Like all of our question series we answer everything separately and without reading each others answers until we’re all done writing – keeps it more fun that way.
Em: The holidays always approach so fast and while I ideally would love to spend the month of December baking festive treats and decorating my house, I am never quite that on top of it. When I think of my favorite things to do during the holidays, watching Christmas themed movies at my parent’s place with blankets, hot drinks, and surrounded by our dogs pretty much tops the list (I am guessing Kate will mention something similar involving watching Elf).
As far as Christmas shopping goes, I love wandering around stores and spotting that perfect something a friend or family member will love, but more often than not, I end up doing a fair amount of my Christmas shopping online, which is much more POTS friendly. It can be kind of frustrating, because I do love wandering around a good outdoor mall around the holidays with all the decorations and Christmas trees set up, but (silver lining) I have found that a lot of the stores I shop at offer free shipping before Christmas, which makes shopping online feel a little better.
Another thing I look forward to around this time of year is having family come into town. The last couple years our uncle who lives in Scotland comes to stay with us through the holidays and it makes everything much more special. It forces us to get and play ‘tour guide’ a little more, and that way we always end up trying some new restaurant or visiting a part of town we haven’t been to in a while.
My current holiday to-do list is to find some good chocolate fudge and pumpkin bread recipes to make (both being healthy and sugar free). My best friend and I usually spend a day baking together before Christmas and (try) to make enough goodies so we can hand them out to neighbors and friends. Here’s to this month being full of flannel, hot drinks, movies, chocolate, and love all around.
Kate: I absolutely love this time of year and with Christmas just around the corner I want to make sure that I fit in all of my favorite holiday season traditions. It’s hard with the unpredictability that comes with a chronic illness to know just how much activity I’ll be able to take on in advance, but I’ve found that there’s plenty of holiday inspired things to do regardless of how bad my energy level is and how unforgiving my symptoms are. Here’s my list of my favorite things to do in December:
1. This is a no brainer but I feel obligated to put it on the list – listen to CHRISTMAS MUSIC. Nothing gets me more in the festive mood than listening to those nostalgic holiday tunes. Spotify and Pandora each have a great classic Christmas music playlist that I’ve been listening to non-stop and it really is making my days merry and bright.
2. Watch my favorite Holiday movies. This one’s perfect for those flare up days where you just want to snuggle up with a blanket and cup of tea…or really any December day for that matter. I can’t let the month go by without watching Love Actually, The Holiday, Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey Version) and The Santa Clause.
3. Go see Christmas Lights. This one can easily be altered depending on how I’m feeling. I usually try and walk around our neighborhood’s version of “candy cane Lane” (where all the houses are super decked out) but if I’m not up for walking it’s also just as enjoyable to drive around slowly listening to Christmas music and “oooh & ahhhh” at each display.
4. Buying Presents and getting my holiday shopping done. I love how every store is decorated and festive but I actually prefer to do a majority of my Christmas shopping online during this time of year. It’s a huge help that you can do it from the comfort of your own home, so regardless of how I’m feeling I’m still able to check things off my list. Also, standing in lines without moving can be very hard due to POTS, so avoiding those crazy holiday crowds, not to mention the excess of winter germs is always a plus in my books.
5. As much as I love buying those close to me presents, I always like to buy myself some holiday fuzzy socks & some holiday nail polish – something glittery or a great shade of red (usually target has a great selection of both). It’s always fun to buy these little treats and they always make me happy.
6. Last but certainly not least decorations. I absolutely LOVE decorating so a major excitement for me is being able to add a little holiday cheer inside my home. I don’t have many decorations now that I’m not living with my parents, but the $3 dollar section from Target can do wonders. A few sparkly trees and ornaments does the trick!