Do You Have the Holiday Spirit>>>>?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by catgal, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Greetings Everyone. I am 53 and for the first time I don't have a string of garland, a shiny bobble, or any evidence of the Christmas season in my home. And, I'm one of those people who Celebrate all the Holidays with a passion. Generally by now, my home would be AGLOW with the Spirit of Christmas; my kitchen would be bulging with homemade, cut out sugar cookies packed in beautiful, antique tins; my home would be filled with the delicious smells of homebaked goodies; Chirstmas Carols would be playing non-stop as I wrapped presents in sparkling paper, and colorful lights would be twinkling throughout the house.

    But this year the Green Grinch has taken over my whole Being. Between working; being behind on housework; piles of bills glaring at me; medical expenses devouring Christmas funds; my mate in a financial crunch and feeling agitated & depressed with seasonal affective disorder; and I feel so worn out from the CFS, and my back hurts from ddd, my neck & shoulder area is inflamed and swollen with rheumatoid arthritis, I'm all congested with allergies & asthma, my psoriasis is in a flare, and my body aches all over from the FM, and this is my last weekend to get all the preparations, household chores, and everything done before flying out this coming Thursday for Oklahoma to see my family over the Holidays, and I have to work Monday through Wednesday.....where are Santa's 'little elves' when you need them?

    I prioritized my list of "to-do's" down to what absolutely has to be done--and it is still an overwhelming undertaking to get done today & tomorrow.

    I took some time out last night after I got home from work to bundle up and walk about the little village I live in and look at all the Christmas lights and beautifully decorated houses....trying to revive some Holiday Spirit in this weary old Soul, but I guess my 'Ho 'Ho 'Ho has left the building.

    I am so flooded with brain-fog today that I can't think, can't remember what it is I'm doing, can't get organized, can't get going. I made out my prioritized list a couple of days ago when my mind was functioning so I would have it this weekend to remember everything I needed to do....but I've forgotten where I put the list, lost it, or the dog ate it. Along with everything else, I need to get packed, but wish I could just crawl inside the suitcase I can't find and zip it up around me.

    Sorry this post is such a bummer, but I needed to vent and get off my pity-pot. I never even sent a Christmas card this season. Where have I gone? Carol....
  2. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Greetings Everyone. I am 53 and for the first time I don't have a string of garland, a shiny bobble, or any evidence of the Christmas season in my home. And, I'm one of those people who Celebrate all the Holidays with a passion. Generally by now, my home would be AGLOW with the Spirit of Christmas; my kitchen would be bulging with homemade, cut out sugar cookies packed in beautiful, antique tins; my home would be filled with the delicious smells of homebaked goodies; Chirstmas Carols would be playing non-stop as I wrapped presents in sparkling paper, and colorful lights would be twinkling throughout the house.

    But this year the Green Grinch has taken over my whole Being. Between working; being behind on housework; piles of bills glaring at me; medical expenses devouring Christmas funds; my mate in a financial crunch and feeling agitated & depressed with seasonal affective disorder; and I feel so worn out from the CFS, and my back hurts from ddd, my neck & shoulder area is inflamed and swollen with rheumatoid arthritis, I'm all congested with allergies & asthma, my psoriasis is in a flare, and my body aches all over from the FM, and this is my last weekend to get all the preparations, household chores, and everything done before flying out this coming Thursday for Oklahoma to see my family over the Holidays, and I have to work Monday through Wednesday.....where are Santa's 'little elves' when you need them?

    I prioritized my list of "to-do's" down to what absolutely has to be done--and it is still an overwhelming undertaking to get done today & tomorrow.

    I took some time out last night after I got home from work to bundle up and walk about the little village I live in and look at all the Christmas lights and beautifully decorated houses....trying to revive some Holiday Spirit in this weary old Soul, but I guess my 'Ho 'Ho 'Ho has left the building.

    I am so flooded with brain-fog today that I can't think, can't remember what it is I'm doing, can't get organized, can't get going. I made out my prioritized list a couple of days ago when my mind was functioning so I would have it this weekend to remember everything I needed to do....but I've forgotten where I put the list, lost it, or the dog ate it. Along with everything else, I need to get packed, but wish I could just crawl inside the suitcase I can't find and zip it up around me.

    Sorry this post is such a bummer, but I needed to vent and get off my pity-pot. I never even sent a Christmas card this season. Where have I gone? Carol....
  3. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    Agree with Sunny; maybe you need to do the absolute minimum right now to conserve your energies for your trip. And MAKE yourself sit down & rest whenever you can---and I realize you don't have a lot of time for that---but give yourself permission to rest when you can, even in small quantities. Many of us can't enjoy all of the holiday activities we used to, but we just need to step away from the frenetic nuttiness of the season, & take care of ourselves. I hope you can rest a bit & save your energies for your family trip. And Merry Christmas!

