Home > Christmas Wrap Up

Christmas Wrap Up

December 29th, 2019 at 02:02 pm

I just put this as part of my comment in the forums. But I had wanted to share, so will just copy and paste.

How Christmas went this year:

1 - We did NOTHING for Christmas this year. Just dealing with a lot of personal crap and didn't have the time or inclination. We are always pretty mellow about the Holidays (buying the kids maybe one $20 gift each, something they could really use or enjoy). I would have thought doing nothing was more of an extreme/bah humbug kind of direction, but also not a big change from our usual. But... It was amazing! It forced us to be more thoughtful and creative and we had the best Holiday. (Including, my son made a sculpture for my other son. It was absolutely unexpected and hilarious). Other than that, we baked for each other and had some extra quality family time.

2 - My in-laws started a charity tradition a few years back. What we had said many times was, "We don't want anything, we'd rather help the less fortunate" and was more what we had been doing with our kids. So the first year (that MIL agreed to do this) my MIL bought a billion gifts AND gave us some money to give to charity. I've felt very many times, "She's not getting it". It's nice and I like the change, but there was lack of *getting* it. Until this year. This year there was a very noticeable shift. The gifts were very reasonable. If I was happy with it, this must have been extreme 180 for my MIL. (I got *one* material gift and a couple of gift cards. About the same for my kids). We focused far more talking about all of our charity choices ($250 per person to spend) and all the good causes we were excited about. We were able to donate $3,000 (as an extended family), and it was really neat.

Slowly but surely... (It took 12 years. I distinctly remember doing "contributions to charity in lieu of gifts" when my kids were in daycare and the only person in my circles that balked at that was my MIL. She has come a very long way).

I was actually completely dreading our Christmas celebration with the in-laws, because MIL had been on a particularly toxic/insane rampage this year. So... Having such a pleasant day with them was really unexpected. Phew!

Unfortunately, we got some really bad news over the Holiday. It looks like MH also has a parent with failing health who needs a lot of time from him. *sigh* So now we are potentially facing with both of our parents. I felt like the rug was yanked out from under us. Like, at least I could deal with all this insanity if at least MH's parents are perfectly healthy (which we thought they were). But... it does explain some things and allows us to be more proactive than reactive. We had both been getting pissy with how much his parents lean on him. There may be more to it (we know now), BUT a lot of it is my MIL doesn't comprehend that MH has a job now, that he has other commitments and is busy. (In her mind, he just eats bon bons all day??). So this was why we were getting so irritated. But it's different if you realize some of the underlying reasons they need so much help these days. Okay so, maybe something else has to give and MH needs to set aside one weekend per month to spend with his parents. Something like that. I am hoping this pushes us a little more out of "constantly putting out fires" mode.

I've been vague because I don't really feel comfortable getting into it, because have mostly not discussed with our families at all. But I think we both potentially have a parent with dementia. 😞

3 Responses to “Christmas Wrap Up”

  1. Carol Says:

    I fought (inside myself) with recognizing my mom's dementia and what that would demand of me. Once I faced it, then it became easier, to just tackle each specific problem at a time. Things can't be perfect, but if you can figure out what feels bearable to do, what help you can hire, and what just doesn't get done, maybe it will make it easier. For instance, she wasn't eating in a healthy manner. She didn't like to chew. I bought Trader Joe's vegetable soups and enriched them with a big dollop of sour cream or yogurt. And stopped fighting with her about eating. Win/win. Good luck and stay strong.

  2. Lucky Robin Says:

    I'm sorry you have to deal with two parents with dementia at the same time. One is hard enough.

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:


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