In my opinion Christmas should bring joy and happiness, not needless stress. Especially if you’ve got MS. That’s why I’ve kept my past Christmases to a small number (my husband, and I; and our cat).
I’ve realised it’s been a big benefit to me: to have a relaxing and an “MS friendly” festive period and to take things at my own pace.
For me Christmas means Peace, Harmony, Friendship; a time to gather with family. It’s also one of the few occasions in the year where generosity and giving is at the heart of it. Although there’s been some tough times, all my past Christmas experiences have helped me to gain some insights into myself and have helped me learn what I can overcome.
MS used to make Christmas a stressful time with the sheer amount of planning and organisation but now as my son has grown older, we both kick back and chill. We have a very relaxed day, coming together for food and laughter, then catching up with our family and friends in the evening.
The joy of being in each other’s company is more than enough for both of us.
For me, the most important thing is to realise, you can enjoy Christmas without being too stressed. Communication is also key, and people need to understand that you may not be able to keep up with the same rhythm as everyone else. Your MS might make some things a little more challenging than they are for the average person. And that’s okay.
It’s helpful to be open as to what you can and cannot do. Christmas may be about giving. But it’s important to be generous to yourself too.