Holiday's for fibro-mites...excitement or torture?

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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted 11/21/2008 9:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Just wondering how many of you actually look forward to the holiday's with the same excitement as you did before fibro?  We usually have Thanksgiving at our house with my son and his wife from Atlanta and another son and his wife that live locally.  One of the wives is a vegetarian.  The other one doesn't like turkey and because of GERD, cannot tolerate any kind of spice.  I go crazy trying to prepare food that everyone can eat.  This year, we are going to my son's new house.  The turkey they already bought is a Butterball and I can't eat it because it is injected with nitrates and salt...I have Meniere's and can't eat the additives.
Christmas is usually just my local son, his wife and my husband and I.  My hubby is Jewish, yet participates in all the festivity without complaint.  We always have it at our house and again, there's the food issue.  Then because all my grandchildren live so far away, I either have to shop on-line and hope the picture is really what the item is, or stand forever in Post Office lines to ship gifts I bought myself.
I start getting agitated in October when all the Christmas ads starting flooding the airwaves.  The Fibro flare begins creeping up and by the time the day arrives...I just hope I can get through the day.
I try to be positive and enjoy the season but the physical exertion just wears me out.  Anyone else, or have you all just learned to get through it with sheer determination and the happiness that family brings?

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   Posted 11/21/2008 10:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Donna,
Yeah, I get wigging out too sometimes.  As a family, we've decided to do any meals pot luck style.  That way I only have to prepare one dish. We also get together at someone else's home.  Then I don't have to clean before hand, or clean after everyone leaves.  I just come home! Hehe.... My family is super supportive and actually likes the pot luck style of dinners we have.  I always make the sweet potatoes.  My favourite!
Little things like that really add up to a much nicer, more enjoyable holiday.  Everyone benefits actually!
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke, 2002), Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck), anxiety. Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, Didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, Neurontin, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus

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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted 11/21/2008 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey Ginny..that's a great way to celebrate and I wish it were possible for me but most of my family flies in from other parts of the country and can't bring food.  I LOVE to see them as the distance between us all only allows for Holiday visits.  I just wish I could enjoy it without even thinking about the preparation, house cleaning, etc that goes with it.  Thankfully, my husband is very helpful and supportive.  My favorite is sweet potatoes too!


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   Posted 11/21/2008 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I have to plan ahead and pace myself to do the holidays since I have to do everything myself.  I start buying Christmas gifts shortly after Christmas and do it all year long.  I hate the rush of the holidays so I try to get things done early so I can sit back and enjoy them.  So, (I know you guys are going to shoot me) all my gifts are bought and wrapped.  I didn't put the bows on yet because I didn't want them to get dusty!  wink    I mailed out four boxes of wrapped gifts two weeks ago to my two children up north.  They have received them and I didn't have to stand in long lines to ship them this early.  My sons birthday is December 3rd and his birthday gifts have been bought and sent, also.
My Christmas letter is written so I only have to print them out.  I bought my Christmas cards the day after Christmas last year at 50% off.  This way I can get really expensive cards that I couldn't afford otherwise.  I print out all the address labels so there is not all the writing but I do sign my cards and write a one sentence greeting in longhand.  The rest of my information is in the letter.  My sore fingers can't do it any other way. 
I am having 12 people here for Thanksgiving.  I started cleaning and steam cleaning carpeting over a week ago.  The house is clean and will give it a once over on Monday.  Everything is bought for my meal except my fresh turkey and I have ordered it and will pick it up, along with the few fresh items I don't have yet, on Tuesday.  So, that gives me Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning to prepare the goodies.  I have a problem because I have an autistic nephew who can't eat a lot of things.  They affect him so I'm tiptoeing around certain dishes and need to put food aside for him so he gets no dairy, canola oil, etc.  Other than that, everyone eats everything.
The day after Thanksgiving I put up the Christmas tree and I'll put the bows on the gifts not sent and put them under the tree.  Then I can sit back and really enjoy the Christmas season.
I'm telling you all of this so perhaps you can plan ahead...especially next year.  It doesn't get any easier the older you get but I have found that pacing myself works the best.  Plus, by buying gifts all year around, I don't have a lot of money coming out all at the same time.  It's much easier to budget that way.  When my children were small, I knew certain things I would get them and set aside a little for the special requests they would start making in October.  But, I always have shopping done before Thanksgiving.
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God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1512
   Posted 11/21/2008 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Maybe its just my age (58), and my feelings that America is sooooo excessive and consumeristic, but I really dread this time of year. I suppose its partly my fault, since I feel like I have to do so much. But I really resent it. I'm lucky to get through a non-holiday time. My energy is limited, and when this time of year comes, I just feel like running away until January. Sorry to be a downer.

getting by
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   Posted 11/21/2008 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I can see how you would feel that way Cathy. It can be hard. I always tell myself that I will do like Sherrine does, but it is still all last minute shopping.:p...

