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…
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!
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!