Phyllis S. Donovan: Now Looking Toward Most Busy Season

With Thanksgiving now behind us and only the leftover turkey in the fridge to remind us of that pleasant day of overindulgence, we turn our thoughts to Christmas.

Unlike some people I know, I do not start purchasing holiday gifts in July. Who knows what people will need or want six months in advance. I hold off checking out sales and special holiday offers until I have no further distractions.

Now Christmas looms a mere month away from today and it’s time to start getting ready for it..

Being pretty much homebound, I must now limit my Christmas “shopping” to buying online, an activity I wouldn’t have even attempted in the past but which my daughter Peg has the savvy to help me out with when I need rescuing.

I have been receiving sleek and colorful catalogs in the mail featuring gifts of all varieties from fancy foods or fruit arrangements to expensive housewares and clothing. Unfortunately, all the gifts I’ve seen offered online are much more costly than if I could actually buy them in area stores.

Some of those catalogs I have passed on to my granddaughter whose taste in gifts runs far different from mine. Others I have kept for my own perusal to reluctantly order from in the not-too-distant future. But I dare not wait too long. For what good is a gift that doesn’t arrive on time.

Buying gifts for family members isn’t the worst of my pre-holiday worries. There will still be Christmas cards to write and send, and not long after that the house must be decorated.

Luckily, I have a large family. This built-in crew will show up on a hopefully mild day to put up the outdoor lights we usually display. Then my daughter and granddaughter will come back later to set up my Christmas tree and decorate the inside of the house.

I once spent hours happily wrapping gifts while my cat sat by and watched, sometimes batting at the ribbon. But no more. My daughter buys me an array of gift bags. With red and green tissue paper inserted to surround the gifts, they will look festive under the tree with a lot less work and time spent.

All of these modifications are to make Christmas easier for me. Gone are the days when I could perform these tasks myself or at least participate in the holiday preparations. But how I miss it!

Christmas Eve day will mark the third anniversary of the fall that put me out of commission by resulting in a broken left leg and a broken right hip.  Not being able to walk well has robbed me of the independence of doing so many things for myself. But at least my mind continues plugging along, keeping me involved with life and the world around me.

Last week my granddaughter Kate brought her friend Carter to meet me. They stayed for two hours and after leaving he told her that I was “cool.” Coming from a young man who had just met me, I considered that the highest of compliments.

An idiom from the New Testament of the Bible notes that “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” and that is so true in my case. As long as I have the spirit, I will continue along as best as I can, and that in itself is a real blessing.


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