four hands holding sparklers fireworks in front of a background of a night sky with trees full of holiday lights.

Happy Holidays With COPD

Last updated: December 2022

Welcome to another holiday with COPD!

Hearing “Happy Holidays” and noting the time of year, I think Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year.
Yet, I’m reminded that our holidays go beyond November and December.

We have holidays in each of the 12 months. Some are national holidays that are frequently celebrated, and some aren’t.

You may think, oh no. It's hard enough to think of the big November and December holidays. Thankfully, we can all do what we want or all that we can do.

To me, it's an exciting thought. Hopefully, we can plan for others if we can’t be there for one holiday.

Celebrating the holidays

There are so many memories of holidays past. It would be fun to share with our families near and far.

It's hard enough to get excited most days. How do we plan when we struggle with breathing when we are coughing or in pain? We don't know how we will feel from one day to the next.

Talk about unplanned. My husband and I both have Covid-19. Bah humbug to that.

All holidays might brighten up the days of our COPDers.

How about sending holiday cards throughout the year, putting pictures on their Facebook pages, etc.? Something fun, something to look forward to.

I feel like a kid who just opened the biggest gift ever. Some days, I feel like there has to be something to look forward to. Do you ever feel like that?

Participation might not be possible, but let that imagination run wild, especially when we feel down and alone, sick and alone, even with others.

Getting together with family

How do we do those days? Reach out to a friend or reach out here in our community. Someone is usually around.

If not now, there will be something later that I have always wanted to do: plan a get-together with family members who live closer to do a craft day or online with the whole group. They have seemed interested, but we will see.

Imagine the fun projects. Possibly with online friends, quite a few COPDers enjoy crafting. I call it my therapy.

Imagine the fun of doing a monthly birthday party for family members who have birthdays that month. Timing may be a problem for others, but everyone can plan.

Then I can hear you ask, "would I be up to it, especially if I hosted it"? As I shake my head, I wonder if I could plan on it. Maybe online.

Back to the holidays. This year, they are talking about a white Christmas. I will share photos and memories, which are always blessings to share with family and friends.

A couple of years ago, I set up a Facebook page for three generations of family and others. Seldom does anyone post on it besides me. Once I post, though, there is always a lot of response.

Share old photos from holidays past with your loved ones. How fun to celebrate the day or holiday.

Ask others to share their memories from that time. That can feel like a celebration too.

Having people close to us

Having COPD is part of us, part of our lives, whether you have COPD or a loved one does. We don't always need a reason to reach out to each other. Sadly too often, we don't.

It's important to feel part of life. Part of a family, whether it's your family or your COPD family.

Even though I’ve been making gifts, there isn’t enough time to get everything done, so I plan to send them in the New Year. Shortness of breath, back, and intense pain limit how long I can do anything.

Board games and cards are something that we can all play, ten years and up anyway. That will be fun. I need to pick up some to play with; they can be given as family gifts!

Years ago, when my son lived in Florida, and another lived in California, we would play online card games. It was so much fun, playing each other or partnering against other opponents. We had great conversations too.

We can do so many things, even from a distance. Just make sure that the batteries are charged on all devices.

Just think, I'm taking a baking class and have always wanted to do this. Photo gifts and my new exciting gift, cookies, are planned.

In the past, I've given baked items. For Christmas this year, I’m doing an online class on cookie decorating with royal icing. Included with those gifts will be cake pops and other goodies to fill mason jars.

I told my kids not to buy us gifts this year. They should take pictures of everything they would want to buy us.

Even houses and cars. We could enjoy those pics for years! Doesn’t that sound like fun? They will put in a Shutterfly book.

My family has been so good about helping when visiting. We designate who's coming, what is the main food, and who is bringing what sides and desserts.

Two veggies, dinner rolls, appetizers, and more are planned. Leftovers are the best. Everyone gets to take food home.

Sadly, people spend more time in the car traveling than we spend together.

We can't forget the rules. Everyone must know how important they are. Your rules may vary from mine.

Don't wear scented products. My kids wanted a list of products I use so they can use the same. I sent pictures of each item, and then it’s easier for them to know exactly what I use.

Grateful they will never know how grateful I am. Each works so hard to make it better for me.

I love each family member to the moon and back. They are all different. That’s what makes each one unique.

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