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Tag Archives: holiday survival guide

Platitudes on Gratitudes

You can't burn store-bought cookies.

10 Reasons to Be Grateful for Your Caregiving Role 1. A built-in excuse to cut back on time spent with certain family members over the holidays. What a great way to cut down of these distasteful side dishes of judgments and opinions. Who needs those calories! 2. You’re crabby? Someone even ventures to question your crabbiness? Give them the throwdown: “It’s the caregiving.” And, it’s not even a lie! 3. A guilt-free way out of ... Read More »

Finding Room In Your Day (and Your Heart) for the Holidays


Perhaps at one time in your life you loved the holidays. But in this time of your life, this time of caregiving, you just find yourself dreading them. Holidays seem to mean more: more work, more disappointment, more stress. Which means you must do more of what you just dislike: Asking for help, asking for understanding, asking for time. How, in a time that takes, like caregiving, can you find the energy for more? You’ll ... Read More »

Your Holiday Survival Guide


You sit expectantly by the window in your living room, watching for the blue van that brings your daughter and her family for their visit. Although the holidays are hectic, this is the part of the season you relish: The opportunity to see those family members and friends who rarely drop by anymore. These visits mean a great deal to you; for a few hours, you can be someone other than a caregiver. You feel ... Read More »

The Chocolate’s Okay, But I Melted!


The room spun. Heather found herself looking at the turkey in the oven; two empty pans on the stove; her husband, in his wheelchair, handing her a potholder; and her daughter and her family coming through the backdoor—all with muddy boots. She’s not sure what did it for her: The empty pots which reminded her that she had forgotten to make the mashed potatoes and gravy; her husband, spending his first holiday season in the ... Read More »

Where’s Your Brother? He’s The One I Really Want To See…


It’s the holidays! What would a good, decadent, calorie-laden meal be without a case of red face, churning stomach and steam pouring from your ears? There’s no time like the holidays for a good dose of button pushing. And, your family members can push your buttons like no one else. How often do your buttons get pushed? Take our quick test: 1. It’s time to carve the turkey, which you’ve purchased pre-cooked from the local ... Read More »

Holiday Stress Busters


You’re already walking your “holiday” walk—slumped forward, as if the weight of planning and preparing for the holidays rests squarely on your shoulders. The approaching holiday season is stressful anyway, but with your concerns and worries and caregiving responsibilities, the stress can be overwhelming. When planning for this year’s holiday season, keep in mind the real purpose of the holidays: To celebrate your faith in your way as well as to enjoy and celebrate our ... Read More »

Ten Signs an Aging Relative Needs Help


A holiday visit may provide a closer look into your aging relative’s life and routine. And, sometimes that look yields concern. Your aging relative may need more help if: 1. You find that some bills, such as for utilities, have been unpaid. 2. You find a stack of unopened mail. 3. The refrigerator is stocked with old food; you can’t find any fresh groceries. 4. Your aging relative has lost weight and appears gaunt. 5. ... Read More »

Your Wish List: What Do You Want?


It’s coming: The holiday season. Unfortunately, stress and frustration seem to come as well. As you think about the upcoming holiday season, consider: What do you want? Perhaps you’d like a year off and would like another family member to host a holiday. Or, perhaps you’d like to host a holiday (it’s easier than transporting your caree) but you’d prefer that the meal be pot-luck (everyone brings something). Perhaps you’d like to enjoy a meal ... Read More »

Keep Your Cool When You Get Side-Swiped


Often, the relatives you see the least can be the family members who try your patience and sanity the most. It’s your husband’s sister, who calls only twice a year, but insists on chastising you for not providing the “best care” for her brother. These encounters don’t seem so bad over the telephone. But, face-to-face, well, those are the run-ins you just dread. Keep in mind that these relatives can’t understand or appreciate the role ... Read More »

A Podcast: Managing Holiday Stress

During the holiday, you can feel like the wishbone everyone pulls at.

In 2008, I held a teleclass on Managing Holiday Stress. I pulled it up out the archives today so you can download to listen on your computer or your smart phone or mp3 player. I’ve also added it to our Holiday Stress Guide. Before listening to the podcast, consider: 1. What you dread about the holidays. 2. A wish for yourself. 3. A wish for your caree. (Pre-2010, we used the term “care recipient,” which ... Read More »

Bah Humbug? A True Tale of Christmas


For some reason, we believe the best time of the year should be the holiday season: When we enjoy friends and families, receive wonderful presents, eat amazing food without gaining any weight. Sounds like a Christmas tale, doesn’t it? It seems expectations imposed on us—from advertising on television, in department stores—that the holiday season is full of love, joy and diamond bracelets. But, what about the brother who questions your motives in caring for your ... Read More »

Merry Christmas Y’all!


