The Year of Christmas



October 31, 2016

While my friends and family are stressing over trying to figure out when they are going to have either or both the time or energy to put up their trees and decorate for Christmas, I am relaxed and ready to partake in loads of holiday fun!  The year of Christmas has turned into the years of Christmas, and don’t be surprised if it turns into the Decade of Christmas.  It honestly doesn’t bother me to always have Christmas decorations and my tree up.  The only downside is that every picture taken inside our home looks like it was taken at Christmas, which makes figuring out exactly when something took place a little difficult if I don’t label and date photo folders.  However, that takes a lot less energy than putting up and taking down my holiday décor each year.  In addition to being sicker than I have ever been at the beginning of the holiday season, I also have many outings planned for the month of November.  There is no way that I would be physically able to decorate my home at the end of the month, even if I forgo all my outings.  Instead, year-round Christmas allows me to enjoy the company of friends and family and soak up as much holiday joy from Disneyland as I want without worrying about the additional pain that will occur.

What are some things you do or no longer do to save your energy and sanity during the holiday season?


November 10, 2015

For all those people who laughed when I shared that I would not be taking down my Christmas tree or décor for the year, guess who is laughing now??!!!  ME!! I am grinning ear to ear because I don’t have to find the energy or waste my precious energy to decorate my house.  In the past, I would typically wait for a burst of energy to hit between Halloween and Thanksgiving to prepare my home for Christmas.  No matter what, I would always be exhausted afterward and/or have to sacrifice other activities since decorating my home would leave me physically wiped out for days or weeks.  But NOT this year!!!!  My house is ready, and so am I! No plans will be canceled this holiday season due to decorating exhaustion!!!

I have to admit, I was worried that I would get sick of seeing my Christmas tree and décor year-round.  However, that was never an issue.  Other than scooting my tree from the living room to the dining room, all other décor remained in their places.  In September, I rearranged my living room furniture and returned the tree to this room as it would no longer block the window that it did before.  Throughout the year, I would occasionally turn on the twinkling lights, but for the most part, I really didn’t pay much attention to my décor.  One reason is that, unlike my total house transformations of Christmases past, my décor is more minimalistic.  Another reason is that I spend most of my time at home in my bedroom, which provides my body with the most comfort.  And finally, because I spend most of my “good” days away from home, I never became sick of seeing my holiday decorations.

What surprised me the most was that not one person who came into my home outside of the Christmas season had anything negative to say.  In fact, it usually brought a smile to their faces! And who cares if they teased about it after they left? It doesn’t bother me.

On New Year’s day, the year of Christmas will be coming to an end.  Then I have the decision to make….. Take it down and go back to worrying about decorating next fall or let Christmas continue for another year….. I have hinted to my family that I am considering turning this into the Decade of Christmas! Believe it or not, they are on board!!!!  Maybe I’ll unpack more décor and expand the presence of Christmas throughout my home.  We shall see. All I know is that I have no regrets! I avoided two instances of being physically worn out for days and weeks by not taking it down and not having to put it back up!

Maybe you are not ready for a year-long Christmas, but there is something that everyone can learn from mine.  And that is to not worry about living like everybody else! No law states that you must have the inside of your home decorated or undecorated by any date.  Give your body a break and do what is best for you!  Maybe that means not decorating at all.  Only you can decide.  Chronic illnesses cause so much havoc in our lives, so why would we want to add to the number of days down when we don’t have to.

Wishing you all a Christmas filled with smiles and gentle hugs,

The Disabled Diva

***Previous Update***

My household unanimously voted that this would indeed be the Year of Christmas.  Today, April 7, 2015, marks the longest amount of time that I have ever left my Christmas tree and décor up.  So far, we have celebrated New Year’s, my daughter’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, and Easter with twinkling lights and Christmas décor.  The funny thing is that I am still not sick of seeing my tree or decorations!!  In fact, I find that I am enjoying them more and more as each day and month passes!!!!  I did make one change.  When the weather warmed up, I needed to scoot my tree away from the window that I love to have open when the temps are beautiful.  My tree was making it difficult to open the window, so I pushed it into our dining area.  Because I have a great room where the living, dining, and kitchen are all visible to each other, my tree is still visible no matter where I am sitting. And do you know what I am looking forward to the most?  Not having to put my body through the pain of decorating for Christmas as we near Thanksgiving!  Knowing that I won’t be knocked down for days or weeks from decorating, I have already started making plans that I would not normally have the energy for if I had to overhaul my home for the holiday.  Instead of dreading November and December, I am looking forward to spending Thanksgiving day at Disneyland as well as spending an entire week there with my best friend and her family in December.  So far, this has been one of my best years ever, and I believe this year’s holiday season will be the best ever!  Be sure to check back later as I will update you through the year on how the Year of Christmas is going and whether or not I want to set fire to my Christmas tree!****

Original post:

Many years ago, I would transform my home from one holiday to the next in a calculated and timely manner.  As pain took over my body, the set transformation dates and the transformations stopped.  For the past five years, I have only decorated for Christmas.  I have also teased that some years I am just going to leave Christmas up for the entire year.

Well, I think this may be the year.  So far, the longest I have ever left my Christmas tree up for was until Valentine’s Day.  I had surgery right after Christmas and was not up to the task until then.  Most years, I am ready to take the tree down before New Year’s Day.  But not this year.  In fact, my wanting to keep the tree up has nothing to do with how I am physically feeling.  You see, this Christmas season was the first in many years that I wasn’t confined to my bed or couch.  I was on the go, and when I wasn’t, I was resting in bed.  I didn’t really have a chance to just relax and enjoy looking at the twinkling lights and ornaments.


It may sound silly, but this was the first week that I have really taken the time to sit and enjoy the beauty of my tree since I put it up in November.  I once knew a lady that would just slide her fully decorated tree into her guest room, so she didn’t have to mess with taking it down and putting it up each year.  I don’t have a guest room unless I move it to my bedroom…….  Hmmmm now that is an idea!!!!  I wonder if I could sell my husband on this……

Anyways, does it really matter when or if I take my tree down?  NO!  Don’t let the stress of worrying about what others will think to keep you from enjoying your good days!

May your days be filled with twinkling lights and gentle hugs,

The Disabled Diva

Published by Cynthia Covert

Diagnosed in 2001 with psoriasis, followed by fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, endometriosis, and later a botched hysterectomy turned her world upside down. Cynthia shares her experience, advice, and tips for how to make life with chronic pain easier and less painful.

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