Before my diagnosis, I thought of myself as a traditionalist, at least when it came to the holidays. I baked cookies, decorated the house, and shopped for the perfect gift for everyone on my list. I planned get-togethers for family and friends and went to great lengths to pull off a memorable meal and celebration.
Nowadays, inconsistent traditions are my tradition.
Some years, when I’m feeling up to it (and the stars have aligned just right), I engage in as many traditions as I can. I do as much as possible during the good years. I bake, I send cards with individual messages that require a good deal of thought, and I shop for gifts. I plan get-togethers and meals for the family to enjoy.
To keep my efforts as stress-free as possible, I start my planning early in the holiday season. Sometimes it works out rather nicely. More often than not, I’m unable to cross off everything on my to-do list. However, I have learned that it is OK, and even to be expected.
Most years are a little lacking when it comes to tradition. Some years contain little tradition at all, years when a minor setback forces me to focus on my health. I spend my time visiting a few more doctors than usual and taking care of myself. Unfortunately, tasks related to holiday traditions take a back seat.
During these nontraditional years, shopping and baking don’t get done. Cards aren’t sent, and decorations aren’t put up. Sometimes, I accomplish a little bit of every holiday tradition. Other years, I accomplish a single facet of the typical holiday fare. It’s unpredictable and inconsistent.
At first, it was difficult to “miss” holiday traditions. I love the holiday season — the sights, the sounds, the sweets — and have a Type A personality. But I have made peace with my new, nontraditional approach to the holidays.
I would prefer to be consistent in my approach to the holidays. I would love to celebrate to the fullest every year. However, in some ways, I believe my lack of tradition has made me appreciate the traditional years, aka the good years, so much more.
Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.
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