Christmas blues

ginnierDecember 1, 2005

My mother is very blue these days. She cannot go out and shop and the catalogs are expensive. She is feeling like she cannot do Christmas. In the past she and dad really overdid on the gift giving, the bigger the pile around the tree, the better. Anybody have any wonderful ideas on how I can console her??? At this point, I have her convinced to give everyone a few new and crisp $20 bills. But that was this afternoon. The next time I'm there she'll fret and cry like a spoiled child that she cannot have her way. I think in reality, she's thinking what are we going to do all afternoon if we don't open presents???? Sad, huh? We will just yak and eat the afternoon away, but she'll feel like she's let everyone down since SHE won't have gifts for US but we will have a few things for her. DH and I have started the tradition with our boys that we spend the morning at the mission preparing meals for noon deliveries. So we don't arrive at my mom's til after 11 a.m. We are usually tired and stink of turkey and dressing and we also aren't the least bit hungry. So I guess I better set in motion a plan to eat late or light, whichever works... What do you guys do all day with these older folks that watch and want to be involved, but they only have stamina for a little celebration????

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Have you ever done a Yankee Swap?

Basic rules are that everyone brings a wrapped gift of a certain price---you can set themes (joke gifts), restrictions (no booze), edibles, whatever works for you. All gifts are placed under the tree, on a coffee table, etc. You decide the order in which people are going to choose gifts (numbered slips of papers in a hat, seating order around the room, whatever.) First person chooses and opens a gift. Next person does likewise, and can either keep the gift they chose, or trade it for any one that has been opened previously by someone else.

There are usually one or two great gifts that everyone keeps stealing away from others, as well as a real dog or two that someone gets stuck with. It's lots of fun, highly interactive, and can really while away some time, depending on how many people are involved. Kids love it (but some may have a problem giving up something they really want :o)


Brief introduction - I'm not a caregiver. My 83-year-old Mom (many health issues, some dementia) is living in a nursing home in VA 15 minutes from my brother (I'm in MA.) I have learned so much from all of you that has made it easier to deal with her mental problems and make all of our lives a bit easier. So much insight and kindness and acceptance here. You are all AMAZING!


    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 11:53AM
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:) if she's really, really housebound, then maybe bring christmas to her?

bake and decorate cookies.

make ornaments out of colored paper, sequins, metallic yarn, and last year's christmas cards.

send christmas cards to everyone, and make a production out of it. use nice pens, add stickers, or include a recipe card, or a photo or two.

my mom's only 76, but that's how christmas USED to be for her, and I think she's kind of enjoying getting back to that (none of us have kids, so she wraps cat toys and doggie treats for the fur-kin) not to mention that she's gotten into scrap-booking and photo albums since poppa died, and it's a good way for her to pass the time.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 12:24PM
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Hi Susan! Christmas for us isn't going overboard, we have a limit for the kids of 50.00, so if i shop wisely, they can get alot, if they ask for something huge, they don't get alot -lol. we spend Christmas as a religous holiday and not a day for gifts. one thing that we do is a family jig-saw puzzleand play scrabble(oiur fav. game). when the kids were smaller i would have a few crafts to do, or we go out and rent a movie, we eat supper at supper time (6pm). i know it's hard for you in your situation, but for us we're happy that the 4 of us are together. when the kids were little, they didn't want to leave home on Christmas Day because we would go to relatives, and being the mean person i was, i said it was easier for 1 person to get ready to go to our house than 4 of us, so supper would be at our house, either you came or you didn't, my kids hated adults talking and having to watch football over kids shows, but then again everyone is different. we also used to do a craft a day, now that the kids are older it seems like it's a craft every 3-4 days, but they still love doing it. i'm sure over the next few days more people will give you more and more ideas here. debbie

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 2:48PM
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I knew the momentum would build as we get closer to Christmas Day. Mom said she wanted to go Christmas shopping tomorrow, "I just have to have some boxes under the Christmas tree!!!" I am hoping that she'll sit in the car and let me run in to the stores and get a few things...she'll be exhausted and overwhelmed otherwise. We will see. She's a very determined woman! Thanks for all your ideas...I like the idea of doing cookies etc at their place.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 11:05AM
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