Holidays and Chronic Illness

We are past the largest holidays of the season, thank goodness! There is one more around the corner, New Years, though not as big or as stressful as the others for those who celebrate it can be difficult.

Negotiating the holiday stress has always been a challenge for me personally, but now with MS, fatigue and my Meniere’s disease it’s kind of a nightmare. The fatigue make daily tasks a challenge, but the extra cleaning, preparing, decorating, etc can lay you out for days.

Things I have learned, and try to remember, during the season.

Plan ahead, have a game plan; I do most of the shopping well before Thanksgiving, hide them properly and then wrap closer to Christmas so I don’t forget what I got people. Note, if you need to you can always just keep a list and hide that, I have put several presents in “safe places” and then forgot about them which caused me to order something else only to find the original item.

Keep it simple, don’t feel guilty if you are hosting and have to down size the meal plan. I used to feel the need to have starters, salad, sides, main entree and two or more deserts. No more, if I have two sides and a main entree that is sufficient to feed everyone. Ask people to bring sides if you feel like more options are needed.

Disposable dishes, they make very nice, heavy duty paper plates these days. I am all about not making extra dishes, give me plastic-ware, paper plates and plastic cups because I do not need clean up from cooking and then again from eating.

If you are a parent, your kids will appreciate the time with you more than the fancy food anyway. When the shininess wears off of the new presents it’s you they are going to want attention from. You cannot do that if you are laid up for days because of the intention of an elaborate celebration.