Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by gongee, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. gongee

    gongee New Member

    Well, after last year's Christmas (which put me down for 2 weeks), my husband and I decided that this Christmas would be different. We decided that we would like to join with family and friends on Christmas Eve, with everyone bringing a dish to enjoy together.

    We also decided that it would be better for the family to draw names for presents (excluding children) since finances are so tight.

    We had always had at our house Christmas Day brunch with family. But the kids were in a hurry to open their presents, eat and get out in order to get to other places they needed to be.

    So far, all of my sons and daughter in laws are for this, except one and she is making everyone's life miserable.

    I thought Christmas was suppose to be a time of enjoyment for family and friends and to celebrate Jesus' birth. At this moment (and its only September) , I'm ready to say HECK WITH ALL OF IT and my husband and I will just do our own thing. It's bad enough being sick, then welcome to a load of stress of top of it.

    Any suggestions?

  2. toughone

    toughone New Member

    I have always done the BIG Christmas dinner with my family-(29 years!)-my daughter and I do it all. I have always enjoyed it. But last year did me in--no one cared that I was so run down--except my kids and husband. I also did Thanksgiving for my husbands family--never again. Not a one of them appreciated it.

    Fall and Winter are my favorite time of year. I have decided that no one is going to take advantage of us this year--it's going to be a nice, peaceful, loving time this year. I'm trying to get out of a cycle of bad flares right now and once I do, it's my time.

    I really hate to sound selfish, but over the years, everyone just EXPECTS me to do everything. I make a prime rib dinner--all expenses on us. One year, I tried to change the menu for financial reasons. Everyone just complained. Last year for my husbands family at Thanksgiving, I was "nominated" to do everything--I didn't even get asked if I wanted to or felt up to it!

    Thanks for giving me a place to vent!! I really appreciate it!

    Good luck with your Holidays--mine are going to be my way this year! (for a change)

  3. louiesgirl2

    louiesgirl2 New Member

    Just the thought makes me sick.
  4. waxdiva

    waxdiva New Member

    You are not alone. I also dread the thought of Christmas coming. It used to be that Christmas came after Thanksgiving; now it's before Halloween! I'm sure that it will be all year soon.

    All of the people that get presents from me (the youngest is 13) have agreed to wait until after Christmas to give presents. We celebrate the actual Christmas Eve and day by having lots to eat, music and just being with each other. We exchange one or two gifts at that time also.

    Everyone, including my 13-year-old nephew, knows how commercial Christmas is and that it's not about that. They also realize that the best buys for presents are after Christmas.

    It's not for everyone, especially if there are little children involved, but it works for us!
  5. Bren2135

    Bren2135 New Member


    I smiled when I read your post.. there DOES seem to be at least one person who likes to create conflict, doesn't there?! Ahh, the stories we could all tell...!!

    I love the holiday spirit, and am more aware now that I easily PUSH myself past my limits, for the sake of getting it all done. That might be where the 'dread' starts!!

    I'm vowing to do it differently this time too, and think your idea is right: Simplify things. Extra stress we don't need!

    Will keep a check on this post, as you all add!


  6. TKE

    TKE New Member

    I have no kids of my own, but Huz has 5. They're all grown & have kids of their own. We don't buy presents for the adults or any kid once they graduate school or quit school. Rule I made up, as we can't afford to spend much.

    Several years ago we planned, like each year before, a big meal where I cook it all. This was before FMS hit me. I had the meal planned, food purchased, etc. A week before I get a call from one of the adult kids letting me know "they" decided to come on Xmas Eve & not Xmas day & would I cook the meal then. I was so mad I said if you aren't coming Xmas day then there'll be no meal, in fact we won't be home! I then invited my Huz & myself to my brothers house, which I took the food we had for our meal.

    Since then each Xmas Has been promised to us from my Huz's kids, but always at the last mintute they change the plans. Last year his youngest daughter, who's divorced promised to come & bring her 2 young daughters. My Huz & I were all excited & had again planned a meal with them. She shows up late & no kids. Here she let her x-husband take them to his girl friends parents for Xmas & we, their natural grand parents, didn't even get to see them.

    Each year this causes me so much depression I dread Xmas coming. So aftet the episode last Xmas I told my Huz I can no loger do it. So we decided that no more Xmas's will be planned again that include his kids. We called them & told them all so too.

    So from now on it'll be me & my Huz & a good movie :). Heck my dogs & parrots give us more joy & respect!

  7. gongee

    gongee New Member

    I just wanted to thank Bonny, lycimchld, louiesgirl2, lauralea123, Sue, waxdiva, Linda, Brenda and Toy who have responded so far to this post.

