Nov. 14, 2012 >> back to issue

Four Ways to Keep the Holidays Special Despite PH


Lots of people complain of holiday stress as they fill the weeks of November and December with cooking, decorating, gift-giving and more. Yet these high-energy preparations are even harder with PH. To work around your illness and still enjoy this season, try these four tips PHA gathered from PH patients through Facebook and email.

Simplify: Gail Bucchi loves holiday activities but has made some changes, like cutting down her holiday card list and using fewer decorations. Lori Funk shared on PHA’s Facebook page that she bakes with her children using cookie mixes and prepared pie crusts to save time and reduce cleanup. The time spent together is what really matters to her, she said. Lori also avoids crowds at the stores by shopping early on weekdays.

Plan ahead: Also on Facebook, Clarissa Lamont recommended advance planning and doing the work gradually so the holiday itself will be a relaxing time with family. Linda Gates enjoys using carefully chosen decorations to set up an elaborate Christmas village at home, but she starts right after Thanksgiving. Pacing herself over several weeks makes the job manageable.

Shop online: Buying gifts online is a popular tip with several PH patients. Shopping from home and having purchases delivered is hard to beat. As Tammy Gray noted, online shopping also means you don’t have to go out as much in the cold.

Delegate: Janet McGuiness Pierce has learned that others can do the work, including helping make her favorite recipes. Melanie Kozak hosts Thanksgiving dinner, but her extended family comes over to get the house ready ahead of time.

With some thought, some help and a few sparks of ingenuity, you can continue to enjoy the best of your holiday traditions in spite of your PH.

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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.