Christmas is a time for thinking of others, lending a hand, coming together…well it should be, right. For most it’s about hours of shopping for gifts, battling for who’s hosting christmas lunch, juggling work with kids on school holidays and that last crazy few hours on Christmas Eve wrapping gifts and wrangling sticky tape.
But what about those families doing it tough?
The ones where the shine of Christmas is gone and instead their days are filled with chemo, medications, sleeping and guilt. Yeah I’m talking about the ones who are struggling with illness like cancer. Of course I relate my writing to cancer treatment because I had to bloody live it when cancer decided to set up camp in my body, but feel free to relate this post to other things like the bereaved, separated, divorced, orphaned, jobless…the list goes on but I’m sure you get the picture.
Chemo and Christmas just suck, there’s two words that just shouldn’t go together but for many they do. I lived through a ‘Chemo Christmas’ and for me the burden of ‘mother guilt’ was a load hard to carry.
Because of me my children’s lives were changed forever and gone was the mum who was organised, jolly and bright instead she was replaced with a barely recognisable woman who lacked energy, lacked spark and even lacked any colour in her skin and eyes. Christmas shopping was a tough gig and putting up the tree was left to others. I still managed to wrap the gifts and make a trifle because I had to. Here’s the thing…this is a time of year when the sick can really do with an extra hand, especially if they have children.
So what can you do for a family you know who are in crisis this Christmas? Plenty, but if everyone did a little then the load would be lessened and the true spirit of Christmas would shine.
.Offer to take your loved one Christmas shopping and if they aren’t up to it offer to help make a list and do the shopping for them.
.Offer to pick up lay-bys and check in to see if they need parcels picked up from the post office, online shopping is awesome but if you aren’t up to driving it can be a challenge getting the gifts to your door.
.Offer to put up and trim the tree.
.Clean the barbeque in readiness for summer fun and don’t forget to fill the gas bottle..
.Mow the lawns, trim the bushes and maybe plant a few cheery annuals. This will give the man of the house a much needed reprieve and time to spend with the family.
.Give the entertaining area a tidy up and maybe add a few new outdoor cushions.
.Spend an afternoon helping to wrap gifts and write cards, and offer to post those that need a trip to the post office.
.Offer to come around and set the Xmas table. Polish the glasses, lay the crackers and add some pretty flowers.
.Offer to take the kids for an afternoon here and there or maybe a sleepover, having kids home on holidays is lovely but when you are laid up it’s a reminder that you aren’t able to give them what they need.
.Bake some extra goodies for those hungry kids home on holidays, we all know they eat triple their weight when they are on holidays.
. While you are at it make some festive baked goodies that your loved one can offer visitors when they pop in.
There you have it just a few feel good festive things you can do to help lighten the load and warm the heart…theirs and yours.
Being in crisis at Christmas gives one great perspective, gratitude is king…even for the smallest things. So sing out, make the call, pop over and make a difference this Christmas.