    Holiday Hugs,
    Pam
  4. JaneG

    JaneG New Member

    I'm having a really hard time with Christmas this year too. I also am 53 and ususally have done lots more for Christmas that I have this year!!
    My inside decorations are up, including the tree - I said forget the outside ones this year. No cookies yet although that is my dream (or should I say nightmare!) for this week.

    I feel lousy - shoulder and neck pain that are making me ready to scream, no energy, no sleep, knuckles red and swollen from RA, waiting for results of cervical x-rays, not happy with rheumy dr., REALLY missing my late Mom, etc. etc. etc . --just plan feeling sorry for myself!

    So, I've decided that tonight I will continue in my yucky mood and hope for a better tomorrow. One of the greatest things that I learned from my Mom (who died 4 yrs. ago from cancer) was that when you need to complain ( and it really shouldn't be too often if you really see what you have that is good) then do it, enjoy it, and then move on.

    My thoughts are with you Carol - I sincerely hope that you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and have a minimal amount of pain. Thanks for letting me vent back at you - JaneG
  5. sheelanagigs

    sheelanagigs New Member

    maybe this will help.

    technically, theologically, ecclesially, it is not christmas until the 25th and then it is XMAS thru jan 6..the 12 days of christmas.! so you can get the sales before gift giving!

    when i first got this stuff back in 85, i gave up xmas as i had "done it" before.

    sometimes i get creative--force bulbs for gifts, make SIMPLE ornaments as gifts (one year i spray painted fallen redwood cones with the "leaf" attached and gave them as gifts--they are ten dollars at the local redwood forest gift store!), one year i found a pretty font and printed poetry on pretty paper. one year i had the neighbor collect bags of compost for me from the local compost store and gave compost "dirt" to everyone!. sculpy "clay" stuff is great--gifts can be made while sitting on the sofa trying to forget you're hurting and it's mindless and non-toxic--the fumes don't fog my brain!! another year i dehydrated fruit...and some years nothing gets done except the advent wreath.......it HAS to be simple or it doesn't get done!!

    the holidays are hard enough with all the expectations and crazy consumerism. i try to stay on my diet--no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no caffeine, no wheat, no practically everything and think of creative safe rice dishes and yet another thing to do with tofu without tripping a soy allergy.

    you sound just overwhelmed; i am so sorry; this is a rough time and all this war madness doesn't help.

    as someone who has lived with this "stuff" for a long time, my loving suggestion is simplify, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY!!! if you don't have to go to OK don't go! stay home and go to bed.

    i have multiple chemical sensitivities and when really stressed i cannot go anywhere without a charcoal, coconut husk mask because the perfume smells. chemically laden food, etc. sends me over the edge and back to bed...airports and airplances, then, are "out"...but wearing a mask on an airplance gives you a wide berth! it never fails that i sit beside or in front of someone with some horrid flu.

    i think it's great that you can vent your frustrations here. as much as loved ones love us, if they don't have this "stuff", they just don't "get it." i'm not sure i agree it's a pity pot thing; i think it's necessary tosay all these things just so we can get beyond it.

    take care of yourself; be good to yourself; and don't do it unless you HAVE to!!!

    blessed advent!

    peace
    Una
    sheela_na_gigs@sbcglobal.net



  6. pearls

    pearls New Member

    I've had a very hard time this year with Thanksgiving and now Christmas. We have a large house which can hold both my son's families, which is great, except cleaning it is a problem since I'm working. I'd get a housekeeper, but it is very difficult to find one as I live out in the country. We've not used one much in our long marriage and are very leery of having a stranger in our home, especially when we are away at work.

    My chilren know this - but they don't really KNOW THIS. If any of you have had this DD for very long you know what I mean, I'm sure. However, one of my daughters-in-law in particular, was so helpful this Thanksgiving I was almost stunned. I'm so grateful and hope she doesn't hold all her help against me - which I don't think she does.

