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Sunday, December 1, 2019

How to Beat the Christmas Blues

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And the angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone about them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ~Luke 2:9-11

I'm one to rush through the holidays, how 'bout you? Wanting to enjoy the season, but secretly wishing it would peacefully pass me by. Too many presents to buy with a budget of zero; holiday food to buy, prepare, and everyone, it seems, has legitimate food issues. 

Ah, but I may have a few tricks up my cozy coffee-stained sleeve this year, and it fits quite well into my caregiver kind of lifestyle. My first big revelation is to not worry about the finances. Going into debt to buy presents? Nope, I just can't afford that.

Therefore, it's going to be a homemade Christmas. I'm hoping my family doesn't read this blog. I mean, seriously, who has family who reads your blog? Please let me know how you've accomplished that if you do.

Nonetheless, it's going to be a very Pinterest kind of homemade Christmas. You might be amazed to learn that being creative is an awesome Blues Beater; Lots of canning, jam-making, sauce experiments, my specialslightly spicysecret crackers recipe, and Friendship Tea, chocolate loaded with sugary goodness, and some without sugar at all. 

Every ingredient is in my pantry already, I've received donations of Christmas material, craft paints, pretty paper, brown gifts bags without logos or images, a cupboard full of tin cans, and a whole bunch of other items I need to make gifts for Christmas. Yarn, pretty yarn, however, is still absent from my list. No worries, we'll just move on to something else.

It has brought Christmas joy in my house, even before Thanksgiving because that's another way to beat the Christmas blues. Start early, take your time, make it easy. By the way, some of the presents, my pretty tin-can-table decor to be precise, has already been swiped by Mom. Okay, back to the drawing board, so to speak.

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I call them Tin Can Softies ... or just Softies.

Will the recipients like their homemade gifts? I don't know. But it comes from my heart and I made them with love; sappy, I know ... but it's true.

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I like to use them for my glasses and the remote since I'm constantly losing them. We'll add candy and chocolate later.

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The garage is turning into a lovely winter wonder land. We're adding lights, too.

Creating things has lifted my spirits this season; not worrying about whether they'll be appreciated has given me freedom and a sense of peace. 

I've used apples  from our back yard to make jam and apple sauce; orange peels to make candy; persimmons for salads (will try making cookies); pomegranates for puddings, fresh juice (adding the apples as well); and lemons to add flavor to all of the above. Furthermore, putting apples, cinnamon, a dash of lemon, and agave in the slow cooker makes the house smell very Christmassy ... and that's how you make apple sauce.

I've also learned that decorating the house and the outside of the house can be done over the course of a few days, maybe weeks if you start early. And even the process of decorating is calming and enjoyed by Mom and Dad (both suffering from dementia). If you never get to the outside, just let it go. 

And maybe we as caregivers shouldn't make such a fuss about Christmas dinner, especially if you're hosting it. Stick to the menu that's easiest for you. I make a great Dutch Mac & Cheese. I'm just saying. Ask your friends and family to do it potluck-style this year. Mine's pretty good about that.  

Check out Pinterest (Here's my account) for 100's of different and creative ways to have yourself a Very Merry, Frugal, and Creative Christmas. There's wisdom when women share their expertise, Godly advise, and creativity.

As a caregiver we tend to work toward making the season a happy one for the ones receiving our care. But if we don't take care of ourselves first we won't accomplish that in the slightest. And though it's definitely a season to put our own interests aside it may only be for a season ... it's just a pause, I think. God is always up to something, He is our joy, peace, and rest. I'm pretty sure He will redeem the time for us.

Take Care of Yourself
Eat Right; Eat Fresh
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Stay Healthy
Read a Good Book
Write Poetry
Buy Deborah flowers and chocolate (IJS)
Watch an Uplifting Movie


  1. Love this. I made homemade gifts this year, too. Made some outdoor lanterns from wood and some reindeer out of river stones. It's a relief to not have to buy so many things and really is relaxing to make.

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    2. Ooooh my, I wish I could make stuff with wood ... and reindeers out of stone??? Wow!!

  2. I LOVE homemade gifts. I find them to be heartfelt and touching!

  3. I'm sooo going to show my kids this reply. Thanks Jessica I needed some encouragement.