I am one of those girls who loves the holidays, but after my accident things got a little weird. From not being able to use my palms to roll peanut butter balls anymore to not wrapping presents with my mom on Christmas Eve like we’ve always done, I quickly found out that things were not going to be the same.
I’ve however refused to let this ruin my holiday experience. I did at first. I got down every Christmas for like over ten years straight, thinking about how much better the holidays were – going sledding hill during Christmas week off, ice skating on the lake, making homemade garland out of popcorn, I missed it all. And more than anything I feverishly wished for my innocence back.
I though had a change of heart on the holidays a few years ago. My grandpa died and I had one of those moments where you realize life is too short to only enjoy something unless you do it the way you want to. We rarely ever get what we want in life. I realized I wasn’t going to get better; I had to find a new way to enjoy the holidays, and that’s exactly what I did.
I started my goal of falling in love with Christmas again by trying to find things I could still do. While I couldn’t make many kinds of Christmas cookies anymore because the recipes were just too complicated, I did find something I was good at – decorating cookies; sugar cookies to be specific.
I decided to embrace this and I now have dozens of cool and unique cookie cutters that I love to collect. Everywhere I go I’m always on the hunt, and it’s fun. This is something I’ve become good at post-injury, and damn it feels good.
I’ve also discovered a new love for Christmas decorations. I was only 14 when I was injured, so decorations weren’t really on my radar, but boy are they on my radar now. I love snow globes, Santa Clauses, vintage Christmas decorations and the classic Christmas decoration – candles. A Christmas candle, whether it’s scented like pine tree forest or a gingerbread house – amazing.
And I’ve discovered a way to light candles; not easy to do with paralyzed hands. I used to use my Zippo lighter to light candles, but now I use a torch lighter; made for cigars but they’re SO easy to use. All you need is an incense stick and you’re set. Get a flame going on the end of the stick after activating the lighter by hitting the button, and stick the flame near the wick of the candle. See, candles lit, your place is all Christmas-ey; easy as pumpkin pie.
It’s awesome; I never thought this day would come – it’s almost Thanksgiving and I’m actually excited for the holidays. No longer do I strictly reminisce about what once was, and I must say it feels so good to reclaim Christmas. From James Bond movie marathons to tree ornament shopping, it’s crazy. I made it work.
Do the holidays make you sad? How did you get over it?
– Personal favorite: Angel wings cookie cutter