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?