Loving a stress-free Christmas

Kate Giles
Summary 
I love Christmas. But it's also a very busy time of the year. I asked people with vision loss how they cope with the extra pressure. Being organised tops the list. Many use the internet to do their shopping. Writing on cards can be difficult. But people have come up with a variety of ways to overcome this. Many use computer adaptive equipment. Others make putting up the Christmas tree and wrapping gifts a family affair. It's about finding time for more fun and enjoying the season.
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Kate Giles on 12/12/2012
Person using laptop to buy presents online with Christmas tree in background
xmasshoppingonline

Online shopping helps make Christmas stress-free

I'm into everything Christmas. I love all the parties and catching up with friends and I love to give and to share the blessings of the season. I feel exceptionally happy every time I see the Christmas tree at the end of the room and the sound of carols makes my heart sing. I really enjoy the exchange of cards and catching up on the news from people near and far. Yes! I do believe Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year.

Busy times

Christmas is a very busy time and if you have a disability, it can add a lot of extra pressure. And while I can still manage to sit here and write my cards and wrap my gifts, I have been wondering how others with vision loss cope at Christmas.

Being organised

Being organised seems to top the list of how to deal with this hectic time of year. Karen starts her preparation very early. For me, Christmas begins with the post-Christmas sales. That's where all my wrapping paper, ribbons, paper plates, cards, and serviettes come from for the following Christmas. I've even been known to buy gifts for next year as well.

Buying online

Karen goes on to say that many of her purchases are made through the internet. I'm really thankful for my adaptive equipment, as it allows me to shop at ease in my own home. And again, I look for specials and unique gifts throughout the year.

Tricia is also well organised and makes good use of the internet in the lead up to the holidays. She says, I always do my Christmas shopping well in advance, so as to avoid the crowds. I even buy my groceries online and have them delivered so I don't need to go near the shops. It saves lots of frustration and stress.

Adaptive equipment

The people I spoke to also seem to have come up with a variety of ways to write on cards. Tricia says she can still manage to write on Christmas cards by using a reading machine.

Kylie finds writing on cards very difficult. But I make cards with a personalised family greeting online. It took a while to find websites that were compatible with my adaptive equipment, but in the end it was worth the search. Kylie buys the cards when they are on special and quite reasonably priced, but she admits to not being able to address envelopes.

I now use labels that I have set up on my computer. I've managed to make them as unique as possible with lovely writing and Christmas clipart.

Wendy used to find writing on Christmas cards difficult. Now I have a stamp made up with 'Best Wishes from Wendy.' It works a treat. But I do have to rely on someone to address the envelopes.

Denise still likes to send cards and has also found another way. I buy blank cards and type up messages or greetings then paste them inside the card she says.

Family affair

But how about putting up the tree and wrapping gifts?

Many have made this a family affair. Tricia says, The children and grandchildren put up the tree as they get a real kick out of it, so we've made that a tradition now.

She can still manage to wrap gifts herself, but does utilise the gift wrapping services that many shops and centres offer because it's so convenient.

Karen says she has difficulty with the wrapping. I once asked my husband to do it for me, but he made a bigger mess that I did. Now we do it together.

Enjoying the season

Finding ways to cope effectively and being organised can lead to happier times, especially during this busy period. And I'm into anything that makes life easier, especially if it leaves more time for fun.

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