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Hi Marlee:

Well, I always started by putting up the Christmas lights and getting out the candles and other decorations. That would help me to get into the spirit... It isn't easy some years so it is best to bring out as much of the Christmas cheer as you can.

I would also run to the store to get eggnog because it is so yummy. Perhaps get some Christmas treats to go with it - cookies for example... Then sit down and treat yourself. Take the time to count your blessings for the year.

My Christmas times were not easy either. I would have to wrap all the presents including my own. If I couldn't afford to buy anything, I would wrap something I already had. Just looking at presents - even though I knew what was in them - helped a lot...

Start planning an easy but special dinner. My favorite was ham because it was so easy and lasted through the new year. Then I would just throw together a salad, potatoes and baked beans. Simple but plenty to eat. Perhaps buy a bottle of champagne to go with the meal...

These are just some ideas and I hope they help. It is hard to get started so just pick one little thing to do at a time. Pretty soon, hopefully, you will get into the spirit...

Love and Hugs from Glenda
Hi marlee,
I am feeling the same way. Being a caregiver isn't easy and it brings you down.
And there is no escaping it, that's the bad part. I wish I could skip the holidays all together because I can't feel cheery under these conditons.
This morning I felt like I wanted to run and run and run. I want to get away from it. But I can't. Everyone tells me to take it one day at a time, sometimes I have to take it one hr at a time to get thru it. (((hugs)))
Hi Marlee: Looks like we are all feeing down today - and you're right ---- I want to run too --- in fact, I'm gonna run and stay with my husband for two weeks, and come back to my Dad's day after Xmas. Have two people calling and checking on him, and hoping for the best. Today, his family Dr. wants to send him for another heart test, and he is complaining of heaviness in his chest along with his PD, bleeding through his skin so easily, and smoking his 3 - 4 cigars after the stroke. He gave me a care last nite that caused me to cry myself to sleep to say I love you with all my heart --- this is from a Dad that was never there for me in any way all my life, and now we are close ---yet he is so frail. I just pray I get through the two weeks without an ER call, but I'm just gonna accept it one day at a time, and leave the rest to God. Hard to leave him alone at Xmas, but he all his life has been the scrooge ---- and didn't care one way or another. Now - he's sitting in the den getting his cards ready to mail. It doesn't look like he's sending one to his sons, as they have'nt acknowledged him, well - one for almost 4 years, and the other send money trying to "fix" things that way. So, yep --- it's sad ---- but I feel so determined to think of the good times and it takes every ounce of me to do that --- I hope it will be a good Xmas for you. I'll probably be away from the msg. board for that time, but look forward to coming back. My computer is at my Dad's home - so I don't have one in my home. Merry Xmas!!!!! Find a little corner for "yourself" --- !!! Vickie
Aloha Marlee,

If you don't feel like it there's no law that says you have to be in the holiday mood. I've skipped it altogether during a few really bad times and it was a whole lot easier and less stressful than a few time when I didn't feel like it but felt like I SHOULD play along and ended up feeling twice as bad. Now if you WANT to get into it but your problem is just no time because of all your caregiving responsibilities then try this....every day or night, steal 10 minutes and do something festive...decorate, play music,eat goodies, write cards, call a friend, whatever. Just 10 minutes a day for the next 12 days is 2 hours of holiday celebration! Put a red ribbon on the TV or the refrigerator or your DH ..do something different. Put green food coloring in the mayo and paint a Christmas tree on your bread and use blobs of catsup for decoration. Pin Christmas cards all over your clothes or the bed or the curtains. Don't let it get you down. You're either in the mood or you're not so don't worry about it. You can celebrate any thing any time you feel like it. I remember when my Uncle Wayne came home from a prison camp after WWII...we had a Christmas tree,presents and all the trimmings in August. Christmas was his favorite holiday so we had it ready for him when he came home. Personally, I like watching all the "sappy, happy" movies more than anything else. I watched one called "Noel" the other night....it was pretty good. Whatever you end up doing please do it for YOURSELF. Take care. Judi
Hi guys, I know it's really hard and it's the last thing that you may want to do......I always looked at it this way when I was caregiver to my Mom......."what if this was my last Christmas with her"
So I always tried to make it really special for her. I may not have always felt like it but, I decorated till the cows came home.
Then if something did happen, I had one less thing to feel guilty about.

I always tried to include her and let her do some of the decorating that she could do, like setting up my villages and the nativity.

After looking back on last year, I am now so very glad I did go to the extra trouble, because that was our last Christmas together.
Hey Guys!! TOP OF THE MORNING TO YOU!!! (haha) I don't know why I like those people in London --- just love to hear them talk, especially with my Southern drawl which I try to correct until I realized that is who I am ---- so now I just let it "fly"!! (haha) Always, loved the west coast folk --- they seem so good with their English, and all the USA --- but these southerners just kind of drag it on out!

I do remember my Mom saying she would not be here next Xmas before she passed in 2000 - we had the last - she said she wouldn't come back after her by-pass surgery, and she didn't! So, intuition tells us in our hearts to do what we "feel" and it most be real in us! Bless You Guys! Vickie
Thank you everyone for your ideas and for letting me in on your holiday secrets. I think I will steel some time and watch my old favorite christmas cartoons,charlie brown, frosty and rhudolf. I am also going to just try to be happy because I do not have to wrap my own gifts. (well maybe one) My three teens will be home...that is always exciting. I think if I can find time I will get out a few more decorations.
this could be dads last chistmas. So I will try to be a little in the spirit. We did put up a little tree by dads bed and his church and a local club each gave him a poinsetta. He also had carolers come. That was wonderful.
I also like the run run run idea. I am having a caregiver come tomorrow i'm going to the doc and then to lunch with friends. We have a little gift exchange.
Dad has been good lately. Well, as good as you can be when you are totally paralized. We changed his pain meds and he is ALOT easier to get along with.
I hope you all enjoy what is left of this season. Thank you for your help!!
Hi Marlee,
I was in this dilema last year at this time. Now, i sit here one year later, after losing my Tony, to lung cancer in August, and i am doing nothing, nada. Last year, when Tony was alive, he was in the hospital, i tried to decorate his room, but he didn't want me to. He made me take home the Christmas tree i brought up to his room. That sure put a damper on my holiday as well, also the fact, it could have been his last Christmas (and it was). This year, i sit here, missing Tony, thinking of last year, and not wanting to really do anything. I did pull out the tree from last year, and i put it up, but that's all i feel like doing. I look at it, and it brings back bittersweet memories, and it just makes me cry (ok, everything makes me cry now). I see everyone around me happy, and i envy them.

Marlee, just follow your heart, and do what you feel like doing. I think whomever you are caring for, it would be a good idea to consider him/her, and decorate, and celebrate for him/her, if they are up to it. You may not know if this is their last Christmas or not, but it may lift their spirits.

This is a hard time for caregivers, and for anyone who has lost a loved one. I lost four close family members this year, so i pray 2007 will be 'loss free'......oh, how i pray so.

I pray that you will make the right decision, by following your heart, and considering the person you are caring for as well.

Happy Holidays to you, and God Bless

Teresa
I agree with everyone that the first thing is to do what you feel comfortable doing. It is so hard to find "cheerfulness" about my life. I like putting up Christmas lights outside and a tree with a lot of decorations and I think I do it mostly for myself or I wouldn't bother. I like the way the change of seasons and holidays give me something to look forward to. Its for me, otherwise my life is so drab, cooped up with my mother.

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