Cancer shakes up your life like a snow globe turned upside down. But illness also loosens up your life. Cancer gives you permission to rethink your priorities and choose what’s most important to you. It provides an opportunity to reset expectations with friends and family. And it allows you to make your health and well-being the priorities they should be.
The holidays are the perfect time to put new choices in place. You can try new roles, delegate responsibilities and discard traditions that no longer work for you. You get to rewrite the rules.
Put a little twist on the season of giving. Here are some ways to give to lighten the load and make the holidays brighter for everyone.
Experiences are more important than things. Give a certificate redeemable for a future event that lets you spend time together. Or treat the people you love to a concert, a restaurant or a movie.
Make a donation in someone’s name or in honor of a cause they care about. You can even do something to help cancer patients locally through the Anna Purna Ghosh Foundation or the Blesie Tree Foundation.
If you’re dealing with cancer, you’ve probably heard from people who want to know what they can do. Now’s the time to tell them. Help with a batch of cookies, gift wrapping or even tree decorating can add enjoyment to your holidays. If you’re able to share in these activities, the gift is even more meaningful.
Over the years, holiday habits can become traditions. Since it’s not realistic to do everything, sit down with the people you celebrate with. What’s their favorite tradition? Would they be willing to be in charge of it? (If not, it may be time to let it go.) Talking about your traditions helps you sift through them, set aside the ones that aren’t working and treasure the ones you care deeply about.
So, shake things up a bit. And watch the snow settle on a simpler, more peaceful holiday scene.