How I Survive Christmas!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Greenbean7, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I thought it was time we all gave our tips for surviving this time of year.

    Here's mine:

    No Christmas dinner. We have lasgna, salad, and garlic bread on Christmas Eve. We also have a Happy Birthday Jesus cake, I buy it, don't bake it! Christmas day I bake frozen bread dough and chili or stew or chicken soup in the crockpot. The kids (ages 21 and 27) have to do the dishes!

    Few decorations. I put up a tree the week before Christmas and take it down as soon as I can after. I have a Nativity I put out and a wreath that hangs in the living room. It is a lot easier to clean up after Christmas if there aren't too many things out. Besides, it is depressing to take all that stuff down. It makes the house seem so empty.

    No shopping except for candy and little items for stockings. Everything else is homemade through out the year. This year I carved and painted snowmen and Santas. I embroidered pillowcases for my sister in August. Made a pair of pajama pants for one daughter, the other got cash which is what she wanted.

    Christmas day is relaxed and unhurried. Just my DH, me and my two daughters and son-in-law. MIL comes on Christmas Eve and doesn't like to visit, so stays home on Christmas. This year my Mom is coming, but I asked her to leave her dog at my sister's. She'll stay over Christmas Eve, but is more help than bother.

    I no longer bake, shop, stress. If something doesn't get done, well, it just doesn't get done. I've learned to let go of what I can't handle.

    I'm curious to hear what others do!

    Hugs and Merry Christmas (politically incorrect, but I don't care!!)
  2. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    Hi greenbean, I like your ideas. I have been simplifying our family's holidays over the past few years. I have scaled down the dinner, the decorations, and the number of presents bought. I have been doing it gradually over the past five years so it's less noticeable. This year I'm going to send even less Christmas cards too.

    That's a wonderful idea about lasagna. Who says we have to have turkey or ham? I still do either one of those though, usually ham because it's easier. But I've cut way back on the number of side dishes. And I draft my kids to help out in the kitchen, both with preparation and clean up. That way I can sit back and put my feet up.

    This Thanksgiving though, my usual plan feel through because I didn't get as much help from my recruits. One daughter was in a bad mood over a fight with Dad, so she only helped a little, and daughter #2 slept til mid-afternoon. I was very disappointed. So I am rethinking what I am going to do for Christmas, and I found your ideas very enlightening.

    Thank you for a good thread.

  3. unbalanced

    unbalanced New Member

    We have a pretty basic Christmas, I will cook on Christmas day, but this year I'm not going all out with 15 different types of food, it will be a nice meal of whatever my hubby suggests, he isn't into the whole "you have to eat ham or turkey" on the holidays, we might have wet burritos or steaks, etc. whatever sounds good. As for having company, his grown kids may stop by, we don't normally have a bunch of people stopping by. The kids(5,7&11)wake up at about 8am I'm always up way before anyone enjoying the peace & quiet! They tear into the gifts, have breakfast, & play(argue)(LOL)all day, get sick of each other, while my dear hubby & I lounge & talk about when we will begin cooking & baking(if it didn't get done the night before) My hubby bakes what we have a taste for. So we basicaly do nothing. We really just try to enjoy each other, our kids, & remember what Christmas is really about. It is so much nicer & more relaxing not running around trying to get here & there by a certain time, & the kids don't have to get all dressed up & be uncomfortable, & get dragged around in the cold. I like it this way, we all do! I hope everyone has a relaxing, peaceful Christmas, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
  4. cczub

    cczub New Member

    Xmas is a 3 day event for my family starting xmas eve and ending the night after xmas... I'm hoping to survive it this year!! In those three days it, grandma's on xmas eve which me and my wife do most of the baking and setup, xmas is at my house in the am, my parents house in the am, and my in-laws in the pm.... The day after is my son's godfathers then my wife's cousin's house....

    Way too much in my opinion but her family is the one if you don't visit, you might as well be dead!

    All holidays are hell for me and with xmas then new years I'd rather skip december all together! Look out January, here I come!
  5. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Christmas only comes one time a year. My family, even though our 3 children are grown, would be crushed if I simplified it too much!

    I have made some changes though. I can't help it, but I buy way too many gifts for my 2 grandsons. They are my only 2 and while I can spoil them, I will!!! LOL

    I've been shopping online practically all year! I've bought something for Christmas every month! I always buy my girls (now I have a new DIL--so I have 3 girls!) a few pieces of Fenton to add to their collection. There is a certain shop that will have it 25% off a few times a year, and that is when I buy it! I also buy them all 2 or 3 cookbooks each year, and I order them all off of

    I watch the online clearance pages of all the toy stores (eToys, KB Toys, and ToysRUs, etc.) and if I see anything unusual or what I want, I buy it then. You can find a lot of good deals in January--after Christmas clearances! I have a lot of great-nieces and great-nephews who are under 6 that I usually buy for then--they are at the ages where they are not picky on their toys!

