My Socially Unacceptable Holiday Plans

PsA and my other chronic illnesses have completely changed how I prepare for the holiday season. I start planning and preparing (this includes decorating) for Thanksgiving and Christmas before autumn officially arrives. I’ve tried forcing my body to remain within the socially acceptable timetable, but that only led to missed deadlines or increased pain and exhaustion. A few years ago I accepted that there was nothing normal about living with multiple chronic illnesses and decided to take an abnormal approach to my holiday planning.

Limiting commitments

I can’t predict how I will feel from one day to the next let alone one month to another. When making holiday plans, I only commit to the bare minimum. By under committing, I reduce the chances of becoming exhausted or experiencing a pain spike that will land me in bed for weeks. Some years I was only able to do the one or two things that I had planned and others where I was able to do more.

Picky planner

At the risk of hurting the feelings of my friends and family, I must admit that I do rate them by how much energy spending time with each of them sucks from my daily life. The farther I have to travel to spend a holiday with someone, the lower of a priority it becomes. This doesn’t mean that I won’t do it; I just won’t do it every year. One thing I have learned is that I need to be extremely careful of not physically exhausting myself in November. This is why I (when I do take my Christmas tree down), my house is ready for Santa to arrive in September and at the latest before Halloween. Most understand why I keep November so low key, but not all are thrilled with it especially when Thanksgiving arrives. I can’t travel for Thanksgiving and expect to accomplish anything in December. Forget going shopping, baking, going to church, or looking at Christmas lights if I do too much in November. With that said I only plan two November outings, I go to Disneyland for my birthday and Thanksgiving. Because my family pushes my wheelchair around the parks I don’t wear myself out, but I still get to have fun. To be honest I would rather spend a week with out of state family and friends in the spring, summer, or early fall than during the holidays. The holidays stress everyone out, including my healthy friends so it just makes more sense to visit when we can just relax and enjoy each other’s company.

So there you have it, I am the socially unacceptable person who thinks and plans for Christmas during July and has her summer mapped out by February. But you know what? I would rather be a freak who gets to do something rather than someone who worries about what others think and end up doing nothing at all. How has PsA changed how you plan for the holidays?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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