creating a simpler Christmas * day 9

Today was definitely a slow day of getting my head back into gear. We took mum home yesterday with many carrier bags so I think she had a good time and bought everything she wanted. She is finding it difficult to accept her limitations now and we had to abandon our usual trip to Tissington and Ashbourne this year as her feet and legs had swollen up so much with the travelling that we felt it would be a step too far and decided to stay a little closer to home, only venturing as far as the Chatsworth Estate near Bakewell to visit the farm shop and The Derbyshire Craft Centre nearby. I packed up a car picnic for us so she didn’t have to wait in a queue for lunch and a good job I did as it was so very busy everywhere.

I only managed to take the one photo during the weekend – mum kept me too busy – she managed to leave her stick in every shop and cafe we went in and sometimes her gloves too. Her handbag was safe as I carried it most of the time. Manouvering her in the crowds is not easy these days and people were trying to push her out of the way in their hurry – I was worried she would over balance. None of the shops have a seat for the elderly anymore so I didn’t get much of a chance to look for anything myself – as soon as she had what she wanted she was off back to the car for a sit down!

The scenery and Christmas lights on the journey into Derbyshire did not disappoint, though on the whole I felt there were less decorations around this year in everyone’s gardens – maybe a lot of people are feeling quite behind as far as Christmas goes – neither of my neighbours have their lights up yet.

I have been feeling pretty exhausted today and rather than do any of the Christmas things on my list I made a start with a little clearing up and cleaning – I had the beds to change and washing to do and then some hoovering and dusting so that the house is ship shape and ready to decorate when I get round to it.

I am still dithering over the indoor tree – we are away for Christmas and not really hosting anything so I may even go for a simple decorated branch or a £10 potted tree. At this very moment I feel too worn out to even think about it.

For lunch we had a simple winter salad of grated beetroot, grated carrot and cucumber with a drizzle of olive oil dressing – apparently it is one of the healthiest meals you can eat – packed with vitamins and minerals; we had ours with some egg mayonnaise sandwiches and it was nice to have a meal at home after living on a lot of cafe meals in the last few days where they serve you a garnish of limp lettuce and an unripe tomato.

For the rest of the day I printed down my Christmas card list and tomorrow I will make a start on writing them and finishing our yearly newsletter. We have to stay in as the worktop man comes at 9.30am so we will need to have everything ready for him. DH has been working on cutting the wall cupboard down to size so hopefully by the end of tomorrow I should see some advances in the pantry.

Thank you for all your lovely comments wishing me a good weekend – I am not sure how much longer these Christmas visits will be possible for my mum so it was especially nice to be able to take her out so she could still get some of her Christmas bits and bobs.

24 Replies to “creating a simpler Christmas * day 9”

    1. We all think this but mum she will not accept that she is old yet and blames all her aches and pains and walking problems on the weather. She has started using a stick though in the last month or two – so we have had a bit of advancement! She is the same age as the queen, looks a lot younger and is still very upright and only just going grey which also makes her look younger. perhaps in another couple of years we might talk her round to getting a frame – although like my mother in law she would probably carry it rather than wheel it!


  1. I can relate to a lot of what you’ve said about mobility. It’s very difficult to shop and actually enjoy it when you’re aware somebody isn’t so good on their legs any more and would rather be sat down. The memories you are making sound lovely especially as there are moments of humour, albeit frustratingly so at times.

    I have to say I’m all for making life as easy as possible, so unless you really feel you’d miss out by not having a tree up I’d go for something simple, especially if you’re away for the holiday.

    It’s been a very busy few weeks for you no wonder you’re feeling exhausted. Hope you manage to carve out some time for yourself over the next few days to relax. xx


    1. We have had a few laughs but it is exhausting with mum now – her memory is not what it was either so she bought endless packs of cards and when we took her home what did we find in the bedroom – more packs of cards!
      The most annoying thing apart from hunt the stick and gloves is the fact that when she waits for you to open a door she stands in front of it every time!
      I am doing minimal decorations this year – too much effort and I have very little energy left. Still onwards and upwards! xx


  2. For your mum I was going to suggest a collapsable whelchair which you can put in the car boot as it would make shopping and visiting a lot easier.


