It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

You would have to be living on a desert island without any means of communication if you are not aware that Christmas is coming. The Coca Cola advert has been running for some time, the new Cadbury’s advert is on the TV regularly and the Budweiser Clydesdales are coming. It is a time of year that I love but at the same time face with a degree of apprehension, dare I say, fear.

There is such an amount to be done; presents, decorations, parties and for people Living with MS, who have a finite amount of energy, planning is crucial to enjoy ‘the season of goodwill’ to its maximum. I count myself exceptionally lucky that Jean is a Christmas person from head to toe. She loves it. If Christmas came twice a year she would still love it. On top of loving it she is the most organised person I know. She makes her list, she checks it twice and to her it really doesn’t matter whether you’ve been naughty or nice; if you’re on her list you’re getting a present. The Christmas card list is treated with the same excitement. Jean gets the tree and dresses it and ‘decks the hall with boughs of holly’. This is one of the many reasons I consider myself so lucky; Jean does it all with the exception of my present to her and a few small presents to the girls and their husbands.

Not everybody Living with MS is as lucky as I am so Christmas needs careful planning. Going shopping without a plan is like going fishing without bait; you will have wasted a lot of energy and caught nothing. “Fail to prepare. Prepare to fail” Don’t be afraid to ask for help, your family and friends will be willing to help, all you have to do is ask. I believe in asking people what present they would like, except for the surprises. That is the way to avoid wasting energy and the recipients avoid the disappointment of getting a present they didn’t want.

Outings at Christmas are another consideration. Remember energy is rationed. You cannot borrow from tomorrow. Well you can really but the penalty is always extreme and rarely worth it. Don’t be embarrassed about taking a nap before going out, nor should you be embarrassed about leaving before the party ends. People that know you will understand. Happy Christmas to all my friends.

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