Tag Archives: Christmas

S’Magical…

Christmas CtI am one present away from completing my Christmas shopping.

Before you start pelting me with mince pies (or Terry’s Chocolate Oranges – yes please), I can explain, honestly.

Organising Christmas for the last couple of years has been a bit of a nightmare, so this year I was determined to be calm, cool and collected.

I drew up lists, scoured the internet then decided it’d be far easier just to give everyone a onesie. Present list – big tick. The Teenager could have a Superman one, The Boss could have a Homer Simpson one and I’m guessing they make them for cats now too.

After running the idea past The Teenager (who looked at me in horror, told me he wouldn’t be seen dead in an oversized babygro and turned his music up even louder) it was back to the drawing board.

So now I have a whole stack of carefully-chosen presents, reams of wrapping paper, ribbon and gift tags. All waiting for that advert-inspired magical evening where I will settle myself down with a glass of mulled wine, Christmas carols playing in the soft-focus background and fight with the sticky tape and try to catch the cat when she runs off with the ribbon.

The internet has been a blessing, although I’m not sure my postman sees it that way, as he struggles up the path day after day. I’ve ordered everything from it – right down to a reel of invisible thread to hang my home-made stars with. Yup, getting the shopping out the way has given me time to pick up my glue gun. I’m going to get crafty this year. My Christmas wreath was a bit of a disaster (Pinterest made it look so easy, bah), but you can’t go wrong with stars. Can you?

So this year I won’t be barging my way through crowds. I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I’d slip unnoticed to the ground, trampled by hordes of eager shoppers poking each other in the eye with jumbo rolls of wrapping paper.

For people with MS, Christmas is a society-endorsed period of doing what I am an expert at – dozing off on the sofa in front of rubbish telly – and I intend to make the most of it.

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Back to life, back to reality

Christmas and New Year are well and truly over and it’s back to work today. I am torn. Part of me is excited and full of plans for the year ahead, yet  part of me will miss the lovely unreality of the last few weeks. After a truly terrible year, it was a chance to kick back, relax and recover.

Aside from celebrating Christmas, catching up with friends and family and all the usual over-indulgence, Christmas is an excellent excuse for suspending real life. Normal routine is put on hold and I could say, ‘oh, I’ll do that next year’. Well, now it is next year and reality is breathing down my neck. Even though I worked between Christmas and New Year, it felt different, as there were still ongoing celebrations to look forward to.

Christmas time cushioned me in magical possibilities. Dreams can come true and weird and wonderful plans were discussed late into the night, the Christmas lights twinkling softly in the background. I will be taking them down in the next day or so and will miss them and all my lovely decorations. Oh, and the chocolate coins and Christmas cake. I will miss the sense of expectation in the air. Stripped of the Christmas trappings, life comes back into sharp focus once more.

Anyway, I guess it’s time to concentrate on the here and now. The Teenager comes back from London on Saturday and normal routine will definitely be back with a rude bang – the schoolwork, the laundry, the rugby matches, the grunts, the mysteriously vanishing food. My final year at University starts in February and I will be knee-deep in study notes, essays and books.

Does anyone else find January a dreary and grey month? The only thing to look forward to is Valentines Day. If you have a partner. Which I don’t. I was joking with a friend the other day about how hard it would be to find a new man in my situation. If it was tricky enough before being diagnosed with MS – 30-something, divorced, single mother – imagine my lonely hearts advert now: 30-something, divorced, single mother and oh, by the way I have MS. I mean, what are the chances?

 

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Excess All Areas

I have had an excellent Christmas. It may be getting harder to squeeze into my jeans, but you can’t go to a family get together and suck on celery sticks, can you? I have eaten thousands and thousands of calories over the last few days and have enjoyed every single one of them.

The Teenager rolled up his sleeves and helped serve Christmas lunch to forty-odd pensioners on Christmas Day, bless him. He was a bit shy to start with, but got into his stride and was soon happily scooting round, doling out roast potatoes, slices of turkey and carrots. Everyone agreed that he was ‘a very nice young man, very nice, and ooh, so tall, what was I feeding him, Baby Bio?’

There was only one awkward moment. We all had to gather in the hall and sing along to carols. A woman went round with a box full of musical instruments and feeling very Christmassy, I grabbed a couple of plastic maracas and enthusiastically shook them along to ‘Jingle Bells’. Unfortunately, I was still shaking them in tune to the next carol, the sombre  ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’  and The Teenager was mortified.

