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How to minimise stress at Christmas for mum

Bex123

New member
Apr 13, 2021
7
0
Hi everyone,

This might seem like a trivial thing but for the past few Christmass, the build up has been really stressful for my mum who is in the early stages of vascular dementia.

She is still aware of Christmas and still really wants to buy presents for the family (which is big) but it can be quite a stressful time because she will often forget what she’s bought etc so for the past few years Iv basically done all of the Christmas shopping with her to buy for other people.

My brother and dad say don’t worry about it and don’t worry if she forgets someone but I know she would be really upset if it came to Christmas and she had forgotten to give someone a present so I don’t want her to have that feeling.

I’m just looking for some practical advice on how to avoid all this stress this Christmas? I was thinking of maybe us all doing something nice together as q family instead of buying presents at all for each other (although might be hard to involve all the aunties/uncles/cousins in this)

Any help/tips with this? :)
 

notsogooddtr

Registered User
Jul 2, 2011
1,061
0
Does your Mum support any charities? Last year I bought my grandchildren( who are still very young) a gift but told everyone else I would be making a donation to charity and would prefer not to receive gifts as I wouldn't be giving any. I will do the same this year.
 

ClaireeW

Registered User
Sep 22, 2021
31
0
Hi @Bex123 Not trivial at all. Last Christmas was an incredibly stressful time for my Mum. Became completely obsessed with who'd been bought what, what cards had been sent etc. She must have duplicated most cards, and trebled up on some. This was despite extensive list keeping and ticking things off. Incidentally, Christmas day itself was totally overwhelming for her, as she couldn't keep track of who had bought her which present, which upset her greatly.
@notsogooddtr suggestion is a very good one. But maybe if Mum still wants to do presents, could you do vouchers? Then she could see the pile of little cards and know that they'd all been done.
 

Bex123

New member
Apr 13, 2021
7
0
Does your Mum support any charities? Last year I bought my grandchildren( who are still very young) a gift but told everyone else I would be making a donation to charity and would prefer not to receive gifts as I wouldn't be giving any. I will do the same this year.
Thanks for your advice :)
 

Bex123

New member
Apr 13, 2021
7
0
Hi @Bex123 Not trivial at all. Last Christmas was an incredibly stressful time for my Mum. Became completely obsessed with who'd been bought what, what cards had been sent etc. She must have duplicated most cards, and trebled up on some. This was despite extensive list keeping and ticking things off. Incidentally, Christmas day itself was totally overwhelming for her, as she couldn't keep track of who had bought her which present, which upset her greatly.
@notsogooddtr suggestion is a very good one. But maybe if Mum still wants to do presents, could you do vouchers? Then she could see the pile of little cards and know that they'd all been done.
Hi Claire, thanks for your advice :)
 

Jessie5

Registered User
Jul 17, 2017
24
0
If you have a big family how about a family secret Santa where you put all names into a hat and just buy for the one person you draw out? Might be less overwhelming, but depends upon whether she still has capacity to understand the concept? Family might appreciate this too in light of rising prices in shops and for heating this year!

I also don’t buy much for mum as it is overwhelming for her and pointless (which is sad as I used to love shopping for lots of nice bits for her).

Also just keep offering reassurance that her Christmas ‘tasks’ have been done if it worries her. Something like ‘I’ve still got Christmas shopping to do Mum, I’m so jealous that you finished yours last week, you can put your feet up now’ And repeat and repeat and repeat.

Me and my sister also write cards with Mum as an activity, which she enjoys. We pop a round robin letter in and she enjoys getting replies back.

It really isn’t trivial at all. I’ve grown to hate Christmas over the past few years and I used to love it. So hard to balance the needs of PWD with needs of rest of family and it brings the sadness of the situation to the forefront. It is Mum’s first year in a care home this year and we are yet to discuss what to do on ‘the big day’.
 

Jessie5

Registered User
Jul 17, 2017
24
0
Another thought if she can still read is a really clear Christmas list somewhere very prominent in the house where you list all the people she is buying for, what present she has brought and a big tick that it has been sent? If reading hard you could make it visual with photos of person and present. My Mum couldn’t really read things like that from quite early on tho.
 

Bex123

New member
Apr 13, 2021
7
0
Thank you so much for your help, secret Santa is a really good idea! It’s nice to hear from other people that understand.

I’m sorry to hear your mum is in a care home but I’m sure she is getting well looked after and you should try to look after yourself too :) I hope you find your Christmas magic again in time xxx