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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 12/22/2008 5:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Everyone,
It's been a while since I've posted.  Things have been pretty stressful, so I have simply not been online for pleasure much.  I hope you are all holding up ok with this freezing cold weather!
I'm not sure how many of you heard about the ice storm in Central Mass & New England, but I live in the heart of it.  We lost power for 8 days!  Since our heat runs off of electric, we couldn't stay home.  After one day w/ family who didn't want the kids to make a peep and two days at a hotel, we tried to stay with another family member.  My husband then had a severe allergic reaction to the cats there and I had to take him to the ER!  The rest of the time was spent in between other places, never knowing from one day to the next where we would live.
Needless to say, I'm a tad stressed out.  We are back in our home (yeah!) and I am thrilled to have power back.  But, I'm now trying to piece together a Christmas at the last minute with very little money to spend.  I was extremely stressed about this and on the verge of tears, until I read Marlee's post.  I realized that it is probably for the best that we cannot afford to spoil our kids.  (I say this with the utmost respect).
I'm sort of rambling and I apologize.  I am really hurting, though, and I can't get warm - Fibro has caught up with me after all of this stress, ice, snow (we have gotten 2 feet of snow since the ice storm), holidays, work, etc. 
I really appreciate having you all to vent to, though.  Thank you!



"Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live."
Robert F. Kennedy 


Post Edited (KerriH) : 12/22/2008 6:03:03 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 12/22/2008 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh Kerri I'm sooo sorry. That had to be so miserable for your family. I hope you feel well enough to have a simple Christmas. You know it's really not about how many game systems your children have.
God bless your family this year.
luv and hugs
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 846
   Posted 12/22/2008 8:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm so sorry for your ordeal! My mom and sister live in the Montreal area. They had ice storms a few years ago, but unfortunately I live too far away to have helped them. Thankfully you are back home for Christmas, but I can just imagine the stress you went through. I wish you a wonderful, peaceful Christmas (((hugs)))
Waiting for appointment with rheumy (March 2009) to get an official dx. waiting, waiting, waiting....
Taking malic acid/magnesium combo, what a life saver! and amitriptyline

Heather H.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 756
   Posted 12/22/2008 8:15 PM (GMT -7)   

I know how it feels to not have a lot of money for Christmas. This time of year is always stressful for me. I love Christmas, but at the same time I dread it. Right now is the time that I try to explain to my children that it's not what you get for Christmas, but what you give to others. My husband is looking at a layoff from work. He works in the Oil Fields and with stock down that means demand is down and that also means less work for smaller companies. He works for such a company. I was afraid of buying christmas presents cuz we still need to make our mortage payment every month and still afford to pay the rest of the bills. I had to swallow my pride a couple of weeks ago and file for food stamps so that I can feed my family.

There is no shame in "small" christmas. We have one every year. I think this is the "biggest" christmas we have had and the boys are only getting about seven gifts each this year. I don't think it's the size of the gift as much as the love, caring and thought that goes into each gift given.

Have a loving and caring Holiday!!! That's what will be remembered. How much fun it was and not what presents were opened.

Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe!
dx's:  Fibro, 8th cranial nerve inflamation, MS.
meds.:  none at this time

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41819
   Posted 12/22/2008 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kerri,

I hope that you are able to have a wonderful Christmas. Remember the true meaning of Christmas. And how much pleasure you can get out of the simple things in life. Your children will understand that there isn't money now. Take them all to a soup kitchen or church to help the less fortunate. It might be the best Christmas ever.

Luv and hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 12/23/2008 3:48 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello Everyone,

Thank you all for your kind support.  I appreciate your encouragement and reassurrance.

I am surprised that I am letting lack of money bother me, especially when it comes to buying material goods for my children.  I preach and practice it all day long to my kids, about how life is not about stuff.  We are very frugal in my home, we help out charities, talk often about true poverty whenever my 10 year old feels short-changed for not having something his friends have (the latest was telling him of people in Haiti who are eating patties made out of dirt, butter and salt for dinner).  So, my deep down frustration really surprises me...and bothers me.

I guess it must be conditioning, after years of hearing about how # or cost of gifts = love (or having it implied every holiday season).  And, while I rebel against it, every year I feel this strange guilt, like my kids' christmas is going to be awful because I didn't get the big game system or because a few years ago we imposed a strict limit on the # gifts, after realizing that I worked more hours to pay for some gifts than my children spent playing with them.  I know how ridiculous this feeling of guilt is, yet it nags at me anyway devil

Heather, you are right, there is no shame in a small Christmas.  I hope you and your family have a good holiday.  You should feel proud that you are doing what you need to to care for your family.

Thank you again.  



"Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live."
Robert F. Kennedy 


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1279
   Posted 12/23/2008 7:38 AM (GMT -7)   

Kerri, this year was a very simple Christmas for me also and it turned out fine. We celebrated last weekend.

The weather has been "extreme" here in Minnesota also. Very cold, with 35 below wind chills. We have not had this cold of weather this time of year since I can remember. But to be without electricity is a whole other story! I have heard all about it on the news and talk about bad timing, right at the holidays. Mother nature can be cruel. Hope hubby is doing OK from his bad reaction. I am "that" allergic to cats also. My throat closes! I have almost been to the ER a few times in my lifetime. 