Merry Christmas Y’all, It’s Christmas Time and with that often brings caregivers mood swings dominated with depressing thoughts of what’s missing from Christmas past, not sharing and feeling left out from the holiday celebrations with friends. Fortunately I’ve never really experienced the drastic mood swings. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones or maybe I’m just more aware of the things one can do to avoid these pitfalls. Thinking about what I do that ... Read More »

What’s Your Favorite Holiday Tradition?

This isn't my sister's house. I'm pretty sure we both wish it were.

Over the past several years, my older sister has hosted Christmas Eve at her home. She invites our family and her husband’s family for a casual and festive get-together. Everyone chips in with a dish or dessert, the kids will break out a board game and the adults gossip and catch-up. The house is big enough to hide when you need to and the group is large enough so you can avoid when you want ... Read More »

Happy Holidays


From our house to yours, we hope this holiday season brings you blessings and comfort. Thanks so much for being a part of! Your presence is the best present. Related Articles Holiday Progressive Blog Party ( Holiday Survival Guide ( Webinar Follow-Up: What Will You Change This Holiday Season? ( Community Caregiving Journal ( Shop Our Store In Six Words: What’s Your Wish for Another Caregiver? ( Tips to Manage Dementia Care During the ... Read More »

Tips to Manage Dementia Care During the Holidays


On Tuesday, Claire Day, our dementia care expert, joined me to share tips on managing the holidays on Your Caregiving Journey. You can listen to our show via the player below. During our show, Claire shared tips on how manage the special days during the holidays as well as the holiday season. The best way to manage the season, Claire said, is to prepare for it. Give thought to what will work for you and ... Read More »

Christmas Card Exchange Group

Last year's White House Christmas card.

I have set up a Christmas Card Exchange Group. If you would like to participate by sending other members a Christmas card, just go here and sent me a request to join. I will then approve you and you can leave your address and wait for the cards to arrive in your mailbox and who doesn’t like getting cards? (You also can search for the group, Christmas Card Exchange, in our groups directory.) The ... Read More »

Holiday Progressive Blog Party Starts Dec. 9!

Happy Holidays!

It’s a cook-free (and dirty dish-less!) Progressive Party. Throughout the week of December 9, we’ll stop by the blogs of family caregivers, dropping off holiday well-wishes and good cheer. Our party also includes companies that provides services and/or products to help family caregivers. Because no party is complete without presents, we’ve got prizes! We’re giving away a gift a day on Just post a comment on the site each day during the week of ... Read More »

Holiday Progressive Blog Party Guidelines


Are you a family caregiver with a blog? Between December 9 and 15, be a host in our Holiday Progressive Blog Party! It’s a cook-free party; instead of dishes, we’re sharing comfort and support. Throughout the week of December 9, we’ll stop by the blogs of family caregivers, dropping off holiday well-wishes and good cheer. On, we’ll giving away a gift a day. To win, just post a comment on the site. Each day, ... Read More »

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope today brings a special moment when you can say, “Thank you.” Let us know about your Thanksgiving in our comments section, below.   Related Articles Contest: Your Funniest Thanksgiving Moment ( Tell Us: Holiday Tips for the First-Time Family Caregiver ( Platitudes on Gratitudes ( How Anger Steals Your Happiness ( Read More »

Contest: Your Funniest Thanksgiving Moment

Thanksgiving Dinner

It might happen with your caree or another family member or with a turkey that’s too big. But, it will happen. Something will go horribly wrong and it will make a great after-Thanksgiving tale. We want to hear it. Beginning Friday, post your funniest Thanksgiving moment or conversation or gaffe. When you do, you’ll be entered into a contest for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate from NorthShore Care Supply. You can use ... Read More »

What’s Your Holiday Magic?

Holly and her husband, Dave.

On Saturday, Holly, who cares for her husband, joined me for Table Talk as she does every third Saturday of every month. You can listen to our show via the player below. Holly and I discussed her holidays plans and the adjustments she makes to her traditions to accommodate her husband. Holly also shared the magic she feels during the holidays during the early morning quiet of her day, when she lights her candles. I’d ... Read More »