Chaos to Cosmos
The path from chaos to cosmos was discovered by telling one's life story

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Fibro Grinch Guide to Christmas

OK folks, what or whom first appeared in 1957, could well be described as "a bitter, cave-dwelling, catlike creature"; dunno about a heart "two sizes too small," but it doesn't seem to pump all that well; used to live in the hills around the snowy Mount Crumpit Teide and previously had for a companion, a very faithful dog?

On the other hand, I only feel green! Sick

So, while everyone is stressing out, running around to get last minute Christmas things organized, I thought I'd write down my "secrets" for surviving the annual seasonal onslaught, short of preventing Christmas from coming.

1. Ban Christmas Cards 

This started when I first went to live in Tenerife in 1992. Christmas cards were not a Spanish tradition, except for the long thin, wordless Christmas Money wallets, only suitable if you were giving a gift of cash. Couldn't buy ordinary Christmas cards then, so I didn't bother. 

Later on, I couldn't afford the postage and then writing them, going out to get stamps, etc., became too much of a exertion, so I didn't bother to get back into the habit again either.

Now, I've taken to calling Christmas cards "murdered trees," which is a point I'm labouring, partly to cover my own lack of enthusiasm for the whole thing. Actually, it does seem a bit pointless (I'm not sure whether that's a result of my atheism or depression) and dreadfully un-green and, given that most of the people I wish to send seasonal greetings to are online anyway.

2. Ban Christmas Shopping

Bah bloody humbug. No, seriously, it helps having a family of only one and two cats to buy for, but while I can, just, stagger to the shops, I simply can't stand long enough to wait in queues to pay for things, so it's a pointless exercise at this time of year that I have managed to avoid totally beyond buying a couple of "stocking fillers" in the pet shop and one pack of wrapping paper. Our local shops, it has to be said, don't offer a fat lot of choice in any case, so all my gifts were ordered from Ebay!

Apart from not being able to walk far or stand in queues, supermarkets are impossible, because I now need my reading glasses to see the products on the shelves, let alone their labels, but I can't walk around with them on. All the stopping and starting just results in dizziness and terrible nausea. I also can't carry more than a small backpack's worth of shopping (only on my back and not in my hands), so except for just a handful of items I picked up myself, all the Christmas groceries were either delivered.

3. Ban Christmas Cooking

All cooking is a pain in the arse these days. My wrists won't let me chop things (both through pain and lack of power), my legs / dizzy spells won't let me stand to prepare / stir / supervise anything and my foggy head can't cope with recipes containing any more than 3-4 ingredients.

Thus, we're having (there's only two of us) a breast of "non-abused" turkey from the local butcher, wrapped around ready-made stuffing, with ready-prepared parsnips and ready-peeled sprouts, before a bought pudding (all of these had their ingredients carefully scrutinized to mitigate my various food intolerances.) Mother will be conscripted to peel real spuds for roasting.

4. Ban Christmas Treats

Well, except for the one bottle of Spanish Cava which is the least likely alcohol to cause me any trouble. However, sweet treats have been restricted to healthy fruits like Satsumas, dates and nuts, plus some organic mincemeat and a ginger cake that both promise unrefined sugar.

And sticking to this, even at Christmas, I reckon entitles me to a Sainthood!

5. Ban Christmas Decorations

Actually, I "splashed out" a whole pound on a spice smelling candle for "seasonal ambiance," which is 100% more than I did last year. There's a bloke round the corner who has done a whole "Clark Griswold job" on his house with lights (remember National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation), albeit for charity, so I reckon that's enough drain on the National Grid for one area. I don't feel the least Christmassy and I'm sure some tacky crap isn't going to change it.

Christmases past were very special. I have only hope for better Christmases future. Of course, a lot of this is "downsizing" Christmas celebrations to what I can manage to deal with, with my fibromyalgia and ME, but do you think Scrooge / The Grinch would be proud of me?