    It has been extremely difficult for me to get out to shop for the items that I can't get online, etc., but I've managed so far, and as long as I can manage--I'll keep doing it, even if it does take me days or a week to recoup afterwards!

    My husband hired a boy down the road to put up all my lights outside. We don't overdo it, but I do like white lights in all my bushes, and the lights on my grapevine tree on my porch changed to red and green lights. I was actually going to try to do a little bit each day, but my hubby knew I didn't feel well, and he didn't have time.

    My daughters took me out in my wheelchair shopping last weekend and we bought a new tree and all new trimmings. They came home and put it up, decorated it, and cleaned up the mess.

    The week before Christmas Day, my elder daughter will come over with the 2 grandsons and we will make cookies and bake for a couple days. She actually does the majority of it, but I do everything that can be done sitting down, and do what else I can for as long as I can stand on my feet.

    I wouldn't give up this precious, quality time with my daughter and grandsons for anything!!! I'll take a few pain pills that day and go to bed early, but I want my grandsons to have the memories of making cookies at Grandmas every year as long as I am still breathing!!!! LOL They will be too old for these activities before long and I'm not going to miss out on not one of these cherished moments!!

    My daughters, or DIL, will help clean my house one day close to Christmas Eve. My husband will make a trip to the local grocery to buy fresh Eggnog, fresh pineapples, and other last minute Chirstmas Eve goodies.

    On Christmas Eve day, I'll prepare a plate of all the goodies that we have made during the week to take to my mother's house for an afternoon Christmas Eve family celebration. I will also make a cheeseball to take, too.

    We'll go there (a 40 min. drive) from mid-afternoon to around 7:00, when my entire family will return to our house for celebrating the rest of the evening.

    My husband gets me up early on Christmas Day (to Christmas music) so I can get the old bones warmed up and drink some coffee, while he makes a big Christmas breakfast for when the kids start rolling in. My mother, who is a widow, will drive up to my house to spend Christmas Day with us.

    Then, he'll help get dinner started before the kids arrive--and then we pick up where we left off on dinner after they get here and the presents are opened.

    We always get a big, whole ham, which I'll have in the oven prior to opening gifts. He peels all of the potatoes and will do anything else needed.

    Early Christmas Eve day, I'll make some deviled eggs and a jello-based cranberry salad, hubby will cut up all the fruit for the fruit salad, and will prepare maybe the sweet potatoes and baked beans and have them ready to stick in the oven on Christmas morning.

    The day before Christmas Eve day, the last day that my daughter and I are baking, she will make a Red Velvet Cake and a Blackberry Cake and we will already have them in the refrigerator for our Christmas dinner.

    This week before Christmas is busy, but the happiest week of all year. Everyone is coming in and helping out and working together so we can all have a good Christmas.

    Personally, I could not imagine having anything else but a big ham for Christmas Day!

    I have the entire week AFTER Christmas to recuperate and it has always been well worth it.

    We don't party on New Year's Eve, but the family does come over on New Years Day for dinner for a few traditional dishes!

    To how ever you spend your holidays .... I wish you and your family a merry one!

    Happy Holidays,
    [This Message was Edited on 12/08/2005]
  6. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    I've been big on this for some time now. Since our home is in UT and we still live in CA, no less in a small trailer, we don't have a tree or presents here. Everything goes to my parent's home under Mom and Dad's tree (They are both 85!). On Christmas eve, we have pot luck. I bring sliced meats from the deli or Mom will cook a ham. The "children" (now in their 30's) bring side dishes and salads. My mother still enjoys baking so their is no shortage of desserts! Christmas eve is a relaxed time with buffet of potluck items using papergoods so there is little cleanup. Then we have the "tree" and exchange gifts.

    Christmas Day is celebrated within each family group. The little ones like to see what Santa brings. My hubby and I just enjoy quiet and sometimes will go to a restaurant for early dinner and take my Mom and Dad.

    Our celebrations are soooo simple these days and I believe that everyone appreciates it.
  7. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    You are much braver than I am!

    Wish I could take the week after off! I think we have to come back the 26th this year.

    We don't do New Year's either. My DH goes to bed at 8 every night and doesn't see any reason to stay up and start the new year tired! He has been clean and sober for 16 years so he got his partying done years ago!

    I like to stay up and at 11:30 I hit my knees and pray in the New Year. Of course by 12:00 the dog has to help me up, but it's worth it!