    After reading these replies, I don't feel like the bad guy anymore. My husband and I talked tonight and have decided to have Christmas Eve dinner (with everyone bringing a dish) and only the immediate family. The ones that don't want to come, they can stay home, and that may be one of them.

    My youngest son also called tonight and said that we can have this at his house. Thank God for that.

    It is really hard to prepare for anyone coming over when you are sick. Even talking can be too much at times.

    I also got to thinking about the grandchildren 3 and 1 1/2
    years old running around and getting into everything.

    As of today, I am still getting e-mails from that one daughter in law. After I read the first one, I just deleted that others. Since she couldn't get me to respond, she
    started e-mailing my other daughter in law. She actually put her in her place. She told her it didn't matter if we ate anything or received any present as long as we were able to be together as a family.She also said she was more concerned with my health and didn't want me to be down for days just because I trying to please other people.

    Again, thanks, I do believe that this year it will be my way or no way.

    I hope more posts continue, as these have made me feel so less alone.

    Thanks everyone


  8. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    We are re-doing our kitchen, as in gutting the room, changing location of appliances, even the ceiling is coming down.

    All the carpeting in the house is coming up and we are having laminate floors put down, we could not go with real wood as we are on a slab and the subflooring and woodflooring would be higher than all the threshholds of the sliding glass doors, we have eight!

    My grandchildren and dil and son are house guests for a week after Christmas, my youngest son is getting married the end of the year.

    I have no dress for the wedding, shoes are going to be a BIG issue.

    Christmas shopping....


    And we have the family about 15 for dinner. I was going to do Thanksgiving but the kitchen will probably not be ready.

    That leaves me with Christmas.


  9. maineweezie

    maineweezie New Member

    Whoa guys,Did I say this out loud?? We too had issues from the idea that ,Mother always did everything.Last time I tried that they would have all starved if Hubby hadn't seen how wiped out I was and took over much of what I used to do. We had always done Midnight Mass as a family and after everyone was in bed my job began. Last time hubby stood after grace ,got everyone's attention and announced this was the last time we could do it all.Thank God my children and their spouses agreed. DD stated they had been wondering if they should offer to take over but were afraid I would be hurt by them even offering.Heck no, I was definately very relieved to know how great they all are. They all pitched in to do cleanup etc while Hubby and I played with the grandchildren and read the Christmas story to them.

    The last year my DD and DSs all came in three days before Christmas.My house was cleaned for me.The decorating was done too! And best of all...they brought the groceries to do all the goodies and then some. All Hubby and I had to do was be here.We all prefer homemade gifts so I have a year to get those done. Hubby makes many gifts from his wood working. It's not the cost and store brand that counts,it's the love involved.

    Many of you are correct! Christmas has become way too commercial by far. People seem to care more about how they will gain for themselves. It burns my mind to see the signs out in stores saying Merry Xmas..... Keep the Christ in Christmas! It supposed to be a celebration of His gift to mankind. Stand up for your right to not get so overtired that your health turns toward flare level.We deserve better than that. Your DIL is lucky to have your family. Maybe she should be reminded of that. I know in my family she'd be reminded of that by her spouse.
    God Bless You, Maineweezie
  10. mrpain

    mrpain New Member

    Tis the season to be jolly!!! But it sure is getting harder every year... I know the true meaning of Christmas, but the hussel and bussel everybody gets in and expects of you is too much for a fibromyalgia patient to handle.

    On one hand I love having the family together and sharing memories, celebrating the birth of Christ, and just loving each other.....but on the other hand, when we combine both sides of the family together for one hugh Christmas, sensory overload becomes a hugh issue including the pain, fatigue, and brainfog.

    The house seems to get crowded and the noise seems to come from every direction. Kids running in & out while babies are screaming & crying. It's a special time but when your sick and not feeling good, it can be a trying time. I love the holidays but I sure wish we all could feel better. Let's just hope and pray this year will be a good year.
  11. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    Sure, some are selfish or has tunnel vision of what they want.

    But some has feelings crop up at Christmas, old hurts, missing those that passed on, just a sleu of emotions.

    We can only invite them, let them know they are welcome. But no pressure. Easier said than done.

    A couple of times at Thanksgiving, when my family had other places to go, my DH and I made reservations for great buffets. Great food. No shopping, cooking or clean up. We loved it.

    I have heard that the turkey and/or ham dinners you order through your store deli are great also. As someone mentioned, the cost is sometimes less than doing it yourself.

    Life does not stay the same, but too many are looking for the old days, the old ways. Lets give thanks wherever we are
    and enjoy the day for what it is, with a little added special touch by ourselfs.

  12. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    at 12 step programs all over the country you can hear: I never should have gone back. They pushed all my buttons and I started drinking/using/falling apart again.

