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Surviving the Christmas Period with a Stoma

So, Christmas is fast approaching and let’s be honest apart from Easter this is the only other time of year that you can get away with eating your actual body weight in food without feeling guilty until the New Year kicks in with the ‘New Year, New Me’ air quotes.

So how do I survive Christmas and not get stressed out over the one day of the year that can potentially put families into a fair amount of debt or be the breaking point for families that may not be able to afford the Christmas period at all…

How do I get through it?

Anyone who says Christmas is full of light and joy have obviously never had one of my family Christmas’. Christmas is an extremely stressful time of year. Day in and days out of shenanigans to keep the children entertained and in the Christmas spirit.

Then there is the Christmas present list. The fear of getting someone something ‘off the cuff’ that they don’t like or the ‘it looks like this one got more than the other’ even though you have strict budgets in place.

Not to mention who’s going to whose and which day and so forth.

I love Christmas but thanks to having Crohn’s disease and many surgeries over the years I am normally admitted several days after Boxing Day because the stress has made me ill. Oh the irony, the happiest time of year lands me on a free NHS stay.

Thankfully the last 4 years have completely changed once I took charge and stopped stressing about the big things.

How do I prepare for Christmas?

I save for Christmas. I put away £40 a month matched by my partner so come November we can purchase everyone’s presents via the sales and get family members a better Christmas present for the proposed budget for each person.

My daughter comes from a split family, so I have to deal with two Christmas lists. The one for Mummy and Benny and the other for her Father. Thankfully my daughter is now at the age where books and Harry Potter are the only things in life, so they are easier to acquire. Won’t mention the year we got told on the 22nd of December one could not procure a Hatchimal and that’s all she had asked Father Christmas for. We provided after spending about 12 hrs stalking eBay and nearly going grey-haired in the process.

Pre-book family days out. Sounds like madness, right? Coming from a family with numerous nieces and nephews it is cheaper to pre-book seeing Father Christmas plus it means I only have to put up the barrage of screaming children for that one time. Nothing raises my stress levels than huge populations of people that seem to forget their manners and pushing people or barging into children is perfectly acceptable!?

Book a day that’s just for you. Each year we do two Father Christmas Visits. One for Nanny and one that’s just our family unit. This year we have booked the Spa Valley railway as it’s like the Harry Potter train so added bonus points for us this year.

It’s the little things that count, Christmas craft kits from The Works or even Poundland for the children are an inexpensive way of making memories and they appreciate the time spent rather than the big grand gestures. We make tree decorations together and always do handmade Christmas presents for the teachers which are candy canes melted into hearts and filled with white chocolate with snowflake sprinkles.

If you’re not seeing your family over the day of festivities then arrange a mutual evening for Christmas present drop-offs or have a small Christmas Eve party so the kids can spend time together without the guilt of missing out on each families prospective Christmas meals.

Christmas is effectively about spending time together. Kids remember the time spent, the way mum & dad decorated the tree. The Christmas presents will soon long be forgotten along with the Hatchimal bird minus a wing sitting in the bottom of the toy box.

Many thanks for reading

Louise X

Louise uses our Platinum with Vitamin E range to keep her stoma site healthy. Try a sample here.

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