Planning for the Holidays ~ Doing It Again

My daughter and I were talking the other night and she said “I know what you can write about! Christmas! Gifts you want! Thanksgiving. What you can do and what you can’t. Write it down so everybody knows!” I told her that “I think I did that last year and maybe the year before”. She said “Well, you say that every day is different and things always change, so you need to do it again.” That’s true, things are different. So, let’s do it again!

Because of our large family, it’s tradition to start shopping early, for me anyway. My daughter likes the “Black Friday” shopping.

Because of allergies and COPD triggers, I haven’t been able to go store shopping for a few years.

I miss the touch and feel of things. Now though, everything is online. It’s hard not knowing what things really look like, feel like and even smell like. Now if anything has a smell, my husband airs it out outside or in the garage. Online Black Friday shopping gets overwhelming too. I think my brain is too slow to juggle different sites and ideas for the best deals. As my family wish lists come in, I can take my time. It’s more enjoyable that way anyway.

It’s true every year is different for me, how about for you? COPDers have shared their gift lists with me before, so I’ll list some ideas. Be sure to share ideas of your own, then it helps others to shop for you too.

  • Slippers or slipper socks
  • Fingerless gloves to keep hands warm and can still do things with fingers; type, etc.
  • Gloves
  • Pajamas
  • Robe
  • Scarf
  • Balaclava to cover head and face
  • An invite to dinner or a delivered meal if they can’t get out of the house
  • Newspaper or magazine subscription
  • A book
  • A movie with you, as well as pop and popcorn. If it’s best to do at home, rent a movie and enjoy together!
  • Set aside time for card games and other things you can enjoy together
  • Postage stamps
  • A box of greeting cards so that there is something available to send out
  • Photographs in an album or framed
  • A homemade coupon book with coupons that can be turned in, in exchange for dusting, a massage, a ride to look at Christmas lights, etc. The ideas are limitless and will be so appreciated.
  • Avoid scented things. Even gels and hair things can be overpowering to those with COPD.

Try making Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners near the location where the COPDer lives.

Please be open-minded, as it may be difficult for the COPDer to go visiting. Some suffer with anxiety as well and may have panic attacks. It’s important to be understanding, because anxiety, etc. are something that can't be turned off and on. If everyone is close by, maybe the COPDer would go for dinner, but then he/she maybe wants to go home right away. That’s okay. It’s wonderful that he/she went out at all. It would be wonderful to walk them to and from the door. It would also be great that they got a plate of leftovers for later on or even tomorrow.

When you go to the get together, make sure that everyone knows not to wear scented products as these can trigger a reaction and even cause a COPD exacerbation if the person is sensitive at all. Unless you know that the COPDer is not sensitive to wood burning in the fireplace and even furnace, do not use while they are there, even though the smell remains in the house. Live Christmas trees can also cause a reaction, as well poinsettias and other live plants.

Be sure to discuss these triggers ahead of the holidays. Find a way that your COPDer can spend time with all regardless.

Again, please share any thoughts and ideas that you have as well.

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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.

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