    People who come from dysfunctional families need to stay away or else have clear boundaries. I've had enough drunken holidays to last a couple lifetimes.

    Suzetal and Main, you have the right idea. Nobody should be anybody's servant in the name of celebrating.
  13. Butterfly_of_grace

    Butterfly_of_grace New Member

    Funny you mentioned that LOL
    Actually Im dreading Thanksgiving as well. As far as xmas well I feel horrible because I lost my job got a new job but les smoney and well 4 kids arent getting much this yr...nor our arents and nieces and nephews. So yes Im dreading xmas...ALOT...becuase of the stress and the shopping adn the financial issues.

    I too end up doing it here in my tiny tiny house and feel pressured to "make it all perfect" and yet I kinda wonder why because my family doesnt really appreciate it. I do it for our kids and my hubby mostly. I feel driven to, like its my responsibility to make sure everyone is happy.

    Christmas for me as a child was not happy time for me...maybe thats what is the driven force to make it "perfect" now that Im an adult. I usually end up in real bad shape once the New Year comes around because of the stress and the fibro flare it causes a few days to a week after a BIG event here. No one understands or cares in my sister still thinks fibro is "all in your head" and a depressed persons disorder so theres now empathy or sympathy from anyone except my mom and my hubby.[This Message was Edited on 09/14/2006]
  14. Lumare41

    Lumare41 New Member

    I usually decorate the house right after thanksgiving.I like to cook a big meal for my hubby and 4 kids,play music.Love to shop start in oct.But.. this year I can do none of that.My spinal surgery is Wed. and have been told by my surgeon,I will be doing nothing.

    I have to have someone shop for me,ccok my xmas dinner,the whole thing.My hubby can't cook and if he did the shopping my girls would not be to pleased lol.But fortunately I have people to help.The good thing is I don't have to travel an hour on xmas eve to see my mother in law!!!

    She is very sugary to your face but watch out when you turn your back.I will not miss the family drama.Counting on a quite Xmas, will be nice for a change.
  15. cczub

    cczub New Member

    The holidays last year killed me. I don't even want to think about them. My son's b-day is the 12th and he's in 1st grade this year and wants a REAL birthday party. So I have to add that to the list of stuff to do around the holidays. Hopefully I won't be hosting New Years again this year...
  16. mary124

    mary124 New Member

    Everyone of my family lives in the Houston area, and we live in Austin, traveling really bothers me, thankfully all the kids are grown up, so we usually have a set amount and I send gift cards. As to my own family, they usually get a couple of things, and some money and I usually go all out and cook a nice meal, which last for a few days.
  17. happycanuk

    happycanuk New Member

    I used to have Christmas Eve at my house. Being of Scandinavian decent( my hubby is Danish born and bred) we have our celebration Christmas Eve. Dinner and gift opening. It is a time for family. Since my son married, my DIL has taken it upon herself to invite HER family to our families celebrations. This really upsets my daughter and me as well. I have nothing against these people, they are really nice, but this is OUR Christmas.

    Last year my DIL informed us, that they would be going to Christmas Eve at her Moms house next year. Well, I am so sick of talking about it, that I just told them to do what they feel they have to do!!!!

    Anyway, my daughter took over Christmas 6 yrs ago. I help HER instead of the other way around .

    We have also gone to drawing names amongst ourselves and put a limit on it. We do not include the little ones in this as we enjoy watching them open gifts. Christmas isn't about gifts in any case. It is about families reconnecting and coming together to celebrate the event that made CHRISTMAS.
  18. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    it gets lost in all of the family stuff..i just hate christmas...too commericailiazed..

    and if that one bad apple feels like not drawing names..then don't include her...and if she wants to buy gifts as normally done in the past let you and say thank you...

    well i need to go..

  19. Banka8

    Banka8 New Member

    The only thing I enjoy about Christmas is getting together with my family and having a nice meal. I also enjoy making cookies and eating them.

    Would it be so awful if we stopped the insane gift giving?

    I think the only people receiving gifts should be the kids and it should be limited to two or three things for them.

    The merchants would have a fit if people wised up. It seems like every year it gets worse and worse. I always tell my husband not to buy me anything or if he feels he must buy something to please just buy one thing.

    The constant media nagging and manipulation to buy and spend even though you can't afford it is enough to suck all the joy out of the season.

    It's Jesus's birthday not ours.

    I think we should celebrate Christmas like we do Thanksgiving. A nice meal and get together with family and friends and a donation to your church or favorite charity and volunteering to help someone in need (if your able). That's the real meaning of Christmas. Sharing and caring. Not lining the pockets of greedy merchants.

    Peace to all.
  20. gongee

    gongee New Member





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