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Old 11-07-2009, 02:37 AM   #1
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holiday shopping dealing with difficult busy times when pain flares

Since we know holidays are coming along with busy time of Thanksgiving Christmas getting the house ready for entertaining cooking family time. As well as managing shopping if that is part of our responsibility. Thought we should share some tips in helping each other deal with the stress we deal with.
Accept what you can not do and do what you can. Keep decorating simple.
Look for sales all year round. Use the ole fashion bag/ gift closet idea.
Use gift cards. Given possible store bankruptcy at the end of the year or Jan.
Keep the cards to name brand stores. American Express Visa gift cards are always appreciated.
While many of us would love that 300 tv or lap top or on sale game system, the fact is many of us can not stand in line, deal with crowds noise, people or even move very well. The gift cards allow people to get their own i wants.
Pain issues; at no time can we predict when the bad flare ups will come.
So plan for them instead. Do things when you are able and take care of yourself when you can not do.
Instead of trying to handle the entire holiday meal. Have others bring a side dish or desert, turn it into pot luck dinner so to spread the work as well help with costs of each Thanks giving and or Christmas meal.
Try not to be alone to much during holidays. Even if just visit a friend for a short while. Go see in laws, or family. Sometimes just being around others can lift your spirits.
Also if your area decorates with xmass lights. Have someone bring you out at night and see the lights. Find out the things you can still do and enjoy them. Accept what you can not do . Try and find some joy full moments in spite of the pain.
So what are your tips with dealing with holiday stress ??

 
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:16 AM   #2
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Re: holiday shopping dealing with difficult busy times when pain flares movement impe

Im stunned its already nov & when I seen a display of a tree in the store this past week I swear I could feel myself panic. Im going for more of the gift cards & after asking my youngest how she felt about it I feel good about my choice. It like getting 2 gifts, getting the card & a day of shopping.
I did tell my husband if noone wants to help with the tree I will go out & buy the first charlie brown (small) tree I can find. Im just not going to get worked up this yr. Its about making memories & I dont feel the need to put out 100 decorations. I'll choose enough to be festive & the ones that hold the dearest memories & thats it. I do want to pick up a few gifts & I going to do this starting now, hopefully I wont run into the mad last minute rush.
Dinner Im not sure about, but this will be one year I will demand help if my family wants a nice big dinner. Ive learned alot since the start of my CP. Last yr was so horrid with pain as my surgery was the day after christmas, I want this yr to go well & that means not overdoing it. Living with CP really does change how things are done for the holidays & its not worth the pain as the ones we love the most should understand. Sammy

 
Old 11-07-2009, 04:56 PM   #3
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Re: holiday shopping dealing with difficult busy times when pain flares

my family used to go all out for the Holidays. We are big on tradition and would try and do all the things we used to. Both me and my mom are sick so the last few years have been a real let down. I used to love to decorate for Christmas, we would do it the weekend after Thanksgiving and make it a big deal. Now I put a 7ft tree up and that is it except for the candle on the table. I just cannot handle all that decorating let alone the UNdecorating. I have no siblings and my extended family is up north and my husband's is on the other side of the US. So we now keep things small and simple. We alternate every year at whose home the holidays are celebrated. If it's at our house, we do the full Thanksgiving(my husband can cook the full meal by himself if I can't). When it's at my folks, we go on Saturday and if they feel like cooking they will if not we get Outback or something and take it to their house.

For Christmas, samething, if it is here, we cook dinner and my folks come here and we do gifts and it all lasts about 3 hours as that is all we can do. If it's at their house, we may do breakfast instead and then gifts, whatever my mom is up for.

At first it was really a let down and we ll felt bad, now it's kind of nice and not anywhere near as hectic. At least we had the years when we could do it all up and are grateful for that.

As for shopping, I do it all online, pay a little extra for them to wrap it and then ship it direct to whomever. I can get it all done in 3 hours and I love it! Nice and easy!

Melissa

 
Old 11-11-2009, 02:17 PM   #4
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Re: holiday shopping dealing with difficult busy times when pain flares

This year our youngest and his family are going to her family. Our oldest is stationed in Japan. We will board the three poochespack our bags and board the plane for Japan to see the new little granddaughter. 14 hours on a plane-<<<shudder>>>. So no tree for us this year.

But we have toned down the decorating. with two big rescue dogs we found out that they thought we had brought in a pee tree for them! Nothing on the branches under 36". The littlest one wouldn't dream of that-she's a girl.... I hang my Swarowski crystal stars on the chandelier, and that's about the extent-oh, and a fresh wreath from Costco. With just hubby and me I we can't handle it and it makes me sad not to have the boys there.

I've cut back on my baking also-and that's like blasphemy! Certain cookies, and tea breads(great gifts), but that's about it. I do miss not being able to do that....

 
Old 11-12-2009, 12:16 AM   #5
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Re: holiday shopping dealing with difficult busy times when pain flares

So true. I use to decorate for every holiday. I have enough Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter stuff to decorate 10 houses. LOL I use to take all the china out of the china cabinet and set up my Dickens Village. Then I would cover the stuff in the glass wall unit with felt paper and decorate all those shelves. I always put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving. The Saturday before Christmas I would have my family over for dinner. They would always show up hours late too. So, last year I told my mother she will have to do Christmas dinner with the family. I still put up the tree and put a few things out. Also we do the outside. I have surrendered to that. My husband puts out everything. He does a rotten job usually so I will go out and supervise. LOL. It is something I really miss doing.