    Nevertheless, I'm overwhelmed with the prospect of being overwhelmed. There is no way I'd not have them come. I want my boys and their families to keep closely in touch with each other - and, of course, with my husband and me. One family lives three or four hours to the north and the other about the same distance to the south. Sometimes families are more important than my personal difficulties. I think the answer can be found in making them aware of my problems and helping them to help me.
  7. dolsgirl

    dolsgirl New Member

    I haven't set up for Christmas for three years now. I usually have a gorgeous tree and HUGE Christmas village. I just haven't been able to get with it for 3 years. I'm going to make myself next year. Next year the house we're living in will be remodeled and we'll have alot more space. No room for it this year. We live in 500 square feet right now. Truly, no room. My son will be mailing out my ornaments and the Christmas village shortly. I don't even want it here yet. No place to store it even. Next year will be better. dolsgirl
  8. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    When my doctor took me outta work four weeks ago, he took the worry outta Christmas for me!! I always get depressed at Christmas because I don't ever have enough time/money/energy/family/friends to make it the Hallmark Christmas I see advertised all the time. THIS year, I have NO money in my checking account and my husband's income is ONLY for paying SOME of our bills, so the stress (of Christmas) is gone! Once I realized that I have NO choice in the matter of gift buying and I told my grown kids that there would be no gifts bought, my burden was relieved. So, if they come to see me, I'll take the spiral ham outta the freezer and we'll enjoy a good visit together; if they can't come due to other obligations, my husband and I will just be here together like always. I don't have a Christmas tree, even though my ex and my son raise them for a living in the mountains; this is because I can't drive all the way up to pick one up due to the severe back/butt pain driving causes me and my son is too busy on the treelot to bring one to me, so it just really doesn't matter to me now..... I can't afford to send Christmas cards and the internet access may have to go, too, if I have to decide which bills are more important than others. That is not even bothering me. I know that this is outta my hands and I prayed to God for peace...I have it for the first Christmas in years! It's OK. Once I explained to my kids that I couldn't afford ANY "store-bought" gifts, my son actually told me that he was gonna buy the gifts I was gonna get for my two granddaughters and put my name on the card!!! Isn't that sweet? He even called and said he'd send me money~~I told him I would NOT accept this and he knew I meant it. We have meat in the freezer and an electric heater for when the oil runs out, which won't be long 'cause we measured the amount in the oil drum and there wasn't much!!
    My point is, I have pain medicine that keeps the pain tolerable; not gone, but tolerable. I love my husband and he loves me. I am a Christian and I know what this season is about. My children are unselfish adults and my grandchildren will be taken care of, due to the kindness of my son. I have a home. I am safe. I have clothes to keep me covered. I have a TV to watch, music to listen to and many books to read. I no longer have to go to work at 6:30 each morning when I haven't slept any and am in horrendous pain. I have a doctor who cares. I have a neighbor who would help me in any way. I have two REAL friends. I have this board to pour my heart out to. I have three indoor cats who think I'm their mama. I can walk on my own and breathe on my own and I can still please my husband and he still thinks I am the most desirable woman in the world~~~and I have no idea why!!! I went to church this morning and I felt the power of the Holy Spirit in my life.......this is what I have and I think I have enough! This illness will not take any of that away! The pain and fatigue and depression and anxiety and despair will come and go and I am prepared for it. I will survive Christmas, even if I can't have a Norman Rockwell, Hallmark one!!!! So, yes, I do have the Christmas spirit...for the first time in my adult life and it feels so good to have the pressure of the commercialism removed from it all!
    Love to all of my friends on this board. I have come to need and appreciate you!!! Thank you for your love and friendship!
    Merry Christmas!
    Kady
  9. kyliesmom

    kyliesmom New Member

    Kady,
    Your post brings tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. You truly have the spirit of Christmas. I'm sorry for your financial loss but happy for your personal gain. May God provide, protect and hold you and your's in his loving arms.
    Merry Christmas! Carol
  10. 1Writer

    1Writer New Member

    I do know how you feel, though...I have CFS and it's better than it was 2 years ago, but I still have a hard time...I have managed to do all my Christmas shopping, but all the presents are just sitting there...CAAALLLLING TO ME to wrap them, and I just can't seem to get up the energy. I told myself I will start tomorrow...I will, by golly, cause if I don't, my daughter will use up all the paper! LOL! And if it makes you feel any better, I didn't send any cards out either!

    So, have a great holiday and try to rest as much as you can.

    1Writer
  11. dobegood

    dobegood New Member

    Dearest Catgal,

    Greetings from Norway!
    Many have written good points about Christmas and it's spirits so I thought I could add mine, too :)
    I have been "not working" since age 23. Today, I am 38.
    After going through the normal "have to work my ass off to be called normal in this society", I woke up one day realising that there are SO much more to life besides "work".

    In fact, I do work. I work within. I work with my writing. I work with helping friends get over their troubles. I work at home taking care of myself.

    Christmas! What is it all about, anyway?
    I am not religious so for me it means candles, presents, food, good TV, decorations, family and friends.

