Last December I talked about volunteers who saved my Christmas. Even with their help, I found that Christmas was stressful because a stroke took away my ability to push through my fatigue. Unfortunately I've accumulated two large boxes of Christmas decorations over the years. When I realized how exhausted putting up Christmas decorations made me I no longer felt an attachment to some of them. Last year instead of packing and repacking to get every item back in my crowded boxes, I set aside nice items for my church's spring sale that I no longer want. I got to raise money for charity and send nice decorations to families that I hope will love them.
I kept items: 1) that are handmade like Santa made from a mop (photo on left), 2) that remind me of a happy memory like sledding with my brothers (photo on right), or 3) can be arranged in a tableau like the reindeer (photo below).
Stroke suvivors and caregivers aren't the only people who need to let go. A December workshop at my church is called "Simplify the Holidays." The flyer says " Do you find the holidays are filled with shoulds and to-do lists? Are you struggling with maintaining old traditions that no longer have meaning in your family life?" The choices I made last Christmas made the current holiday more enjoyable.