“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas and ME

Never is my disability more evident than at Christmas time.  I am the Christmas planner in my family, the decorator, the shopper, the baker, the card sender, the tradition enforcer.  I have been in the heart of the maelstrom, delegating and giving direction to all the parts of Christmas that I love which all lead into a satisfying, Spirit-filled Christmas day.

Not surprisingly, each Christmas since I came down with CFS has been increasingly different, increasingly simple.  Now don't get me wrong, simple is a good thing.  It scales back all the unnecessary and frantic materialism of Christmas and brings you to the heart of the season.

Yet this year, I kind of feel like it has stripped me of Christmas altogether.  I've done my shopping online, and I've almost finished, thank goodness.  However, there are no decorations yet.  No cards sent.  No stories read.  No cookies baked.  Just a huge to-do list of things that I need to do in an increasingly short period of time.

I feel like I haven't had time to even glance at the sky, let alone find the star and follow it.


Renee said...

You have said it so well, Shelli. Sending you hugs as you face yet another Christmas with CFS as your unwelcome guest...

Stacy said...

Hi, Shelli--discovered your blog through Dominique's at 4Walls and A View. You put this so well--the way all those extras that used to make Christmas so glowingly special can now be burdensome instead. I find it hard to capture the joy and meaning of the season, too. I was thinking about what you wrote last night and had an idea--what about singing a Christmas carol as grace before meals? Singing can be so meaningful, but it doesn't add to the to-do list...

In any case, best wishes for stamina, joy, and peace this Christmas.

Sue Jackson said...

"However, there are no decorations yet. No cards sent. No stories read. No cookies baked. Just a huge to-do list of things that I need to do in an increasingly short period of time."

Me, too, Shelli!! On all counts. I ordered our photo cards back in November...and they're still sitting in boxes on the counter! We did manage to get our tree up two weekends ago, but the rest of the decorations are still in boxes. The wreath I bought over a week ago is still in the garage! And I gave up on baking for the holidays years ago.

On the plus side...
the tree means the most to us, and though it took us 3 days to finish it (spread out while one or another of us rested), we enjoyed going through all the memories the ornaments remind us of.

My wonderful aunt sent us homemade cookies, as she knew I wouldn't have the energy to bake.

We actually made it out to see Harry Potter in the theater this weekend - a big event for us!

You are absolutely right about scaling the holiday down to what's meaningful. We've done that over the years since CFS hit, and we don't miss any of what we trimmed back. Our big cookie party is now an intimate evening with just our closest friends (one family). I buy cookie dough instead of making it homemade (the best part is decorating anyway).

And the world won't end if the cards don't go out early, right? One year, I sent them out as new year's cards!

Hang in there, Shelli. You're not alone. As you said, simple is good.