The holidays can be a tumultuous time. Advertisements would have us believe that the ups and downs of life take a hiatus for the holiday season. However, many of us know that it’s unrealistic to expect that Christmas will be perfect. Our disabilities and chronic illnesses can be additional inconveniences when celebrating the holidays. Maybe you’re too exhausted to bake cookies or perhaps your aunt’s house isn’t wheelchair-accessible. Although these obstacles can be daunting they can inspire us to look for new ways to create a magical holiday experience.
As my mother has grown weaker due to her progressing symptoms of mitochondrial myopathy, preparing for Christmas has become more of a challenge. My family has had to adapt to the circumstances. We’ve developed alternative methods to keep the season’s spirit alive. My mom used to have the Christmas tree decorated two days after Thanksgiving, but those days are long gone. Nowadays it’s a two-person job: My father installs the lights and she arranges the ornaments.
Finding the previous years’ decorations became a big struggle for my mother. So being the brilliant human being that she is, she came with the idea to buy decorations from the 99-cent store. That way she can dispose of them after the holidays and we can begin again next year with new decor.
No one wants to hear that they may be spending their Christmas or Hanukkah in the hospital. While I have yet to experience a holiday in a hospital room I know that even at the age of 21, I would still yearn for that iconic Christmas morning. Waking up in my own bed and realizing it’s the morning. Every child dreams of a sparkly, mystical, winter day, unwrapping presents with family and friends. A day filled with joy, smiles, and laughter.
I think Christmas can be a wonderful time without going over the top. I keep this in mind while searching online for smaller ways to spread the holiday cheer.
Following are some of my tips to prepare for the celebrations:
1. Holiday scented candles: Bring back those nostalgic memories of baking in the kitchen. This can be a good gift for those who can’t eat those iconic desserts.
2. Christmas surgical mask: This festive mask from Etsy will protect you from those pesky influenza viruses while keeping you in the holiday spirit with its cheery pattern.
3. Audiobooks: I listen to audiobooks to rest and save energy. Audible is an awesome resource for helping me find my favorites — and it’s less expensive than iTunes.
4. Festive feeding tube covers: A cute way to decorate your feeding tube while also helping to prevent skin irritations.
5. Battery-operated lights: Brighten up your IV stand or wheelchair without the hassle of outlets and plugs.
I hope this column inspires you to have a wonderful holiday season no matter what life throws at you.
Note: Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Muscular Dystrophy News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.