What sort of Christmas are you planning? - LUPUS UK


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What sort of Christmas are you planning?


Wondering what everyone is considering. Are you going to be having several households bubbling? What sort of pressure are you under?

For me - My husband and I are in a bubble with my mother and our 2 student children will be returning, one of whom will get tested by the university first. I’m shielding. My elderly aunt is expecting to come 24th to 27th, as she does every year. She’s in warden controlled flats and they have 1 resident who is positive right now and several staff. Her mask slips off her face constantly and she has zero cough hygiene - giving me a nasty cough in March when I was doing her shopping back then. Can you tell I’m feeling incredibly stressed about her coming? My husband thinks I’m cruel not to want her.

So far I have grudging support for everyone wearing masks for present opening and that windows will be open. Have ordered christmas face masks and novelty sanitizer bottles to place with crackers on the table.

Tell me your plans and what ideas you may have had to reduce risk.

42 Replies

Whatever way people celebrate this year is going to end with some pull of conscience, regret, wistfulness etc. Another form of pressure has descended around Christmas. Isn't it a shame. About your elderly aunt. I'm not sure what the regulations are exactly but I thought I read that anyone over the age of 65 in care homes will not be allowed to stay away / visit from their home over Christmas. So maybe it will be out of your control. Our decision is simple. We are staying as we are, after all it is just one day and there will be tomorrows (as long as people remain safe). I would rather celebrate 'liberation' with those nearest and dearest when it is safe to do so and when we can all relax and truely enjoy eachother's company. The wonder for me is in people's smiles, gentle gestures, hugs and laughter.

Cathyan in reply to RosieA

Thanks RosieA. It was very helpful to vent on here and thank you for listening. You sound to have made a wise decision and are at peace with it. I wish we could resolve our situation in a way that everyone is comfortable. My aunt's accommodation is "residential living with care" so not a care home she keeps telling me. She is 84. I rang the warden a few days ago and asked if they would be issuing guidance so waiting for that.

Hi.Cathyan. Christmas for us isnt changing as I no longer have the extended family alive.my mum is 88 and lives on her own and usually comes to stay Christmas eve to boxing day.we were waiting to see what was said by boris but if households werent allowed to mix then I would of had to take her her dinner and leave it .I dont see my daughter as she several hundred miles away but even if she lived closer I still wouldnt see her as shes a nurse and as I'm ecv I cant take the risk.as it is shes working Christmas this year so it will be a socially distanced present exchange in a motorway services carpark.other then that I am cutting back on everything else..I'm not prepared to go out shopping or to the post office to send cards etc.if people dont like it or make no attempts to understand then it's tough.I can understand your concerns...I think you have to do what you can to keep yourself safe and well. At the end of the day it's one day and not the end of the world......theres next year x

Thanks for listening to me venting Spanielmadlady. I'm sorry you will miss your daughter but hope all goes well for your mother's visit and you stay safe. If my aunt doesn't come in the end then we will take her Christmas meal to her as you had planned for your mother. It has been truly hard for our old people to be so isolated and my aunt has suffered so I feel for her, but worry I can't really trust her to keep herself or us safe based on past performance.

I dont like the thought of my mum being on her own but it's also a case of keeping her safe.when she comes here she can see her granddaughter and great grandchildren on alexa or zoom and have some company for a while but we will do what is safest for all.I was 50 during first lockdown and couldnt see my mum so I made up a tray of afternoon tea and added mini bunting and got a lovely napkin etc left it on her doorstep so there are little ways of making things special.x

What a lovely 50th birthday tea idea. Might steal that for another day for my aunt. Hope it works out for your mother coming and stay safe!

Thank you I hope it all works out for you too.just remember you have a right to feel safe and comfortable in your own home x

Thank you. I've been speaking to my mum about it this morning and we are thinking about a plan that includes requesting she doesn't come if there are any new positive cases in the flats' residents or staff in the 2 weeks before Christmas. Also making it just Christmas Day that we collect her and take her home. Also, getting my daughter, who will have had uni testing, to do her shopping for the 2 weeks before Christmas, not any of the care staff. And asking her to stop popping to the local shops. She's always telling me people hold the door open for her when she shops at the next door garage and I picture her mask slipped to her chin and wonder how on earth she stays safe. She doesn't need to shop at all but it's become her almost daily exercise and socialising. Alternatively I'm hoping that the new Morrisons' telephone ordering and delivery service might work for her but she's very deaf so unless the warden agrees to telephone a written list for her quite possibly not.

I think having a plan is a good idea.there is always a way.my mum insisted on going to morrisons on the bus with her shopping trolley all through lockdown 1 even though I have a priority delivery slot and can do it for her 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️.this time shes stayed at home but I'm going to remind her that she will have to stay home 2 weeks before she comes and I've sorted Christmas presents online in order to prevent her going shopping.Can someone else in your family phone an order in for her? X

Us octogenarians are tougher than we look...we don’t want this virus & we certainly don’t want to infect anybody else.So promise us a sooperduper Easter Egg...telephone after the Queen’s speech...🎄...not during it....& we will all launch into 2021 with our health & safety intact,& still friends with everybody!