  3. I, too, was going to suggest a wheeled walker seat thing, but now see your reply. It must be very tiring for you when out and about with Mum, but having said that, hopefully you’ve had an enjoyable time spent with her. As you’ve had such a busy time of late, I think a lovely decorated branch will be just the thing this year (as long as you don’t have to shin up a tree to get it!)


  4. Sounds like you made the best of things considering Mum’s limitations. This stage of elder life seems much like a return to early toddler-hood for those caring for them–keep in mind I’m not trying to be demeaning with this statement–but merely that, much like early motherhood, one has to set aside one’s own wishes and simply react and deal with the needs/demands of someone who is not much interested or empathetic to the needs of those trying to help them. Much like early motherhood, this kind of caring leaves you utterly exhausted both physically and mentally.

    Hoping that you recognize your need for rest and go with the decorated seasonal branch rather than a full-on Christmas tree, especially as you won’t be home at Christmas. Enjoy the trees at other people’s homes and give yourself permission to have a simple, less demanding Christmas. Time for a cuppa…x


    1. Just put the kettle on Mary. I agree about the return to being a child – mum is even starting to have little tantrums now if she cannot get her own way – more with my sister than me which is hard on her. Everything has to stop now until her visit is over – just getting going again now. x


  5. Your winter salad looks really refreshing. I think I will have to buy some raw beetroot and carrot and make something similar. A few fairy lights around a potted plant would give a bit of festive cheer to the home! x


  6. Just reading about you looking after you Mum has left me exhausted, you are amazing. I am sure that she really appreciates what you do even if she doesn’t tell you so. I hope now that she is home and safe that you can find some time to rest too, it is important for us to build rest days/time into our week too!

    We haven’t had a tree for years, we don’t have room for one. We put the decorations up all over the downstairs of the house, I much prefer it especially as you can never have too many that way!


  7. I imagine it is frustrating for your mum too, being old, not as mobile and independent as she once was. Old age isn’t for sissies!

    Putting up a Christmas tree is a lot of work. If it wasn’t for Mr S and my youngest, I think I’d just have a few subtle candle and greenery arrangements. Maybe a bunch of Christmas Bush in a vase. (It’s a native flowering shrub that flowers around Christmas and Aussies use to decorate at Christmas.) But then putting up the tree is one of the markers for me.


    1. We never put our tree up until around the 17th at one time so there is still plenty of time if I decide to go with a tree. They are so expensive these days that it seems prudent to have them up for longer than we would have in the past.

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  8. I commend you for the time you’re spending with your mum. It requires such a degree of selflessness. My sister and I take our mom shopping for one day each December, and we all make more accommodations for each other, every year. I can see they will keep creeping up! I’m glad you are comfortable cutting back on your preparations at home.


    1. At least at the moment she can still get out and about with us – I dread the time when it comes if she has to go into a care home and she becomes too infirm to take out at all.
      I am certainly cutting back this year – too tired by all the events of the year to do very much.


  9. been having a catch up as I’ve been a rubbish blog friend lately.
    I love, love, love your idea for a simple Christmas. Love everything about it. And as for the tree, I bought a small tree from Home Bargains yesterday, for my mum and dad. It’s in a pot and isn’t the trad vicious spiky pine, but more like a nordmann, so lovely and soft. £10. My mum and dad are having a much simpler Christmas this year, just through change in circumstance, so a tree wasn’t top of their list, but I wanted them to have some sort of tree.

    I can imagine how had it was to help your mum get around in the crowds. Hard work.


  10. Ity sounds a very exhausting day for you but I’m glad your mum had such a good time. The Chatsworth shop is fantastic but not big!


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