Christmas is a wonderful time of year; full of fun, excitement, and family gatherings. For weeks beforehand, I spend time decorating, planning, anticipating the good times, and envisioning the perfect holiday. Like so many dreams, the reality is rarely the picture-perfect vision that I have in my head. That is particularly true now that MS is part of our lives.
Lynn and I have three big family get-togethers at Christmas—my parents and siblings come the week before Christmas, our kids come on Christmas Eve, and his family comes on Christmas day. Each is a wonderful time of creating memories and eating way too much food. Even though these times are lots of fun, they are also very challenging.
Holiday celebrations are always held at our house since Lynn’s wheelchair cannot enter anyone else’s house in the family. Even though we often order pizza or one of the other family members will do the cooking, there is still a lot of preparation required to host a gathering. Everything takes more planning, more time, and great flexibility if you’re hosting the party at your house. There’s the need to buy and prepare some, if not all, of the food, clean the house, and decorate (or make everything look festive). When everyone gets there, you help make your guests comfortable, assist those who need to heat up items or put out food to do so, make sure everyone has what they need to eat the feast (the fun part), clean up afterward, and put everything back into its original place. Even if you and your family members are healthy, it’s tiring to host a party at your own house. If someone in your family is not healthy, then it’s exhausting.