Merry Christmas everybody or should I be saying, Merry Christmas Eve. I wasn’t going to post a Christmas message this year. Then I decided that I couldn’t just let Christmas slip past without posting something. I love Christmas! Without a doubt, it’s my favourite time of the year. Our entire family gathers and spends time at our cottages on the lake. Our extended family is large and everyone comes home for the holidays. It really is special as we are a very close family.

Now as much as I love Christmas that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come without its challenges. As well as being the season that I love the most it can also be one of the hardest times of the year for me. It becomes this balancing act of trying not to let my symptoms get worse and at the same time enjoy the time spent with my family. I wish I could say there’s a magic formula on how to do this but there isn’t.

Stress is an enemy to my body at this time of the year. Actually it’s my enemy all the time! So I do my best to keep it at a minimum however I might need to make that happen. This is the case with so many of us who live with chronic illness. With all of the visiting, parties, shopping, and everything else Christmas self-care becomes really important. This being said everyone’s way of managing those stresses is going to look a little different.

Although it’s this balancing act that I have to manage there are two things that get me through more than anything else. Family and all the support they give me is one. They understand the difficulties that I face at this time of the year. They also understand and accept all the ways that I have to adapt things in order to manage my way through Christmas. Without this type of support and acceptance, it would make it so much more difficult for me.

My faith, however, is the most important piece in all of this. I can’t speak for anyone other than myself. Without my faith, all of this is so much harder to navigate. So Christmas is all the more meaningful to me because I focus on why we celebrate at this time of the year. Knowing that I don’t have to fight this battle on my own makes it so much easier to keep going.

I’m not saying that I don’t have moments in this season when things can be hard. What I am saying however is that I’m choosing to focus on some really positive parts of my life that make this time of the year great. What are you choosing?