I know you are a tough breed I used to work with elderly.my mums eyes seem to have deteriorated over the summer and she appears more nervous so there are other reasons for not wanting her to go out shopping on the bus.it also makes it difficult for me to help her if shes out in the community as I'm ecv. Enjoy the queens speech and stay well in 2021 x

Honestly we’d really rather potter on at our own pace, than feel we are inconveniencing anybody.Ask her what day she’s going shopping.... then guess what you think she needs and take it to her the day before then go for a walk weather permitting .....stay to have a cup of tea with her and she’ll be thrilled to bits!

We might be tough.....but we ain’t half stubborn too!

I order her shopping with mine when she tells me what she needs as I have a priority delivery slot and I'm also doing her washing so I do pop in and out during the summer my son cuts her grass .the advantage of her coming here is she can see my daughter and grandchildren on zoom which she cant at home x

I know it is heartbreaking....but my friends ....they have families but I don’t in this country...have all spoken quite bluntly ......we want a few more sunny Christmases...so we will hunker down this year...in the hope there will be Christmases to come ...but we do understand the dilemma of people can’t all agree.I have acquaintances of my age who thinks it’s all a fuss about nothing....because they don’t want to face it.

So all we can do is go with our own instincts.

Hope you can sort things happily.

There is only the two of us left now my daughter lives several hours away and working Christmas this year.on previous normal Christmases there is only 3 of us anyway so not much change

Morning Cathyan...This situation with Covid is causing dilemmas, for all of us sheilder's and everyone in general..

My husband and I normally go to my brothers and share it with is family and extended family members..

But this year it's not happening, for us, I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing Christmas with others when all year we have been so careful..

This horrendous virus is still with us and hasn't gone away..

Whatever you decide to do, keep safe and remember there will be other Christmas's for us to celebrate.

I can see a definite lockdown coming in January when the decorations come down..

We plan to enjoy it quietly, we have no alternative..

Love to you, stay well and safe jx

Thanks for listening to me offload my worries strawberrylips. I'm sorry you will miss your usual gathering but you sound to have made the sensible decisions well in advance. I'm missing my brother and sister-in-law as well as they normally come from the US but fortunately no one can dispute that they don't come! We're very good at FaceTiming with them but my aunt can't handle the internet and FaceTiming despite us buying her an iPad two Christmases ago.

Hi Cathyan, what a dilemma for you. Personally I would not want to take the risk with your aunt because the primary concern is that you are safe so that you can have many more Christmas celebrations with your family. I do not have that consideration as there is only myself and my husband and our beautiful cocker spaniels. Whatever you decide stay safe and put yourself first for once xx

Thank you for posting CecilyParsley. I'm really grateful - you've said what I wish my family would say to me. Sitting here crying now! I hope you have a peaceful safe Christmas. Xx

Bless you I was worried when I posted that I had been too opinionated .it is a fault of mine. I am so deeply sorry if I upset you Cathyan. I would not want to hurt you ever, it just seemed to me that you are the one making all the compromises and the risks. Sending you huge Cwtches. I hope your family understand how distressing this is for you. It does not mean that you love your aunt any less xxx

You haven't hurt me at all CecilyParsley. I'm grateful as it clarifies matters for me. It's not just me thinking this is the wrong way to have Christmas this year. If only the government would issue separate guidance for shielders to help us out here! Or not have relaxed everything for Christmas in the first place.

I wish they hadnt relaxed Christmas too and I expect another lockdown in January/Feb x

I think the lockdown in January is inevitable. 😢

RosieA in reply to Cathyan

It's all rather strange really as people celebrating major religious events from other faiths, such as Divali were asked not to come together to celebrate. The precedent was set and we should have followed suit - just my thoughts though. x

I’m afraid I would cancel your auNt given that she’d be staying for 3 days.could you not take her Christmas dinner round.I’m so sorry to seem hard hearted,if there isCovid where she is living it would be so risky for you and the rest of your family.

Take care whatever you decide.

Cathyan in reply to Oshgosh

Thank you Oshgosh. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the place itself will advise her it's not suitable but I think my mum and husband are coming round and we are steeling ourselves to tell her that, or that she comes for the day only, having self isolated for 2 weeks before hand. Thank you everyone who has posted on this thread as it's given me the courage to discuss how upset I was getting.

Oshgosh in reply to Cathyan

Hopefully they will advise her that it’s not a good idea to visit you.You could have an alternative Christmas when you’ve all been vaccinated ?

I’m glad That discussing it on the site has helped you. Take care x

Some people for whatever reason may not wish to celebrate Christmas in any shape or form. Some people use different calendars for the solar year.

Their choice.

Cathyan in reply to Sue_petal

True. My aunt is deeply religious though and coming here for Christmas is the highlight of her year.

It is thanksgiving today and we are having just household this year for dinner but my 76 year old parents will come over in the afternoon and sit around our fire pit six feet apart from us to have pie. They will eat theirs while we stay masked and we will eat ours after they leave. I work in a school and my daughter is in person and played soccer and volleyball until earlier this month so we do not wish to expose my parents to anything.

