I have found Christmas to be one of the harder things to adjust to after sight loss. I’m three years in now so I thought I’d share some of the things I have picked up along this particular aspect of my journey.
Growing up as a visually impaired person the Christmas prep has always been a little harder for me. If I wasn’t struggling to read the tags on presents I was not able to read a Christmas recipe. When I lost my right eye, buying presents became more difficult. Despite these challenges I still loved Christmas. Preparing for Father Christmas as a teen for my younger sisters was so much fun and my mum always made me feel included in building the secret. Christmas became for me, more about a feeling. It was about the warmth, spirit and love that brought us together at this time of year.
When I lost my sight completely, I thought that was the end of everything. I did not feel ready to experience Christmas as a blind lady so that first year hit me like a ton of bricks. Reflecting, not seeing my son open his presents was the most emotional thing I have been through. It was even harder than the actual accident that took my sight.
But I got through it and this is because of the love and support of my family and friends. My son on that first Christmas morning was so cute. He opened his presents beside me and described each one. As a teenager my mum and I had built the excitement for Father Christmas for my younger sisters which made me feel included. That feeling of inclusion came flowing back through Dylan’s actions and it healed my heart a little more. After dinner we played inclusive games which was fun even though I kept breaking down into tears. My family were patient and allowed me the space that I needed.
I feel a little more warmth, spirit, and love with each Christmas. It can be easy in today’s commercial world to be distracted and lose sight of what Christmas means to us individually. We can get lost in what presents we must buy and how the house will look. When everything that is visual about Christmas was taken away, I had to think about what Christmas meant to me. In a strange way I am grateful to my sight loss for given me a wonderful new experience of Christmas that I can share with my family. I am grateful for the gadgets that help me with the daily living skills, my family and friends and the support network I have built around myself.
So have a think about the non-visual aspects of Christmas that bring you joy, I recommend it, it really does connect you with the better side of the season in my opinion.
Have a wonderful Christmas! (And no it isn’t to early for me to say that!)
Sending love and sparkle!
Lots of love