  8. darude

    darude New Member

    Been sick for the last two years but still managed to do all Christmas stuff but paid for it and in bed for months. Sooo this year Kids cooking Christmas Dinner here and I will just cook what I want to cook. Most of shopping done online so taken care of. Like Storm I hate baking so Daughter is doing the baking. We get up and open presents Christmas morning and then have dinner in afternoon and what movies and play games. Also we have dinner buffet style so don't have to sit and table! I can then sit in my comfy chair and go and get some more grub when I feel like it. Used to love the all round table thing but hate it now as get uncomfortable.
  9. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I don't think I am braver than you -- maybe I just dumber!!!! LOL

    The night before my daughters took me out shopping for our new tree, I had cried uncontrollably for hours! And ... I really don't know why!

    My younger daughter, the one who is the doctor, came in from out of town to stay the weekend. She wanted to check on me since my elder daughter had called and told her that I have been feeling pretty bad for the last few months.

    She started asking me all these questions about my pain, my pinched nerve in my back--which is just about to get the best of me, etc. I was asking her what all this bone pain in my legs could be, and why my hips were hurting down to the bone, and I just started crying and could not stop!

    I have a new pain in my left side around the back side of my ribs and lung. Then, I've done something to my right elbow and the pain in it is to the point that I can't hold my coffee cup without it hurting! So, I was telling her how I was just falling apart -- getting so depressed over all this pain that won't go away, etc.

    Of course, she spent forever then consoling me and asking what she could do for me, etc.

    Then, she states ... "You're not able to go Christmas shopping tomorrow!! Mary and I will do it for you!"

    While still crying, I yell ... "NO WAY--I'M GOING TO, I'll just go in my wheelchair!" I was not about to let them go without me! They wanted to pick our MY tree!!

    Anyhoo .... I got through the rest of the weekend without crying! I don't know what's wrong with me and this crying stuff! I used to be this strong, agressive, independent woman who just did everything -- now I'm practically housebound. I just don't like it!! I hate it this way!!! LOL

    But .... I went back and edited my post regarding New Year's Eve -- it sounded like my family came over for dinner then, and they don't. They come over on New Year's Day.

    On New Year's Eve, this is the quietest place on our road! My DH always goes to bed at 6:30 pm or 7:00 pm in the winter -- the minute it gets dark!!! He could care less about it being New Year's Eve. He'll get up at the crack of dawn, though.

    So ... I sit in my recliner watching TV all evening, maybe a movie or two if anything good is on, then I'll probably come and spend some time on the board! WOW! What an exciting party for one!!! LOL

    My kids all go over to my oldest daughter's house -- they always have a party--we're invited, but DH can't stay awake, so we never did attend one that she has.

    Patti - thanks for the kind words! You've got the same spirit as I do! Do it til you drop! I just hope when I drop, that I'm not dead!!! LOL

    I'll get out my Blackberry Cake Recipe and give it to you. It might be Friday night or Saturday. My new DIL is supposed to come and pick me up to drive me to Lowe's to get a gift for my DH that I need a truck to get it back. We have a truck, but it's a big 4-wheel drive and it seems as if the shifting on the floor is so far apart that I just can't shift those gears anymore--especially with my newly hurt right arm. So she is going to pick me up in her truck and she will do the driving and taking it to my daughter's to hide in her garage until the big day!

    We are in the middle of a big ice and snow storm right now. So, I might not be going!

    It's almost 2 a.m. and my words might be getting jumbled now, so I had better stop. Besides, I have a bad habit of just rattling on and on about nothing--at least DH tells me that, but then he doesn't talk at all!! So I have to talk enough for the both of us!!! LOL

    Big Holiday Hugs,

  10. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    All these posts shows you that we all have our own traditions and feelings. We always had a lot of traditions, but it is hard to do all now and we have the family get together a couple of days or Christmas Eve sometimes, before Christmas. It depends on how everyone has to work within our family.

    That a lone is all I need for those to come and be with me, eat and snack and laugh...etc.....

    Oh we still try to satisfy all wants on eating......but I could have Tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich and be happy....the food does not count to me.

    The Italian fare sounds great and it is some that I know tradition......they will not have it any other way......the now grown children would be upset. Easy on all. They all bake lots ahead of time.

    I hear the deli turkey and ham dinners are very good. But have not tried it ..yet. I will be at my sons for Christmas dinner........which he cooks and his wife makes appetizers.

    Hope everyone has a great Christmas....Blessing
  11. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    The grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner thing cracked me up.

    I broke my ankle Christmas Eve 2000. My sister, Mom and daughters were there. They took care of making the lasgna and getting everything together, but I was too druged up to eat.

    Christmas evening my husband made grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for dinner and served me on the couch. It was one of the best Christmas dinners I've ever had, just because he knew I felt awful and that I like grilled cheese and tomato soup. He doesn't like it, but ate it anyway!


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