On Boxing Day, I went out for the newspapers early and had to pick up some wine for a party later on. Believe me, it’s very embarrassing paying for two bottles of wine at 8am when everyone behind me in the queue is buying satsumas and milk. Especially when my hands are playing up again and the wine bottles rattled in my bag as if I was having tremors from alcohol withdrawal.

Anyway, MS-wise, I’ve been more tired than usual and have spent endless  hours lolling around on the sofa, wrapped in a duvet. My feet have been buzzing more and the foot drop is driving me mad. I also had a spectacular argument with my bookcase. The bookcase won and my upper arm is covered in a violent purple bruise and throbs incessantly.

Apart from that, I am looking forward to more days of too much of everything. I have two very large boxes of chocolates that I feel compelled to eat and a bag of Twiglets in the cupboard, just in case. What more could I possibly need?

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What I Want For Christmas

Well, here we are…..Christmas Eve already. How did that happen? Seems I’ve been snoozing the time away, but at least the presents are wrapped, the fridge is stocked with wine and there’s enough chocolate in the house to graze (gorge myself) on over the festive period. The advent calendar has been disemboweled and is on its way to the recycling bin.

I have finished my massive house clean. The house is aired and the dead mouse which has been lying outside my back door for weeks has finally been laid to rest in the compost. I have three days of fun and frolics lined up before The Teenager visits his dad the day after Boxing Day. Where though, can I find some extra energy? I am so, so tired. Exhausted. All I want for Christmas is energy.

MS and Christmas is a double-edged sword. It’s great that it becomes socially acceptable, almost mandatory, to have a little kip in the afternoon, wine glass in hand, paper hat askew,  but the run of get togethers, one after the other can be hard. I’m turning into a tired and crabby old Grinch.

Anyway, enough whingeing. I’m just about to programme the Sky planner, filling it up with Gone With The Wind, Miranda, Downton and all the other usual suspects. My sparkly top for Christmas Day is hanging in my wardrobe, I’m resigned to wearing flat shoes and I think we’re pretty much ready for Christmas. I don’t plan on doing anything more strenuous than choosing what to eat next, which Quality Street to snaffle and reading out bad jokes from crackers.

I wish you all a fantastic Christmas. Thank you so much for your comments over the last few months – I love receiving them. On Christmas Day and Boxing Day I will be choosing some of my favourite posts, kind of like a top ten countdown, in true Christmas fashion. Cheers and have a good one! x

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Eat, Don’t Eat

Do you know what really, really annoys me about Christmas time?  We’re encouraged to fill our faces, over-indulge, drink too much, inhale whole tins of Roses and slump on the sofa all day long. Which is lovely. I don’t need an excuse at all. But isn’t it so annoying to pick up the newspaper on Boxing Day only be told off for our over-excess and shouldn’t we think about dieting? Make your mind up.

I am loving this week before the Big Day. My social diary is full, I’m catching up with my long-neglected friends and the usual timetable is suspended. There’s expectation in the air. We’ve reached the fag-end of the year and it’s time to reflect and move forward, fueled by chocolate and mince pies. Come the weekend, it will be totally acceptable to have a glass or two of mulled wine in the afternoon, and if I feel like dropping off in front of the telly, I can. Then I’ll pour myself a Bailey’s  – only at Christmas – and decide what else to stuff my face with.

Boxing Day will bring me back to earth with a thud. Magazines and newspapers flood into the newsagents, full of diets, rebukes and remorse. My local gym will hang banners up chiding me for my gluttony, offering me a free towel if I’m one of the first 50 to sign up for membership. Can’t we just enjoy a week or two of sheer indulgence without the shame afterwards?

It’s exactly the same every year. It’s just like the holiday adverts that pop up on telly. We’re deep in the middle of Christmas, we don’t want to be thinking about booking our next holiday. We’re praying for a little bit of snow. Can’t you wait until mid-January? Christmas isn’t over yet. I just want a chance to relax and enjoy myself.

I still haven’t lost the weight I put on with the steroids I took for three different MS relapses, so give me a break. If I want to buy a Family Circle box of biscuits and eat them all by myself while watching The Sound of Music for the 27th time, I will. I can blame MS. It’s a great excuse.

 

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