Handling the Holidays with Chronic Illness

Below are the bullet points for the live webinar chat with the UnChargeables and Spoonies4Life community.

Preparation is KEY.   Whether you are cooking, cleaning, shopping or decorating- PREPARE as much as possible. 

1- Cleaning tips.

Delegate tasks!  Get everyone involved. The holidays are supposed to be a time of bonding.

If your kids are out of school on break- get them involved.

Space it out- Don’t try to do everything in one day! PACE YOURSELF.

Maybe make an incentive for them to earn some extra allowance money for helping clean up!

Put on some fun music and share the chores!

Hired help- cleaning services run specials around holidays. There are reputable companies that can come in and make your house spotless without you having to lift a finger!

2- Cooking tips.

Prepare as much as you can before hand. (Example- if you are cooking deviled eggs, boil them the night before and refrigerate. Do as much prep work as you can to save your spoons)

Again- Make a group event out of it. Get your loved ones involved! Create memories!  Teach your kids the family recipes!  Invite a friend over to help you prepare!

Organize!  Call up your guest list and see if they can bring a variety of items. As the hostess, you can make the main dish (turkey/ham/etc)    Let Uncle Bob bring his famous pecan pie….ask cousin Lou-Anne to bring the drinks. The holidays are about sharing!

3- Decorating Tips.

Less is more. Everything does NOT have to have a shiny blinking light on it.

Make an event out of it. Decorate with your loved ones. Put on some Christmas music, serve some cookies and create a wonderful memory.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

You don’t have to decorate your entire house in one day. Pace yourself.

Don’t pull all of your Christmas stuff out of the attic in a rush! Christmas is about enjoying the little things and your loved ones. Don’t go stand on a ladder in the cold hanging up lights by yourself. That is no fun and will exhaust you.

Save your spoons!

The Christmas season runs from the day after Thanksgiving until New Years Eve- You have time!

4- Christmas Shopping Tips.

Look at your online resources. Online shopping is a great way to save spoons!

Pinterest is the greatest cheat sheet ever. Your friends and family have pinned things to their boards that they like and want. You can purchase the perfect gift without ever leaving your home!

Gift cards- EVERYONE loves a gift card. (Example- If you know someone loves a certain restaurant, you can purchase a gift card for them)  You can order these without ever leaving your home.

5- Attending Social Events.

Remember- You can do anything- you can’t do everything.



You may be invited to many Christmas plays, parties, parades…etc- Your health may not permit you to attend everything. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT.  DO NOT FEEL GUILTY!

ENJOY the holidays- not ENDURE the holidays.

Christmas is about peace and love…….if you go to an event and you are sick and in pain you will not be at peace…..The people who truly love you will understand this.

Do not allow yourself to be put on a guilt trip!  Don’t take that vacation. Stay AWAY from the guilt trips.

You are not unreliable- your health is- that is NOT YOUR FAULT.

rely (2)

No guilt allowed.


If you do plan on going to an event – PACE YOURSELF.

The afternoon nap is a great way to refuel before an event.  If you can rest before you have to attend something, do so.

There is no shame in resting. Be gentle with yourself.

Focus on the joy of the season. Christmas is not about how many gifts you can buy or how many events you attend, it is about loving one another and celebrating peace and joy!

6- Random Tips.

I do not recommend black friday shopping for anyone with a chronic illness. Seriously, someone gets trampled and dies every single year. Just don’t do it.  Is it really worth all that hassle to save a few dollars? I don’t think so.  I am not getting up at 4am to stand in the cold and fight people other material items. Not worth it….

If you do not have family- reach out to your local community resources. Is there a local church or community center you could connect with?  There are always people searching for new friends!

Etsy is the greatest resource for unique gifts!   It is a website with handmade items. It has thousands of special gifts. You are supporting small business and individuals when you buy from this site too!        https://www.etsy.com/

Those of you who are having surgeries or procedures done around the holidays….be extra gentle with yourself. Christmas is about love and creating memories, you can still do that even if you are recovering.

Do not get in the mindset that all these holiday events are responsibilities you HAVE to perform. Rework your mindset to spend time with loved ones, because that is what the holidays are about.   At the end of our days you won’t be thinking about how many gifts you bought or how much food you prepared- you will think about the wonderful memories you created.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah!  Happy Kwanzaa!

Happy whatever you celebrate ❤


Just remember, the holidays are about creating memories. That is what matters.



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