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Planning for Surviving the Holidays

I don't know about you, but for me the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years in the last few years have been nonexistent.  This can be especially true if you were also a caregiver.  On the good news front, there are various programs on "Surviving the Holidays."  I only became aware of them last year.  I have to say I found them helpful in at least balancing and managing my expectations. Last year was not a celebratory time for me because I got the flu.  In addition, the ornamental decorative Christmas trees for my front door never arrived.  Instead I got a spiffy green skateboard!  Wow.  Amazon told me not to bother returning.  Since I am not much of a risk taker, I decided to give the skateboard to one of my neighbor's teenage kids after discussing with my neighbor.  Surprisingly it was a big hit.  God works in mysterious ways.  To this day, the neighbor's kid waves to me.  Like the Gift of the Magi, my misfortune in getting the wrong delivery ended up an unexpected gift for someone else.  Something I am keeping in mind.  This year, I have decided to start planning ahead.  I am looking for upcoming events that will be enjoyable for the season, but not overwhelming.  I am finding the process of looking at local events is actually productive and getting me into the holiday spirit.  I would be interested in your approach to the upcoming holidays and what has worked for you.  Thanks and have a good weekend.  Your friend, Sue

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Silver Conversationalist

I think the holidays can bring a heigtened sense of abandonment. The passing of loved ones brings a feeling of grasping for air. Or not knowing which way to turn. The familiar is gone. The holidays are a tough time to create a new familiar. Instead I'll have things in place to keep me grounded. Maybe a book I'll set aside. Or a small project to plan or complete in hours or days. Something easy. Maybe getting that outside shed in order? Turn it into a potting shed. Even if I don't get around to it, I can plan it out. I know most of us who are older feel like, been there, did that. Except there are the lives to come after us. They'll remember that Grammy didn't sit and feel sorry for herself. Well, she did sit and watch tv a lot. But they won't know that lol. They'll know that Mom or Dad or Grammy etc. went on with daily life right up to the end. Whatever that life entailed, easy or hard things. The holidays can be a time of grace. And love shared with those present, and deceased. 

 

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Esteemed Social Butterfly

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Silver Conversationalist

I think the holidays can bring a heigtened sense of abandonment. The passing of loved ones brings a feeling of grasping for air. Or not knowing which way to turn. The familiar is gone. The holidays are a tough time to create a new familiar. Instead I'll have things in place to keep me grounded. Maybe a book I'll set aside. Or a small project to plan or complete in hours or days. Something easy. Maybe getting that outside shed in order? Turn it into a potting shed. Even if I don't get around to it, I can plan it out. I know most of us who are older feel like, been there, did that. Except there are the lives to come after us. They'll remember that Grammy didn't sit and feel sorry for herself. Well, she did sit and watch tv a lot. But they won't know that lol. They'll know that Mom or Dad or Grammy etc. went on with daily life right up to the end. Whatever that life entailed, easy or hard things. The holidays can be a time of grace. And love shared with those present, and deceased. 

 

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Conversationalist

Hi, mc, I like your upbeat approach to the upcoming holiday season and life in general.  You are right, it is hard to create a new familiar and it is important to keep yourself grounded in the present.  The present is our greatest gift, especially as we start the holidays.  Going on with a daily, hopefully satisfying, life is key.  The holidays are truly a time of grace.  As Eric previously posted on this site, many can view the holidays as Holy Days, meaning something more than decorations and presents.  Thanks for sharing. Your friend, Sue 🎄

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Hi, Nicole, thank you for sharing.  You are wise to see the true meaning of Christmas and other holidays.  I agree with you that sometimes it feels like Christmas is forgotten and lost its meaning.  Those of us who believe should not give into that "social" norm and wish folks a Merry Christmas.  At the same I know we also want to respect other holidays and therefore I have become more informed about those as well. Everyone's view should be respected at this most holy of time.  On the issue of gift and card giving, I agree we need to be prudent since we are facing unexpected cost of living increases.  I have subscribed to Jacquie Lawson's e-cards online.  She and her staff are very talented, and her cards are inspiring and wonderful. I think the subscription is reasonable.  If you are like me, you will enjoy viewing them yourself.  This blog is a wonderful way to start the day.  Thanks. Sue

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Trusted Social Butterfly

Thanks for the thought provoking topic and Share Sue.  I guess you could say I've developed a 'Plan-Neutral' attitude toward the end-of-year holiday season.  Everybody else is so busy making plans it's almost a 'Too many Chiefs, not enough Indians' situation (I hope I'm still allowed to use that old phrase).  I pretty much just stay informed, pick-and-choose and try to enjoy the season while keeping in mind that the word "Holiday" is a compound word derived by combining "Holy Days".

...may yours be blessed whether you realize it or not.

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Eric, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the upcoming holidays.  I really like viewing holidays as Holy Days.  Wonderful way to look at what could be a lonely time for those grieving.  Have a good Friday (no pun intended).  Sue

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Thank you Sue and the activities you have in mind sound wonderful! It's good to plan and hopefully bring to fruition. If not there's alternate or back up plans. Or just wing it. Nevertheless, the holidays and every day can be lovely times within themselves. I'm sure you'll have a great holiday season! 

 

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Silver Conversationalist

I hear ya, Sue. Holidays in recent years have been paramedics piling in the house or pick ups from the hospital. But that was then and this is now. When I can't see family/friends on the traditional days there are video visits and always texts and messages. For me, it's nice to enjoy the holidays and every day in quiet ways. Our daughter gave us miniature trees and angels. I keep them on a living room table all the time. No more scurrying to find holiday decorations. I try to be upbeat and cheerful about the holidays and life's events, not to put a damper on others fun. I join in when I can. But no longer force myself to do things I'm not up for. My family understands. I do try to send cards to the children starting from Halloween  they love to get mail. Children feel losses deeply too. 

I'm glad you didn't risk a turn on the skateboard.  And good of you to remember your neighbor's child. Take care Sue, you sound a lot better these days! 

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Hi, mc6844, thank you for your experience with having the miniature tree and angels that you can enjoy throughout the year.  Great idea and a good way to keep the memories alive.  I am also thinking of new memories.  One activity that comes to mind is watching the National Cathedral's Blue Christmas (or Longest Night - December 21) online.  It is wonderfully done and helps bring the holiday in perspective.  Susie Larson is another source of enlightenment.  I subscribe to her free monthly devotional.  Just got my October reflection on becoming more introspective with God to help set expectations and realities of the season.  Thank you for noticing that I am sounding a lot better these days.  Sometimes I can't tell.  Friends like you make the difference and remind me I am not alone.  Your friend, Sue

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