5 Things You Can Do This Christmas for People with Mobility Issues
Updated: May 28, 2020
Hello friends! Thank you for taking time out of the busyness of cookie baking and online shopping (and stressing about baking and shopping) to read this blog post. The Christmas season is notoriously hectic and in that hustle and bustle, some people can unfortunately get lost in the shuffle. It’s ironic, isn’t it?
The very reason to celebrate Christmas is to spread God's love to our family and friends, but sometimes it is those very people who come away feeling lonely or unloved by our stressed out vibe.
Like the mom who wants to give her kids the perfect, on-trend flip sequin emoji pillow and snaps at them because she wasted two hours looking online without finding the right one.
Or the guy who takes a second job around the holidays to get some extra spending money, but is too exhausted to spend time with his girlfriend.
Or the girl who wants to spend more time with her friends during the holidays so she hosts a fancy dinner party but is too busy to even have one conversation longer than, "Do you need a refill of your cranberry pomegranate martini?" It's the pressure of entertaining! (Any Friends fans out there?)
The struggle of Christmas is real, you guys, and we all know what that’s like.
While I think we can all relate to this, I want to bring attention to the people in our lives that might have even more reason to feel left out during the holiday season, and that is people with mobility issues.
Now, I am not bringing this up because I want you to take pity on people with disabilities. Rather, I want to share some tips for all of us to keep in mind as we spend time with our loved ones this Christmas.
While I am speaking from experience as a person with a physical disability, this list is not limited to disabilities. The tips could apply to anyone with mobility issues, seniors, or special needs. Of course, every person’s circumstances will be unique and what you might do with your aging parent would be different from how you would hang out with your friend with a chronic illness.
Every Christmas my family and I have a cookie bar where we can sample everyone’s favourite treats. So, I’d like you to think of this post as a platter of Christmas cookies. While not everything laid out will be quite your taste, you can take one or two of your favourites to sample. Or, you are welcome to take one of each! Enjoy!
5 Things You Can Do This Christmas for People with Mobility Issues:
1. Staying in is the new going out. While your first instinct might be to invite people out, there would also be the option of inviting yourself over. The Christmas season inevitably falls in line with winter, and with winter comes cold and snow. Going out to meet friends at a trendy restaurant downtown with the access ramp buried under a mountain of snow might not be feasible for everyone. Of course it’s great to get invited out, but there is nothing wrong with bringing your favourite holiday movie and spending time with someone at their house (This program contains cheesy elements that might offend some audiences. Viewer discretion advised). While your intentions might be good to get people with mobility issues out of the house, the fact that they have mobility issues sometimes means that going out has complications in winter.
2. Invite and plan it out... like, really. Of course, inviting someone out is great too. In fact, I would encourage you to especially reach out to people who have obstacles with their health. While Christmas is certainly a magical time of year, it can also be a time of loneliness and anxiety for some. Nobody likes the feeling of being left out, but sometimes people with mobility issues are not invited to events because it is too inconvenient to make special accommodations. The person with a disability can always decline if it’s too difficult, but people should not be overlooked simply because for their mobility. If you are going to invite someone out, put thought into such details as a providing ramp or arranging to pick them up. Yes, people with mobility needs can ask for your assistance but it would be awesome to show your support by offering those extra touches.
3. Put your turkey in a pressure cooker, not your guests. Everyone coming to your event has different life circumstances and that obviously applies to people with disabilities. A lot of get-togethers centres around food and while people are munching on your bacon-wrapped asparagus, don’t be offended if not all guests partake. Whether it be because of dietary restrictions, inability to eat, or being self-conscious, there are many reasons people might not eat in public. If you notice someone isn’t eating, ask if they need help or offer to make them a plate to take home.
4. Welcome someone’s +1. I don’t mean someone’s date, although it could be! Sometimes people with mobility issues need to have personal attendants or health care aides accompany them to events. When I was younger, I sometimes did not go to events because I didn’t feel comfortable bringing someone along. For many years, I struggled with being vocal about my needs. Having an independent personality, I never wanted to be made a fuss over but I have come to realize that having a disability exactly means I need some extra support. Letting someone with mobility issues know that they are welcome to bring someone along would be a great way to show that you are thinking of them and that you want them to be there.
5. Give to an organization that directly supports people with disabilities. I put this one last because my intention is not to pressure you into giving money. However, as a person who has directly benefited from the support of certain nonprofit organizations, I wanted to include this point to shed light on the importance of giving back. Let’s face it, not everyone will be hosting a big holiday bash or going out to a Christmas party like the other items on this list suggests because #reallife. Sometimes people’s love language is gifts or donations and that’s great too! So, whatever you decide I hope you will give with love because we could all use a little more kindness in the world!
Hope you have enjoyed this cookie bar of choices as you navigate different people’s abilities during the holidays. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas! Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to go grab an Andes mint chocolate cookie.
- Crissi xo