Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Holiday Update 2018

First of all Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates. I am an unwilling celebrator I have to admit. I conceded to a tiny little tree this year because no one wants to see a 34 year old man cry because there is no Christmas.

My reasoning is I am sick to death of the commercialism and the materialism. So much STUFF! Mostly stuff no one really needs or uses or appreciates. My sz son (bless his heart) is still a big kid when it comes to Christmas, so I had to have at least a small tree and I put out an antique Santa statue that a friend of his gave him years ago and we have been burning a large Christmas Tree scented candle which is quite nice…

I think I finally have him moving away from buying me gifts because him buying me gifts is him telling me to tell him something I like and then him saying okay now turn around while he tries to run off and pay for it. I love and appreciate his spirit very much. I just don’t want any stuff anymore, from anybody, Favorite food or drink I will accept or an experience, I am all about experiences. This year I started “The Experiences Tradition” I chose to see the annual Chinese Dragon Festival which I knew in my heart My son would love he loves lights of any kind and he loves to watch acrobatic style shows and this was both. Huge success. Then I asked him what would like to experience? Something he has always wanted to do but never has. I didn’t know what to expect. He finally told me he wanted to go to a Hookah lounge located near campus. (Yeah my heart stopped for a minute-SO MUCH TO CONSIDER)

I took a lot of deep breaths and decided to honor his wishes. The lounge he chose was not in best part of town but the reviews were mostly positive, the worst complaint written was that the music was too loud. It cost around $15 for the experience to try several flavored tobaccos in a large (what amounts to a water pipe) Then the website said they had sandwiches and coffee so I gave him extra money for that.

There was a farmer’s market nearby that I could hang out at and I instructed him to call me for any reason at anytime and I would be there to pick him up. He thought he would be there about 2 hours. I watched him disappear into he grubby looking door of the lounge and sighed and went on to the market. I couldn’t help myself and about 20 minutes in I texted him and said “How is it?” He texted back “okay”

I languished over the produce at the market way too long wondering how much extra nicotine he would consume and if it would affect his clozapine levels at all. Then I shook it off (again) —This was HIS experience, not mine. :frowning: —Anyway…long story shorter…it was about a little over an hour and he texted ----could I pick him up because there was no sandwiches or coffee as previously thought and he was getting hungry.

I picked him up and said how was it besides no food. He said “well they need to fix their website for sure! and they need to serve food!-but the rest was nice, I liked it and there was 2 cute girls there that I saw.” [I smiled inside and out] I said well, how do you feel? He said, “Relaxed, …very relaxed” :slight_smile:

So…Our Christmas experiences tradition Year 1 was a big success. My son actually thought of AND did something on his own out in public in an unfamiliar place without me and it turned out just fine. My Christmas is complete. My very best to all of you and Happy or Happier New Year in 2019. :evergreen_tree:


Catherine, thank you for sharing this update. The focus of holidays does seem to change pretty dramatically as we age, especially when we are coping with the “new normal” of our lives as parents with a child with this illness.

I’m wishing you both peace this holiday season.


I’m going to ask a friend to help guide my son in choosing a present for me this year. I think he will enjoy that.

I also got some tickets for him to go to an ‘experience’ with some people whose company he enjoys.

I’m so grateful for how much his life has improved this year that I can’t help but get into the holiday mood this year.