For those of you who know me, this will not come as much of a shock, but I started putting my Christmas decorations up the day after Halloween. Most people think, well, they think I'm nuts! (I don't know if I could prove them wrong.) However, I have very good reasons for starting so early, of which I'm going to share with you.
Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it........even the shopping! I look forward to it all year long. I start listening to Christmas music in July. Why am I so crazy about the holiday? Well, it's just always been very special to me. A time when you forgot all the bad things that were going on in your life and focused on someone other than yourself. I love Christmas not for what I can get, but for what I can give. No matter how poor you are, you can give something, especially LOVE~
But my reasons for starting so early in the year are not strictly based on a fondness for the holiday and what it holds. As I have aged, my health has steadily went downhill. I suffer with fibromyalgia, arthritis and a host of other related illnesses, but I vowed a long time ago to not let this turn me into a scrooge during this beloved time of year. It also helps that I have a 5 year old daughter who loves the holidays as much as I do at the ripe old age of 41. She makes me old and keeps me young all at the same time. Basically, because of my illnesses, I am unable to perform tasks in a timely manner. It takes me forever to do something because I have to keep stopping to rest. And sometimes this might mean resting for days on end. Sometimes the simpliest of tasks can literally put me in bed. That is the #1 reason that I start so early on my decorations (as well as shopping). Plus, I like to decorate a LOT! Not just a tree in the window and a wreath on the door for me! No, I want the whole house to celebrate Christmas so I decorate a bit in every room. My basic task list includes:
Christmas tree in the big window; Miniature lighted Christmas village (in the same room); Decorated mantle and fireplace; Lights and ribbon on the stair bannisters; The ARCH of Christmas cards; Christmas china & crystal in the dining room; Snowman collection; small Christmas tree in my daughter's room; Christmas bedding; Christmas towels and toiletries in the bathrooms; OUTSIDE lights, including stair bannisters, hedges, walkway, my lighted polar bear and deer on the lawn.
And OF COURSE before any of these things can even BEGIN, cleaning has to be done. Now, I am not a cleaner by nature. I don't usually mind if everything isn't in it's place.......except at Christmastime. I want everything perfect then. Unfortunately, my body does not cooperate with my schedule of decoration and cleaning. I have great difficulty bending and kneeling, climbing and stooping, twisting and reaching, etc.......... All of which are required in both decorating and cleaning. So it takes me a while to actually get all of this work accomplished. I have to stop and rest often and as I said earlier, this may be for several days at a time. If I overdo it, which is SO easy to do without even knowing it, I end up in bed for several days. And I'll be darned if I am going to put all this work into the house just to look at it for 2 weeks!!!! It takes me longer than that to put it all up! In all seriousness, it takes me about 3 weeks to complete all my decorating for the holidays. So I start the day, or weekend, after Halloween and continue working until it's complete, which is just about time for Thanksgiving. By then, everyone else has started putting their holiday decor up and I don't feel so alone!!
In short, I start so early because it takes me so long to get it all done. And I do it all just because it makes me happy. It makes me feel good. It makes other people feel good, even if they do think I'm crazy!! I deal with moderate to severe pain on regular , daily basis and not much helps it. But at this time of the year I get natural "feel good" endorphines just from looking around my house, Seeing a grin on my daughter's face and watching her wonder what's under the Christmas tree. Do I really need a better reason than that?
As a side note I would like to update you on my health status. As many of you know I have been having episodes of falling asleep during the day, during activity even, and having a very difficult time coming out of it. This has been going on about 1 1/2 months now. It makes driving almost impossible. My new neurologist started me on the drug Neurontin for my migraines. For some reason this has made the sleeping issue better. I spoke with the dr on Friday of last week and he has ordered a sleep study, still to be scheduled, for me. He feels that the sleeping episodes could be 1 of 3 diagnosis: Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, or Epilepsy. He also felt that I may have possibly been having mild seizures during these episodes, especially since they seem to have gotten better once I started taking the neurontin. I have 2 siblings with epilepsy.
Please pray for me that the doctors will get an accurate diagnosis and plan of treatment. I really do not need to lose my drivers license! I am praying that I will not have any of these diagnosis, that GOD will heal me, but if not I pray that I will have the simpliest to manage illness. I know that this sounds rather selfish of me, but I'm mainly thinking of the responsibilities that I have on me and how this would be hindered if I get a bad diagnosis or if suitable treatment is not found.
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers and may you have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas season!