Saturday, 3 December 2011


I love Christmas and usually start planning on the 1st of December – no Christmas carols or songs are played before the 1st of December in my house!  Usually it’s a start of frantic pace of life where I am making Christmas cards, Christmas boxes, fmeeting friends, out for evening dinks, spending many days looking for the perfect presents, nice treats and then very late in the day wrapping up and posting.   I am not one for buying expensive presents and I love scouring the second-hand shops for the perfect thing or shops where I can buy something quirky – I don’t always get it right but I do so love to give as to receive. However, this year I have almost done most of my Christmas present shopping on-line and have got most of what I want (and yes not all presents have come as expected them to either!) but I am missing the trips into the shops and drinking in that excitement as Christmas approaches – yes even that tinned Christmas music playing in the shops – it’s all part of the build-up, such as putting up the Christmas decorations and tree, and I have already missed some Christmas meet ups - as the season progresses it then starts to get more spiritual for me. 

No more online shopping now as need to calm down until next pay day – you can still get addicted to shopping or bidding on – line and the Google minute is really an hour at least!!

I had to go to town this week two days after my chemo to do a couple of things while I felt up to it, and I learnt a new medical term while doing this – "chemo-brained"!  – while enjoying the Christmas lights, worrying about my overdraft, I went to the cash machine, took my card, but also walked away and left my money behind!  Much to my son’s disgust instead of buying him chocolate spread I got him coconut chocolate spread instead, I keep forgetting where my glasses are, and concentration is a problem too.  Yes it’s actually a proper medical term and has been medically proved and can be a consequence of undertaking chemo – mind you I know other people who have this problem and they are not undergoing chemo!

When I first started writing this particular blog I thought that this year might be more reflective, slower, and calmer but while lying in bed listening to my son do a DJ mix and thinking about me bopping around to 80’s music around my kitchen the night before, I thought no perhaps not after all!  Nothing will stop a 13 year’s old excitement as Christmas gets nearer!  I do feel a bit sorry for my son for this Christmas will be very different for him this year and we are both apprehensive on how it’s going to be.  However, I have promised myself I am still going to enjoy the Christmas; I may not be able to go shopping much, make a carol service, get to Midnight Mass or go to many Christmas celebrations, or meet up with as many people as I like, but then that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy that Christmas feeling even if I am ill it just may be a little harder to capture it.  I know that my chemo reactions are going to kick in on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day but I am going to make the effort even for a couple of hours to join in family fun on these days – but am not making any promises!  I may not indulge as much as I usually do (which is probably not a bad thing) and I will probably be sleeping a lot over the three days but I am going to try and put everything behind me and create and be a part of the love and fun as I can be.
I am going to work around Christmas this year, but making no firm plans to do anything!  As my last chemo (a great Christmas present) is on the 21st of December – a friend has offered to cook Christmas dinner the weekend before, with crackers and everything, so I don’t miss out on this and then even offered to make me a turkey soup for Christmas Day!  I should be better for New Year and then my son and I both have our birthdays at the end of January so perhaps we can have more of a celebration then?  

The thing is that I am actually in a more reflective mood because I am thinking about Christmas rather than just getting on with it and when my son is in school this week I will spend a bit more time being reflective about Christmas this year – not wallowing feeling sorry for myself – but more about the things that make me happy and when I start to recover from treatment how next year I can make some changes for the better for both me and my son.  It is not unusual for most people to start thinking this way around the New Year starts but with everything that has gone on this year and the treatment and recovery I still need to face there is a way to go.
 I was sent the below by email recently and it exactly explains the way I feel at this moment in time and I think it is quite beautiful for everyone.

"May today there be peace within? May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be?  May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others?  May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you?  May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us."

Because I really believe Christmas is about love, happiness and celebration and for those that can, should pass this on to those less fortunate.  Many of us want the perfect Christmas but sadly find it lacking in some way – it may be the commercialism of it all, the lack of spiritual awareness, or disbelief, and some find Christmas the hardest part of the year for them if they are lonely, poor, depressed and ill but if we can reach out to some of these people over Christmas and pass on the love we would feel much better for it.  So yes it may be a little bit too early yet but I am starting to get that warm fuzzy feeling …..

So as you approach this Christmas season, I hope you all enjoy your preparations in one way or another without getting too stressed!

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