (I have a big family), having a bath, getting dressed, putting on make-up etc is daunting, even though I should be used to it having been ill for 15 years. The good thing is that family understand if I have to spend my day in pyjamas (Christmas ones though!) and I’ll lie down during the day & pace myself. I do miss Christmases of old though but it is what it is and I’m grateful for so many things & lucky in so many ways.

    I hope you have a lovely Christmas with your family & good luck with the trifle! xx


  3. Katie Cupcake January 8, 2016 / 12:14 am

    Hi fellow spoonie! This post really struck a chord with me as I felt so similar in the lead-up to Christmas. It’s like so much more needs doing but we still have the same amount (or lack of!) of energy! I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves too. I hope you ended up having a nice Christmas. Are you still recovering like me? Lol x

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