    I started early and I had to save money to be able to travel yet again to my boyfriend in Iceland just after New Year's Eve. He had to save too to be able to travel HERE for Christmas.

    My diagnose is not important. My pains and troubles are not important either. What is important is that YOU find out what YOU want. Not just for Christmas but for yourself in life.

    Christmas joy can be free of charge and painless, too. However, if you stress with decorations, gifts, money, work, baking cookies just to get everything AS IT WAS last year or the year before, you have lost already.

    Who says that Christmas has to be what it was?
    Can it not be "just different"? Not worse, not better but different? Actually, it can be better :)

    There are a few things I did this year that may give some inspiration though.

    I sent an email Christmas card instead of the normal paid ones.
    I got decorations for FREE from friends who "never used them, anyway" and my apartment is nice now. It's not overflowing but red/green and the plastic Christmas three looks nice and warm.
    My boyfriend and I are terrible at cooking so my father (who's a Chef) is making us our Christmas dinner to heat up.
    I DID stroll around the shopping mall and bought him a few, but cheap presents. More than that, I bought MYSELF two little gifts from Santa. What a surprise on Christmas Eve (we celebrate that here) :)

    Anyway, my advice is simple. Stress down. Think differently than before and give YOURSELF a good Christmas. Be selfish for once. Reduce the pain with reduced stress and don't think about what "others might say".

    Merry Christmas!
  12. dobegood

    dobegood New Member

    Since I have a brain like a Goldfish these days, I forgot my main point.
    In Norway, we have something called "Dugnad"!
    I used it a couple of years ago and felt selfish and happily spoiled, too.
    I was too sick to do anything for Christmas so I called all my friends (and even not so close friends) and asked them if they would like to spend 2 hours at my place one evening to do a Dugnad for me?
    Which means, they came and did everything for me!
    It made them feel better (you know, Christmas charity) and I put away my own feeling of guilt and served them coffee and bought cookies, too.
    The 2 hours turned out to be great fun for all of them. Including me.
    Just an idea, of course :)
  13. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Thank each and everyone of you for your Wonderful and warm replies. It is my lunch break here at work, and I logged on to the Board to read some posts and rest my weary body for a bit, strolled to the second page and found that many more people had responded to my post, and that was truly a delightful surprise.

    As I read the posts, I could feel my load lighten. And Kady~~everyone should have the opportunity to read your post. I wish we could all print it off and hang it on our walls. You reminded me to not get lost in the "tinsel" because the really important blessings in my life are there all year through. Your wisdom and Holiday Spirit shines through your words.

    And dobegood....what a terrific idea this Dugnad is! I think we should "Dugnad" all over the place!! What a Great Gift and Wonderful Tradition that would be if we could get it started here in the States. I think the "reaching out" and asking others to help is a major problem for many of us who "used" to be so independent. We could learn alot from the concept of Dugnad and be able to give back what we can. Thanks for this idea! I think it's GREAT!!!

    I appreciate everyone taking the time to reply to my post. I was getting a real "fussface" on, and reading your responses made me stop and think what I was doing to myself, helped me to rethink my priorities, and to be grateful that this year I felt good enough to at least make the trip home to Oklahoma as last year I was so ill that for the first time in 52 years I did not go "home" for Christmas....and my 83 year old Mother cried all through the holidays, and so I swore that this year I was going to Oklahoma for Christmas if I had to board the plane on a stretcher--plus not knowing how many more Christmases ALL the family will be together.

    And though finances are tight, I was able to buy my pain medications, and my physician increased my dosage this month which has made an incredible difference....so I will be able to enjoy my family more as I will have better pain control. I was reminded what a blessing it was to have something for the pain.

    I can't express how much your responses meant to me--it was like they "turned on a light", and I THANK YOU. My "fussface" is gone. I wish you all Warm and Happy Holidays and pray that the coming New Year will be filled with happiness, love, and healing. Best Wishes, Carol....
  14. Kim

    Kim New Member

    I used to make a big, big deal out of Christmas. It wasn't until I got sick that I realized the true meaning of Christmas. I used to spend thousands every year, travel, decorate, go to parties, throw parties, entertain friends and family. After I got sick I found time to meditate on the reason for Christmas.

    This year my husband put up our little tree and put the lights on it. After a couple of days I hung decorations on it (and was sore the next day LOL).

    I started reading Isaiah and the prophesies of the birth of Christ. Then I read about the actual birth. And I prayed. And I was flooded with joy. A joy that cannot be understood unless you experience it.

    I pray that you all will receive God's peace and joy this season no matter what shape you're in physically. kim