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How do you handle Christmas?
Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2016 6:05 PM
Joined: 4/6/2016
Posts: 344

My husband is home but sliding quickly.  Sometimes he is fine, other times he doesn't recognize time or space.  Thanksgiving went well until the guests left.  He then was extremely confused about when and where we were.  This morning he commented on how nice Christmas had been the other day.  If I could I might just skip Christmas all together.  Just another day.  Unfortunately I probably can't easily do that this year.  Just curious how others handle the holidays.  Thanks in ad Ave for your thoughts and perspectives


Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2016 6:58 PM
Joined: 2/29/2016
Posts: 1265

It sounds like your Thanksgiving experience was similar to ours. Thanksgiving and the next day went well, and Mom seemed to enjoy the company, but since  the extended family visitors left, she has been more agitated and moody.

My niece and I did put  up Mom's Christmas tree. I have given my siblings to understand that I cannot be responsible for preparing and hosting a family dinner if I am taking sole care of a nonambulatory invalid (home health aide off for holiday weekend). This means they will likely have dinner elsewhere with one another. If that is the  case, I will likely treat it as just another day. I have already decided that I am not running around buying gifts 'from Grandma' for my young adult nieces. I really cannot to,erase the thought of putting up a tree and decorating my own house; my significant other will not be happy with this.

Honestly, do whatever is best for your mental health.  Have a low-key celebration if that would be something you would enjoy.  While a Norman Rockwell Christmas might seem appealing, a large, loud, boisterous celebration might be counter-productive for your husband's well-being. Make sure your family understands the medical reasons for not having a big party. If you don't want to do anything, don't feel guilty.

Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2016 7:21 PM
Joined: 1/11/2016
Posts: 548

My mom always had us all over to her house for dinner and gifts on Christmas Eve. As her memory began to slide, I would go early and cook with her, then we all brought dishes, but it was still at her house. The past few years, my daughters have taken turns hosting. This year we are not doing Christmas Eve with everyone (it is about 50 people). Instead I am doing a few smaller dinners with different parts of the family. This way mom won't be as overwhelmed. I think you just do what is manageable for you guys.
Posted: Monday, November 28, 2016 12:54 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 3977

In 2014 I sensed this might be my mother's last Christmas.  It was a holiday she loved, so I decided to buy her lots and lots of gifts and put them in gift bags she could manage to open.  On Christmas day, she was excited and loved opening those gifts. It didn't really matter what they were, it was just having lots of things to open. Afterwards  I had a hard time coaxing her to the dining table as she was eating so little in those days, but I told her she was the "Guest of honor" and that worked and she ate a little.  Afterwards, she was exhausted and slept. I don't think she remembered any of the gifts, but that didn't matter. It was all about making her happy in the moment. She died that May, but I will never regret giving her a special last Christmas.