wings and things

Un-planning Christmas

on November 17, 2014

Somebody said to me the other day, “Surely, you’ll bring Anthony home for Christmas,” and I felt sad as I tried to explain how this might not be possible.

I have spent a lot of hours on the weekend and tonight looking back on my blog posts to try and find the last date that I brought Anthony home and I think it was March 16, this year, which makes it almost exactly eight months.

So, on Christmas Day, Ming and I will open our presents to each other in the early morning, and then we will meet my mother at noon so that we can have Christmas lunch with Anthony at the nursing home. Or maybe not!


41 responses to “Un-planning Christmas

  1. I love the idea of “un planning”. Why not do whatever makes the most sense for Anthony and you and Ming and your Mom? Christmas is about the love. Not the location.

  2. ingridrick says:

    Do whatever is the most practical and you know what … I don’t think Anthony would appreciate being taken out as it would be so difficult for him that would detract from the pleasure for all including himself.

  3. Vicki says:

    Where you have Christmas is irrelevant.

    Who you spend Christmas with is what’s important. And whether it be Christmas Eve, Christmas morning or Christmas afternoon …….or evening. It still doesn’t matter. It’s not about Christmas for that matter.

    Spending time with loved ones is important any day of the year and I’ll know that when the 25th comes around, you’ll all treasure family time just like you do every day of every year. Vicki x

  4. Julie.. the situation and Anthony’s health doesn’t change just because it’s Christmas. I would do of course what you want, but to make it a pleasant day to remember, I’d just have it with him at the nursing home. If you feel like decorating his room etc. do that but don’t stress.. and whoever said that.. I’d personally like to say… “gee I wasn’t thinking of that, but why don’t we make arrangements to have it at your place”…. … Diane

  5. As so many others have wisely counseled, you should follow your heart, Julie. As long as you guys are together, it matters not a whit where, and YOU know the situation and Anthony’s comfort level better than anyone.

  6. I think that your new traditions are just what Santa ordered for you. Hugs Jules 🙂

  7. cecilia says:

    We all adjust, some of us even have christmas completely alone some years and with piles of people other years nd lost and far from home other years. Or not. It will be lovely no matter what. The WHERE matters the least. You will make it lovely wherever you are I am sure. That is how you are. c

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thanks for this vote of confidence, Cecilia – I have been getting a bit of peer pressure from people who have never tried to lift Ants from chair to toilet and vice-versa – they have no idea!

  8. Christmas is like everyday, a day to take good care of you, your heart and those you love — however that unfolds. And always, you move through grace and compassion. Such a beautiful heartfelt way to allow what is to be the present you give to everyone around you. You shine Julie.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Good advice – I stopped myself from thinking I had to please others by ‘delivering’ Ants home to the farm (like an exhibit!) and will now go with what I think is best.

  9. susanpoozan says:

    You do what is best for you.

  10. I wholeheartedly agree with the other comments. One of my saddest memories was the year we took my mom to my cousin’s house; she became completely disoriented upon our return to the nursing home. She was frightened, insisting she didn’t live there (“I live downtown”…she never lived downtown…). It was harrowing and we never took her away for a holiday again.

    BUT, the Christmas celebrations in the home turned out to be quite wonderful and I find now I actually miss it. Hard to believe…but there were volunteer musicians who did a fabulous job; cookies and presents, a warm lighthearted atmosphere with lots of visiting families. We shared family photos and stories. When my mom could no longer open presents (unwrapping became too difficult), I put her gifts in Christmas bags and she reached in like a grab bag (did you have those when you were little?) was so much fun as she reached in and picked out a gift!

    Does Anthony’s nursing home have a “secret Santa” program? We brought presents for people who didn’t have families, and my friends and I gathered lipsticks so all the ladies would have a brand new fancy color…it was a huge hit and made everyone feel good…especially us.

    At the end of Christmas day, my husband and I were exhausted, and one of our good friends hosted her dinner in the evening (moving the time so we could attend). It was lovely to be in the warm embrace of people who understood our predicament…another element that made those years so special…

    Unplan…it can be wonderful…Hallie

  11. Terry says:

    I understand others concerns, but I think you are making the right decision in not bringing him for that one day

  12. ksbeth says:

    i think that any and all of this is perfect, we must adjust to the reality of situations and find the gratitude within them, without expecting them to be something they can’t be –

  13. Trisha says:

    I like the idea of un-planning! Trying to plan a “perfect” Christmas in an imperfect world is just too stressful. I say do whatever is the least stressful for all of you because that’s what will end up being the most enjoyable.

  14. tootlepedal says:

    Christmas will be in your heart wherever you are.

  15. says:

    I have the strongest feeling that this might be the most beautiful Christmas the Goyders have ever had. M xxxx

  16. paulaacton says:

    Christmas is about being with loved ones sharing smiles and laughter location is totally irrelevant, you can pull your crackers at the nursing home just as easily as at home and am pretty sure all those nursing staff have become an extended family who will love the chance to stick their heads round the door and share the cheer xx

  17. whatever you decide please take care of you! i don’t know how to put this delicately so i am going to plunder ahead. you deserve a holiday and sometimes we do things for others as we feel some responsibility to make a day special for someone when they wouldn’t know the difference. you make everyday special with your love and joy for life. it isn’t about one particular day is it?

    oh julie i hope i have not spoken out of turn. i am just speaking as someone who is ill and knows that last year i could not have cared less about a holiday when i couldn’t stay awake to enjoy it properly. i did however want desperately for chris to have a beautiful day.

    much love and big warm hugs

    • jmgoyder says:

      You could never say the wrong thing Sandra and you are so right here! I am now feeling more confident in the decision to have Christmas at the nursing home – thank you!!!

  18. You are wisdom! You and Ants have all ready found a level of peace and joy in you daily lives, that most would envy. Don’t displace it to meet others expectations!

  19. Judith Post says:

    Wise decision! You can savor the holiday more, celebrating it in a way that doesn’t frustrate both you and Anthony. It doesn’t have to be about being home. It’s about being together.

  20. Lots of adaptation needed. We are facing the same this year with Thanksgiving and Christmas. New balls to juggle.

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