Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!
Does the thought of Christmas fill you with joy or does it send you scurrying under the bed in a fit of angst?
If you have multiple sclerosis and associate Christmas with errands, chores, and great expectations, now is the time to get off that crazy merry-go-round and make the switch over to realistic expectations.
I’m not suggesting that we give in to MS, but that we make our peace with it.
Forget about Normal Rockwell (no disrespect intended). Don’t measure your holidays by the picture perfect images of a single moment in time. Don’t imagine your Christmas will rival those of an old black and white movie classic. Your family’s unique makeup -- warts and all -- is the only barometer you need.
This year, the economy is also doing its part to put the holidays back in perspective. If I were to look for a silver lining there, it would be that many families are realizing that we’ve been running ourselves ragged in pursuit of material possessions -- bigger and better every year. The “must haves” list kept growing and the pressure kept piling on.
It’s time to rethink those values and discover the simple pleasure of celebrating together. We can cut down on the gift list. We don’t have to attend every party in town. We don’t have to impress anyone, least of all our own loved ones.
The physical manifestations of MS are varied, but most of us have one thing in common -- we can’t keep up the pace we once did. Not without consequences, anyway.
For us, there are a few simple things we can do to create a christmas of realistic expectations.
* If you need a nap, take one. It will serve you well in the long run.
* Lay off the sugary snacks. Tempting though they may be, they spike your blood sugar, then send you crashing. It’s really not worth the physical toll.
* Don’t hesitate to ask for or accept help. Christmas is a family affair!
* Remember that it’s not about having the perfect house, the perfect decorations, and the Martha Stewart meal (again, no disrespect intended).
* Allow for mishaps. You know there’ll be something that doesn’t go quite as planned, but often, those will be the very things we laugh about and remember with fondness for years to come.
* Relax and enjoy the time spent with the people you care about. Love, laugh, and play!
From our home to yours, wishing you peace and happiness during the holidays, and in the new year.
Published On: December 17, 2008