Bubbles need to be burst they are the number one driver of our world wide spikes. More than 75 percent of infections are linked to small household gatherings within bubbles. Your bubble of five is shown to be in actuality exposing you to well over 25 other people for each one persons in a bubble is linked to at least five other people outside your bubble.

Skipping one or two holiday traditions this year will hopefully allow us to have everyone alive to fill a chair at next year’s table while hosting family gatherings with non household members is sure to result in numerous more deaths this year.

Cathyan in reply to Roarah

I love your fire pit solution Roarah. And your bubble explanation and warning are so true. I wish we could have something outside but we live in pretty much the wettest place in England so are unlikely to have weather that the elderly could sit outdoors for, let alone my raynaud’s so we will have to resolve this some other way. Belated happy thanksgiving.

Roarah in reply to Cathyan

It ended up down pouring all day so we put up a small white event tent sans sides and used a quartz electric patio heater instead of the fire pit it ended up perfect even with cool temps and heavy rain. We got our 10x10 tent and patio heater on Amazon for pretty cheap last month and it has been a god send.

For my teen we turned the detached garage into a club house. We built a climbing wall hung a trapeze on the 16 foot ceiling and monkey bars with a rope ladder and a pool table. I allow four neighbors to play staying six feet away from each other with the two 9x9 carriage doors open and electric patio heaters on if needed and they have been playing together outside only since may. They never complain or ask to play inside and sometimes they are out there until 10:30( weekend curfew) even in freezing temps and thunder storms.

If you have a shed with a large opening door for sufficient ventilation you could do a sheshed for outdoor socializing perhaps.

Cathyan in reply to Roarah

This all sounds amazing and ingenious. Well done. Sorry about the rain though.

Christmas is proving tricky. I live on my own and have nephritis so have spent all year being extremely careful. I want to see my sons - but one is in Manchester and works in schools, so it will be difficult to make sure he doesn't bring the virus to me. Another son is in Bristol and is also unable to isolate beforehand. Perhaps we will have Christmas when I have been vaccinated. Then we will be able to relax. I want to see them - but not if it might be the last time I ever see them.

Oh WinterSwimmer it’s so hard, isn’t it. I would happily miss Christmas and postpone things but it’s other people’s expectations - my aunt’s, and student children returning, that complicates things.

I think so many people are in the position you find yourself in.

I shall be at home alone .....ensuring I don’t expose myself to this awful disease. Although elderly...I hope I will have plenty of time to enjoy future Christmases. Don’t be railroaded into anything you don’t want to do....your future well being is at stake.

So Please look after yourself...& ask everybody else do the same.

If you feel unsafe about anyone coming into hour home....say you are sorry...but not this year.....it is too risky.

You might have to face an argument...but Covid19 is not just the odd sniffle......it is deadly.

I know that is not what you want to hear....but you did ask.......

What would I really like to be doing ?

I really want to be flying off to a sun soaked beach & meeting up with old friends as I usually do.......but we have all decided “same time & place........next year”! Boring & sensible I know.....but for us it’s the only way.

Cathyan -

I hope we can take some pressure off you. You have been shielding and taking care of yourself for so long now. I know you want to see your family for Christmas. But your plan sounds very unsafe to me. Why don’t you call your GP and explain the situation? They will be happy to give you orders so that you can explain the situation to your family.

Just think of it like a cold. Sometimes we know who we got it from and sometimes we don’t. The virus is all around.

My elderly but healthy doctor friends are staying at home - no family - this Thanksgiving and Christmas. They must know something.

Please protect yourself.


Cathyan in reply to KayHimm

Thanks KayHimm. That's an idea. One of the GPs at my surgery, which is also my aunt's, is a good friend of mine. She won't mind me messaging her.

Hello Cathyan, we will be mixing with one household which is my daughter and her husband. They have been isolating since March and rarely go out. Having said that we try to oblige 7 day rule before any meet up. Given we have vulnerable health, we decided to regularly see each other every week. Christmas is no exception. We agreed that 7 days prior will be complete isolation. The reason I mention this is that I think symptoms show within 5 days in most cases. By the end of the 5 day or 6 we know if anyone got something whilst food shopping or something. So if anyone wants to come and visit us, we also request them to at least isolate for 6, preferably 7 days. All shopping has moved to online for Christmas.

I know it is confusing guideline but I would try to see if you can suggest at least 5 days isolation to all? With love and merry Christmas x

Cathyan in reply to LalSD

We used a 10 day rule on my son when he returned from studying in London at the end of March. May go for 7 days for him this time anyway but he could possibly squeeze in 10 days.

So easement of lockdown starts 23 to 27 DECEMBER, 5 days of drunkenness? hugging, lack of social distancing, poor personal hygiene and hand washing??

Many families travelling and getting together!!😢😱😭

Expect a huge UK surge of [3rd SPIKE ] COVID-19 positive cases and death by mid January 2021 amid promotion of vaccination!

NO THANKS. I’ll still be shielding folks.

A sensible, personal choice.

Please take care!

Zoe896 in reply to Newby12


Thanks for posting.


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