I also do most of my shopping online. It is too hard to shop with the crowds etc. Too much walking. It's hard to even find the ambition to find the right gift for everyone. Before my failed back surgery and all the pain, I use to have all my Chrstmas shopping done and wrapped before Thanksgiving. My Christmas cards were done the first week of December. Now I am lucky I even write out cards.

I don't have flares. I'm just in pain all the time. Of course some days are better then others. I use to love to walk around and window shop. All stuff that I have to give up.

Thanks for the suggestions.....

Last edited by hessie28; 11-12-2009 at 12:17 AM.

 
Old 11-12-2009, 11:44 AM   #6
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Re: holiday shopping dealing with difficult busy times when pain flares

hessie was thinking about you recently. Last docs visit i noticed he left the folder out on the table to go get my scripts. It was there black and white.. Failed back surgery syndrome.
While i realized i had a fail it was the first time i saw it in black and white written by a doc......

 
Old 11-19-2009, 08:17 AM   #7
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Re: holiday shopping dealing with difficult busy times when pain flares

Shopping on the internet instead of stores helps me a lot. I also find starting in August helps when i go to get some milk or bread, medicine I may pick up a gift or two to get started. I can't do it and I surely can't do it last minute. I don't decorate as elaboratey as I used to and I just let my kids do the tree even though would never have done that years ago. Keep it simple and don't feel guilty about what you can not do. I need to practice what I preach, I feel like a failure but am not, at least I am still making the effort you know. Some probably don't even do that anymore. I will do something for the holidays no matter how much the pain flares, mine usually knocks me out after everything is over and i am off my feet for about a week. So this year my goal is to keep that from happening. We'll see how it goes.
I wish all of you the best in getting through the holidays. What used to be so regular and normal is now like getting through a triathalon. I love it for my kids and I have to keep them in mind. Hugs to everyone!

 
Old 12-06-2009, 12:22 AM   #8
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Smile Re: holiday shopping dealing with difficult busy times when pain flares

Online shopping is wonderful! It definitely takes away a lot of the stress. The great thing is there are so many sales online as well, so I feel like I'm still getting good deals. Also, I've definitely downsized my decorations. It's important to remember that after the holidays, all the decorations will have to be taken down - which is a major endeavor in itself.

Definitely the important part of the holidays is spending time with and valuing family members - all the other stuff is less important in comparison. We definitely have things that are our "traditions" to do and those things are mainly about enjoying each others company - little things my we've done since my children were little..

~ Fiona Jo
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:31 AM   #9
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Re: holiday shopping dealing with difficult busy times when pain flares

Dear Fellow CPers,
Happy Holidays!
I've been in pain all of my adult life (I was brutally beaten 26 years ago), so scaled back holidays are the norm for us. I push myself every year to make the holidays as warm and cheerful as I can. Here's how I make the most of them.
I've got 2 teenagers, Nancy and Tom, as well as a wonderful girlfriend, Emma, and my amazing husband Jack.
Tom and Jack do all of the outdoor decorating.
Nancy, Tom and Emma now get down all of the holiday crates and put up the tree.
I buy a gingerbread kit, so all the kids have to do is put it together instead of baking from scratch.
I start my shopping when school starts. I pick up gifts as I see them. Nancy goes shopping with me over Thanksgiving break and does the bulk of the shopping. The last few gifts get ordered online.
The kids have been asking why I don't bake Christmas cookies like Aunt Janie or Aunt Pat. This year I'm going to get the old family recipes and recruit the kids to do the baking.
Here's to a happy holiday season filled with pain free moments.
Peggy

 
Old 12-07-2009, 02:55 AM   #10
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Re: holiday shopping dealing with difficult busy times when pain flares

You all have some great ideas, and I think this was a wonderful idea for a post. It's hard enough to get through the holidays when you feel like you are alone in this sea of people who are getting it all done, laughing in those windows with snow falling like in the commercials and we are on the outside of that somehow. I am enjoying the holidays more than I used to, this year is hard because my family has decided to not talk to me anymore and others are drifting further away. I still have my kids and my husband and my lovely little pets though.
Anyway, I know this year is going to be hard it just is the fact of it, but there are those things to make it easier. Like the online shopping, greatest thing ever. Having them wrap it too was an awesome addition because the wrapping actually kills my back. I also make it a point to start as early as possible. Like when I have to go for groceries I will try to go to a Target Greatland or Super Walmart. Then I can grab a couple Christmas presents throughout the year usually starting in August I can finish up before things get too hectic in the stores. Gift cards are awesome and so is ABC distributing. Great gifts at great prices and they come usually within a week. I also like amazon and a few others but they are more expensive. Ebay is great if you are looking for something hard to find but I am sure you all know that.
What we have to remember most is to tory to enjoy the holiday even though we sometimes curse the lord or cry because we don't understand what is going on, we do still have to enjoy the moments we can, how we can, not how others expect or want us to because it doesn't happen that way. How we can do it. That's the only way we will enjoy it.
Happy holidays!

 
Old 12-15-2009, 11:06 PM   #11
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Re: holiday shopping dealing with difficult busy times when pain flares

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoey1 View Post
hessie was thinking about you recently. Last docs visit i noticed he left the folder out on the table to go get my scripts. It was there black and white.. Failed back surgery syndrome.
While i realized i had a fail it was the first time i saw it in black and white written by a doc......
Hi Zoey. Once you see it in black and white it really hits you. I had no clue until my Dr. said it one day in conversation. Then it had a name. Not just chronic pain anymore. Hope you are feeling better.

 
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