I love Christmas. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say it’s my favorite time of year. I love the excitement, the beauty, and especially the meaning….but it IS a lot of work.
The reason I did not write a blog last week is that I was busy decorating for Christmas. You see, I must have about 2o tubs of Christmas decorations. I have stuff for the inside and stuff for the outside and although it takes a long time and my poor arthritic joints are crying the blues, I enjoy every minute of decorating. However, now it’s a bit more challenging to get all that decorating done and it takes twice as long as it used to do.
Once upon a time, I used to get all my decorating done the day after Thanksgiving. I would start early in the morning and keep at it till it was all done. Now, I always have the first three hours of any day devoted to Lynn’s morning routine of hygiene, toileting, and exercise. Then he rests in bed for 30-60 minutes depending on how restless his legs become. During that time I eat breakfast and start cooking whatever is in low supply for his diet. Then I get him up, connect him to his peddler, work to get him comfortable, and head back to the kitchen to finish cooking. Shortly after this he’s ready to eat breakfast. All and all I usually start being able to decorate about 2-3:00 p.m.
Though he really does try not to bother me too often, on average I get a “call” from him every 45 minutes to an hour. When I answer the call, I’m usually involved with him from 15-20 minutes depending on what he can think to ask me to do. (He stores up his requests so that he won’t bother me as often).
On advantage to decorating now is that once Lynn goes to his room after his morning exercise, he does not venture out again till the next day. Therefore, I can spread out whatever I’m using as much as I need to do. I don’t have to worry about him running over debris with his wheelchair or moving things to where I can’t find them. All decisions related to how or what I decorate are totally mine. His participation is very limited.
While Lynn has never been one to go all out and decorate like I do, he has always enjoyed the season’s festivities as well. We both were involved in choir at church and so we had rehearsals and get-togethers we enjoyed as we prepared for the Christmas cantata. There were The basic unit in society traditionally consisted of two parents and their children but the family has now been expanded to include any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family. More and friend get-togethers where we socialized with those we may not have seen all year. And Lynn loved to cook. He loved to invite family and friends over and provided them a feast.
Now all that has changed.
Lynn still wants to have family and friends over for get-togethers but now I do all the cooking (and I’m not a gourmet cook like he was; nor do I especially like the challenge of cooking for a group). If we have people in, I have to split my time between making sure all the food is prepared and everything is available and running smoothly and taking care of Lynn’s needs. I get to do very little socializing. I stay near Lynn all the time; watching for signs of fatigue or getting overheated. We often have to excuse ourselves so he can bet cathed. He doesn’t like to be fed in front of others so I get him finger foods to nibble on and later I feed him something when he goes back to his room. All too often he feels miserable when others are having fun and that becomes very depressing when it happens so often.
But there is one bright spot for him that he always looks forward to. Lynn always “cheats” on his diet at holidays and gets a big slice of cheesecake. He loves cheesecake and he looks forward to it with excitement every holiday. Somehow that slice of cheesecake seems to make it all worth while.
Even with all the challenges and disappointments, Christmas is a special time of joy, love, and sharing. It’s more difficult than it used to be, true; but it has never lost that special place in our hearts. We still recognize the meaning of Christmas as a time of newness and birth. Christ’s arrival brought hope and promise of a better tomorrow. It was a time of celebration and love. It’s still that for us. It’s a time of joy, remembering that there are possibilities of a better tomorrow in the year ahead. There is the love of family and friends which is renewed when we gather together. There is the promise that thought we struggle with Lynn’s condition each day, there will come a time when we join Jesus in heaven and Lynn will walk again without any fatigue or stiffness and with lots of energy and strength. It’s no wonder I like Christmas.