November 2, 2015

Volunteers Save My Christmas

You may think I am crazy to decorate a Christmas tree after a stroke.  My siblings and I never fought when we decorated the tree.  As I relive those memories I become peaceful.  My mother is no longer here to play Christmas carols on the piano so I play Christmas CDs.  The tree also makes me feel peaceful every night for two months.  I sit on the couch, turn off the light on the end table, and become mesmerized by the lights on the tree. 

A friend puts this tree together.  I cannot ask John to put up a real tree because that would violate the "even my husband would groan" rule.  Transporting a real tree, trimming the trunk so it fits in the tree stand, and using trial and error to get the tree perfectly vertical is a lot of work.  I live alone so I cannot get down on the floor to water a real tree anyway.  It takes John 10 minutes to get the tree out of my shed and snap the four pieces together.  I do not get that great pine smell, but I do not have to vacuum up the needles a tree drops as you drag it out of the house.

Caution: Leaning over to hang decorations is a fall hazard.
The photo above has no furniture.  I slide an upholstered chair out of my way with Moving Men (see arrow pointing at orange disc).  My friend Peggy put them under the chair.  I leave them there all year long instead of putting them away after Christmas.  A TV stand on the other side of the tree has rollers so it slides out of my way.  This gives me room to stand up straight to decorate the top half of the tree and sit on a chair to decorate the bottom half.  When I am done I slide the furniture back in place.

9 comments:

  1. Beautiful. I was home from the hospital days before Christmas last year. We bought a tiny fake tree before surgery so that it would be festive with little work when we got home. We had asked friends and family to send ornaments instead of flowers. We ended up leaving the tree up till July. It was such a bright hopeful reminder...I couldn't part with it. Now I can hardly wait to put it back up. The magic of Christmas is here!! :)

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  2. Great therapy too! I can't wait to put our tree up too. I'm doing better then last year so I am looking forward to helping my family this year. Have a great week!

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  3. Looks good, Rebecca! I passed some table centerpiece wreaths yesterday at Trader Joe's for $5.99. They were made from real pine branches and gave off that great pine scent. Maybe that's all you need to complete the experience. Merry Christmas!

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  4. Beautiful tree. I, too love leaning on old Christmas memories. John & Peg are good friends.

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  5. I used to be a little scornful of fake Christmas trees. Not anymore...!

    Merry Christmas!

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  6. You have great friends and your tree is lovely. I am going to look for those "moving men" at the store.

    I am very Christmas crazy and fight to keep up our traditions. I tried to give up a few traditions and a lot of work that first Christmas but the daughters really stepped up and helped. We all grew with that experience.

    Frankly.. holiday planning was a real hot button with me and became a big part of my appointments with my occupational therapist, the dietician and the social worker that year. It helped a lot.

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  7. Christmas decorating and baking is an important way to regain our lives. Linda I'm so glad you enlisted your therapists' help in preserving a family tradition.

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  8. Last year I swore we'd have a tabletop tree this year. I even sorted and packed the ornaments into 3 boxes: Millie, Brian and ours. Simplify, simplify. But this year, I talked Tom into a real tree (he'd prefer no tree at all), and we picked out a "small" one that I hadn't kept enough ornaments for. Tom to the rescue with a box of ornaments that hasn't been part of last year's

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  9. ... Sorting. I did my best with the angel on top, but when our daughter visited, she looked at the tree, said, "no," and put

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