Please don't feel guilty about all of this- it sounds like you are a very generous person and want to give lots and lots! Just not this year-

Hope you and your family have a "nice" Christmas in spite of everything that has happened. Your in my thoughts-




Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, TMJ, Arthritis/neck, SAD
Zoloft, Tylenol 4000 mg., Darvocet  

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 844
   Posted 12/23/2008 4:17 PM (GMT -7)   
You all make me ashamed of myself. 
When I was married to my first husband and our kids were little we had rough times even at Christmas, but I'm an only child and my mom and dad would always pitch in and see that their only two grandsons had a great Christmas.
Since I married my dh 21 years ago I haven't had the financial worries that I did when we were young.
I just want to say I have learned a lot in my 60 years and one of them is about monetary values.  They mean less and less to me as the years go by.
I would give anything to be able to have my sons back home under my feet again.  Money can't buy happiness, so enjoy those little ones while you can and your love for them will last a lot longer than anything you could buy them for Christmas.
God Bless!
Of all the things that I have lost, I miss my mind the most!!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 12/24/2008 4:08 AM (GMT -7)   

my family literally dispensed with the presents last year- im 28 and my sister is 26 and my parents said, NO- we dont need anything, lets keep it simple. and its true, we dont need anything, so instead, we give the money we would spend on gifts to charity. im not going to lie, its not as fun when the xmas tree is bare underneath, but we as a society are so materialistic. we get presents for the kids in our family, but we keep it to a budget.

im from a blue collar family that was very careful with money as a kid, but our christmases were always great- mum would sew us dolls and dad would handcraft 'treasure chests' to keep our diaries and letters and journals in- they bought us gifts we could share, like books etc. i never felt we went without- my parents did the best they could and i love them for it.

Maz XX

            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, CFS, Fibromyalgia, TMJ disorder, Endometriosis, PCOD, Chronic E.N.T infections, Reactive Arthritis, GERD, Sinusitis, IBS,  Allergies, Glandular fever, Migraines, Anemia, Chemical/Noise/Light sensitivity, Trichotilomania, PTSD, Seasonal Mood  Disorder, OCD, Benign Vertigo,  Impaired immune system. Tachycardia, tinnitus, low clotting factor= bruising. Tendonitis, Bursitis.
Meds: Zoloft 150mg. Xanax 4mg. Celebrex. Mobic. Panadeine Forte. Digesic.
Multiple surgeries- I bear the scars of my poor physical health.
Age:28. First diagnosed at 14. Proud Aussie.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 12/24/2008 6:23 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey Kerri,

It is only natural that you feel frustrated that you can't buy your family all of the things you want. I would be the same way. I can only imagine your frustration. It sounds llike you are doing everything possible to make sure your family is together for this holiday, and ultimately that is the only thing you can control.

Good luck, I am sorry that this has happened to you at this time of year. Continue being a loving mom and wife, things will work out for the best if you continue to believe.

Fibro is a life sentence, but not a death sentence.
Fibro since 2005

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 12/24/2008 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
You are all really wonderful people.  I am so glad I found this website.  I want to thank you for sharing your stories and thoughts, they were all very touching.  :)
I'm feeling a little better than when I first posted.  Now that we are back in our home and we have some food in the fridge (had to throw all the food away after losing power) and have my shopping done, I feel much calmer and at peace.
My husband carved both kids 'magic wands' out of some of the wood that fell all over our yard from the storm.  They are really going to love those.  I found my 10 year old a used guitar on craigslist- it had literally been used once, then tossed in a closet so it looks brand new.  I am very excited about this gift, because he has been singing himself to sleep since he could talk and I believe he may be a natural musician.  My parents are giving him lessons for Christmas.  I have Kung Fu Panda for the two year old, who loves practicing karate with his dad (a martial arts instructor) and his 10 year old brother (almost a junior black belt).  I was able to trade in some old video games and get one on my son's list to Santa.  We have a tricycle for the little one.  Some other presents fill in around the edges.  All in all, what we did get will be enjoyed and appreciated. 
So, I feel better. 
I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday.  Thank you again.  wink



"Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live."
Robert F. Kennedy 


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 12/24/2008 10:56 PM (GMT -7)   

It sounds as if your children will have plenty of gifts. What I enjoyed most about Christmas was the magic. When my children were younger they liked the idea of secret gifts. Now, they just state what they want (usually whatever money I can give them). they are happy with 25.00. My eldest is thrilled to fly home for the holidays so airplane ticket help is appreciated.

I know I will have to wait until I have grandchildren to decorate and celebrate like I used to. Then, the party will be at their house lol


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 12/25/2008 10:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad to hear your Christmas will be a good one, even though you had such an ordeal, with the icestorm, chalk that up to "lessons learned" the hard way, and as you probably now realise, Life as celebrated by xmas, is more a blending and co-operation of spirits, and not bought at JC Penny's. I'm glad this reversal of attitude is shifting from a focus of how much you have to more one of how much you are. Thank-you for sharing your experience with us.

Hypothyroidism, Fibromyalgia, Facet Joint Syndrome, High Blood Pressure, menopause, Migraines, Chest Pain, Anxiety and Depression/BiPolar II
Synthyroid .075mg., estradiol.5 mgs., Amyltriptilene, 100mgs, bedtime, Tylenol 3 PRN (six-eight, daily), Valium 7.5mgs. daily prn. Flexeril, prn (not so helpful), Zoloft,150mgs., Zomig approx. 12 per month, prn., Meds for High Blood Pressure, vary.

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