Luckily I dont' have a lot of people to buy for. We don't really have a lot of money this year. But I just take it as it comes. Do what I can. And the rest, I guess I just ignore. I too look forward to the holidays to be over. But I still like the season. Because after that is a long dreaded winter here.

Hugs, Karen...
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1512
   Posted 11/21/2008 3:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I used to have the MILs and my brother over on Christmas day (after going to my SILs for Christmas eve). I spent all my time in the kitchen, and missed alot of the fun with the kids. Like I said, its probably my own fault for being an over-achiever. hahaha
My house is usually a pit, so if I ever have to clean it up, its like a 3 month ordeal. haha
Sherrine, I'm getting vicarious pleasure out of your organization!
One thing I do look forward to is our Christmas dinner...........marinated beet salad, rib roast with herbs, Yorkshire pudding, veggies, scalloped potatoes and desert. DH usually does the dishes. That's when my fun begins and I can enjoy the season!

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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 408
   Posted 11/21/2008 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   

I'm not looking forward to Thanksgiving.  I'm really missing my parents this year.  They both have been gone for awhile (Dad 15 yrs and Mom 6yrs) so I'm not sure why it is hitting me so hard this year but it is.  I think the holiday dinner has just become a chore that no-one seems to want to do.  We have spent Thanksgiving at my FIL's house with everyone bringing a dish.  We eat, wash the dishes, and then go home.  Not a lot to enjoy!  Christmas is  better because my kids are still young and bring a lot of excitement to the day.  I will always enjoy watching their faces light up Christmas morning.  It's going to take extra work to find the holiday spirit this year but I know it's in me somewhere.


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Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 11/21/2008 7:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I think one reason why holidays might seem overwhelming, and why some of us have less interest or energy for them is because of the pace of life in-between holidays. I think when holidays were first "invented", it was about the only times of year when people splurged on food and gifts. It was something very different from all the rest of the days of the year. But now, every day is filled with activity and stresses. We can have special food all the time. I think these holidays have lost their meanings because of how rich our country has become (U.S.). Its just one more activity we have to fit in with all the others, and one more time of year when we have to wear ourselves to a frazzle and spend too much money. Its sad.
I found it all especially hard after having children. I didn't realize how commercialized almost every holiday was, until I had kids. Seems like I could barely get back my energy after one holiday, when it was time for another one.
Sorry to be whining so much!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 11/21/2008 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
This is the first year I've had fibromyalgia. There is NO WAY I can possibly do what I normally do for Christmas day. I have done the dinner every year for 25 years, but not this year. Luckily, my sister only lives a block away. She will do the turkey and others will bring the rest of the food. So I'll sit as a lady of leisure I guess and let everyone else wait on me!
Oh ya...I was going to say that I did Thanksgiving (Canadian) and thought I could do what I always did....NOT! I collapsed with exhaustion before the turkey got on the table.

Irish Babe
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   Posted 11/21/2008 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   

We are going Italian this wk, I already bought the Lasagna, and we have a marvelous Italian specialty store nearby where I will p/u some veggies and meat dishes. I'm not up to cooking like I normally do, and everyone is on board for this. I bought cheesecake and I have cherries and whipped cream, plus a couple of pies. With my children, I only need to have cheesecake for the meal and they would be happy. My DD is off tomorrow and will help w/ a lot of the cleaning, my younger son w/ be home on Tues to help w/ last minute cleaning and setting up the table and counter ( I do buffet style).

I will have my DM and my sister and her family here for Christmas Eve, that has been our tradition forever. I am scaling back on decorations. I have a small tree that will be decorated by children. I set up a small Christmas village, to include a folk art tree in the center of 'town'. My sister and I already agreed that we would not exchange gifts for our families, we just want to be together. We are both getting things for our mother and our own children. I'm pretty much done w/ my shopping. I can't deal w/ lines, can't stand too long, even w/ cane. My son wants to help in the kitchen w/ prep for Christmas dinner, I won't deny him that 'fun'. I have already made up my Thanksgiving cards to a small group of family/friends that I don't see to often. I still need to do my Christmas cards, last yr I made myself do 10 a day instead of the whole group in one sitting. ( like I used to do). I basically sign our names, yr on top, only a few get an update.

