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My Holiday Goals

My biggest challenge during any holiday is goal setting. I want to do all the things exactly the way I did them in the past. Alas, that is no longer going to happen and it’s me that needs to come to grips with that.

The past

In days gone by, I would start planning months ahead of time. Due to the fact that my parents lived with us, I was the one who had all the company during the holidays. Our entire Irish Catholic family would pile into our house. They would find the comforts of Easter Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Food, family, and a head full of memories brought everyone together. It didn’t matter where everyone was at other times of the year, they all came to my house during the holidays.

Kids were able to run wild and expel some holiday energy as they waited for the Easter Bunny and Santa. My house was always a kid-friendly zone. I had no problem finding games to keep kids busy and nothing was too fragile touch.

New meanings

Celebrating the holidays over the years has taken on new meanings as my COPD has become front and center to my families’ existence. Now, I find that I can no longer host the big celebrations like I once did and it is time to step aside and let the younger ones take over. I attend as the guest when I can because, for me, participating is not always possible.


Keeping my anxiety levels in check is the key to managing my symptoms. I must now take the energy I once used to plan our holiday celebration and put that into keeping my anxiety at bay. I find that practicing Mindfulness and Meditation along with Grounding exercises are the tools that I added to my toolbox.


Unfortunately, the weather plays a big part in the success or failure of my holiday visits. We all know that no one but Mother Nature can control that. My task then becomes being ready for any situation that could arise. I always have a scarf around my mouth and nose. Then, I pile on light layers of clothing because too much of anything is not good. When I use supplemental oxygen, the tubing is always inside my shirt as close to my skin as I can get it. Taking it slow and easy in and out of the car can make the difference between success and failure.


My expectations for the season have reached an all-time low. Not because I no longer enjoy them, but because I find I have very little control over what will happen. This way I am never disappointed by what it will look like. Overall, I am much more relaxed about the holiday. Without expectations, it is a “take it as it comes situation.” Then I can be pleasantly surprised at how it all unfolds and how it all takes place.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.