Wednesday, December 16, 2015

She's Making a List and Checking it Twice

With just nine days to go till Christmas, I am refining my gift list!

As much as I enjoy giving gifts, this year, I have to scale back considerably due to my health issues.  I haven't had the time or the energy to make a lot of gifts and now that I've started chemo and my immune system is weakened, I can't go shopping in crowded shops and risk catching something.  Of course, I could shop on-line, but that costs a lot of money and I budget $120 for holiday (Christmas and New Year) gifts and postage (daughter's gift is not included in that budget).

Last year's post on Holiday Budgets explains how I set aside $10 in my monthly budget for holiday spending.  Some years, I am constrained by my budget.  This year, I am constrained by my health.

As a result, I trimmed down my holiday gift giving list!  For the first time since I started working, I won't be giving my co-workers a holiday gift!  I always gave them a small, token gift - a jar of my homemade jam, a loaf of homemade banana or zucchini bread, a coffee mug, or a calendar, etc.  I feel bad about it and I find myself apologizing to various people!  When I was at the pharmacy, yesterday, for example, I apologized to the pharmacist (who, over the years, has become a friend) about a lack of Christmas gifts this year.  I know (because she has told me) that she and her family look forward to my homemade jams that I normally give.  Of course she understood and reassured me telling me not to worry about it, that regaining my health will be the best gift, etc.  But not before she teased me, saying, "What?  No jam?  You'll have to make up for it later, when you're better!"  :D

So, my gift list this year has been cut back to just under 30 people!  I might cut it back further to 25, as I won't be seeing some of these people over the holiday season, this year, as I am not attending any of the holiday gatherings due to my compromised immunity.  It being the flu season, etc., I just don't want to risk attending any gathering and catching a cold or cough which, I've been told, will likely turn into bronchitis or worse if I get sick. 

Daughter has offered to do some of my shopping for me, provided I give her a list of what to buy, which is why I am checking my list and refining it!

My list includes extended family, friends, and neighbors.  So far, I have 5 gifts purchased, 2 (perhaps even 3) additional gifts in the "stash", 2 gifts made, and supplies for several more in storage (need to get them out and start working on them!)  Need to decide what to do for 2 nieces who are out of state and their children.  One niece has 2 boys and the other niece has a boy and a girl.  


Today, I went in for the 4th and last immune booster shot, followed by 2 blood tests.  After I came home, I worked on office-related stuff.  One of my cousins called and came over with lunch for daughter and me!  She brought enough for several meals, actually.

Later, I made a few more holiday cards.  Stopped because I had a pain in my neck.  I was told that one of the side effects of the immune booster shots was deep bone ache in the sternum, pelvis, legs, etc.  But I am wondering if the neck pain is also a related symptom.  If that is so, then all I can say is...wait for it... "What a pain in the neck!" :D 

Today, I am grateful for:

- A safe drive to the clinic and back
- Completed this round of immune booster shots with minimal side effects
- Cousin bringing over lunch
- Being able to work from home
- Relaxing over card making

How was your day?  Have you made your holiday gift list, yet?  How are you coming along with the gifts?  Are you done with your shopping and gift making? 




  1. Sending hugs - people will still be appreciating your generosity of spirit, even if you cannot give a tangible gift this time. x

    1. Thanks, Sybil. This might be the year of body lotion as gifts!

  2. Dear Bless- I know how much the gift giving means to you. This year do you think a handwritten note telling the nieces out of state (and others for that matter) what they mean to you would suffice? I know I would appreciate that. Hugs to you and Little Bless. Frugal

    1. Frugal, lovely to hear from you! The nieces might appreciate the notes. Due to family dynamics, I didn't meet one of them until she was in her late 20s or early 30s, with children of her own (and I still haven't met her older sister or younger brother!). But not sure that their children (ages between 7 and 13) will appreciate a note. ;) I think I will ask daughter to find some journals for them (they'll be appropriate New Year gifts).

  3. People will understand if you don't get them/make them a gift. I do understand feeling bad about it though.

    I am done with all my gifts finally. I don't really make anything, I'm not really good at that, so people get what I can buy. This year I had to spend less simply because the funds were not there and I do feel bad about that.

    1. Jess, good of you to be done with getting all your gifts! Yes, it's hard to do things on a budget, but I'm sure your gifts will be much appreciated.

  4. It must be hard for you, Bless, when you enjoy gift giving so much. Life has its different seasons and sometimes things change and it is time to reassess. I think the best gift you can give is to get well again, whatever it takes, and that may mean a lot of scaling back this year. The saying is that it is better to give than to receive, but receiving is important too. Enjoy every gift, tangible or otherwise that comes your way at this challenging time. You will be better able to reach out to others in turn when you come through to health again. Hope the pain goes away soon. Hugs, Bushlady

    1. Thank you, Bushlady. Words of wisdom, as always. :) Definitely time to reassess.

  5. I am so happy that you are doing so well, with the immune boosters.. I agree with you.. stay away from stores/parties ,etc.. Too much illnesses out there.. Everyone, will understand you are not able to buy gifts.
    praying for you.
    I am almost finished with my shopping. I have one more gift I want to monogram. and I need to pick up a gift card. I am doing some of my baking now and freezing it.
    Hope you and daughter have a wonderful Christmas and you feel really good..hugs.

    1. Judy, I am avoiding going places. Can't afford to get sick! That's great that you are almost done with your gifts, and already baking ahead. Are your children coming to your place for Christmas? Hope you have the best Christmas.


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