I am more concerned that this may be last yr we have w/ my mother, it is more important that we all be together and savor the time.

God bless.  Alice.

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Date Joined Jun 2008
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   Posted 11/22/2008 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I get my wrapping paper and Christmas cards right after the holidays for the next year and start buying gifts through the year. I don't buy all my gifts because I do enjoy "some" shopping with all the stores festive decorations and to see the pretty lights.
This year is going to be very simple. There just is no money. But I am going to enjoy decorating the tree, spending time with family and friends, good food, and all the goodies and count my blessings.
Sherrine- I giggled when I read the part where you have your gifts wrapped but not the boughs on yet because they will get dusty. I do the same thing, in fact I won't wrap anything until the tree is up because I don't want any tears or wrinkles on the wrapped gift until it goes to it's home under the tree. smilewinkgrin
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Date Joined Aug 2007
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   Posted 11/22/2008 10:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been so darned determined that I'm not going to stress this year. I keep telling myself that but I have had moments of severe anxiety that I'm trying to stop. My brain says one thing and my body does another.
I have to have everything done by Tues. Oldest son and DIL will be here Tues. DH and I will get done what we can this weekend and my dear beloved niece will finish cleaning Mon, bless her. We will probably go grocery shopping tomorrow, after the frig has been cleaned out.
I think I counted 22 people that will be here Thurs but our three sons and families will be here Tues and Wed. So the house will be a disaster before Thurs. We have Krissy's play yard in the middle of the family room and pee pads by the back door so this should be fun with all the little ones that will be here. But we will have a good time no matter what because that is what our family does.
I am fixing the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and the rest will bring a dish or two. We never have a shortage of food.
I will start Christmas shopping for my grandchildren after Thanksgiving. There are too many new things that come out around Christmas to do it too far ahead. I have had the five year old step grandson this week cause his mommy was in the hos with bad pneumonia and every commercial that came on TV he said, "I want that". We draw names for the adults so I only have two to buy.
Christmas with the children is on the 20th this year. Santa will come, aka grandpa, and we will order pizza. I will make whatever goodies I have time and energy for. I put the grandchildren's toys in Santa's bag unwrapped with their names on them so I don't even have to wrap. Christmas day the children will stay home to enjoy their toys and DH and I will go to my sisters for dinner.
So Thanksgiving is the biggy at my house and once that is over I can kinda relax and shop.
Thank goodness I don't have anyone with a special diet in my family to have to consider.
luv and hugs
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Date Joined Mar 2008
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   Posted 11/22/2008 11:37 AM (GMT -7)   

I guess I have it much easier than most! My children are both married and spend Thanksgiving at their in-laws so that I can go and spend time with my mom and sisters at Thanksgiving.

After losing my dad in 2001, I realized that I needed and wanted to spend more time with my mom & sisters. So, I go to visit them for a couple days at Thanksgiving, my kids go to their in-laws, & my dh stays home and watches sports on t.v. and eats leftovers the kids drop off for him. (just the way he likes it, as he says)

Christmas is my time to spend with my family here. I don't go all out anymore with a big meal on Christmas eve. I used to be stressed and so tired out. Now the kids go to in-laws Christmas Eve and I have everyone here Christmas morning for breakfast and to open presents. It works great this way and I don't end up in bed after the holidays!

It is so hard to plan things with Fibro. This works for me. I had 1 Christmas that I woke up & knew I couldn't even fix breakfast. My dh & children took over and we still had breakfast and a wonderful time together.

Is anyone confused now? I am!

Hugs!!  Margie


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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/23/2008 4:00 AM (GMT -7)   
it can be a real stressful time of the year, that's for sure.

for thanksgiving, we normally go to my in-laws, but this year all of us went out for chinese food which was a nice change.

for christmas, i try to get my shopping done throughout the year. we have the in-laws in here on christmas day for a late lunch. we do the potatoes, turkey, other veggie and MIL brings dressing, cranberries & one or two other dishes. DH helps out alot and everyone seems to enjoy it. we've done this for the past few years. big change from us running around to my family and his on christmas day like we used to.
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Date Joined Jun 2008
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   Posted 11/23/2008 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
i hate this time of year because its so busy... but since my mom has a big family 7 brothers and sisters... we always go somewhere for xmas day dinner... usually whoever has christmas does potatoes and bird and everyone brings everything else... most help with clean up and its not all one persons responsibility... although it is still tiring for me since i feel that i need to help since thats how i was raised...

this year will be rushed because we do my family xmas the 25th then head to the bf's family the 26 then do dads family xmas on the 28th
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