Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
The holiday season can be very difficult and painful for many caregivers. There isn't time for parties or attending even family festivities for the caregiver must remain by the bedside of the one he/she cares for. The work they accomplish doesn't stop for even Christmas. I have recently spoken with several caregivers who were very sad over missing special church services, not being able to get any shopping done for family or friends, and from overwhelming feelings of not being able to do all they feel is expected by those around them. It breaks my heart for I have often felt those same things during this time of the year.
I must admit that several years ago I got to a breaking point where I realized I was not physically or mentally able to continue all I did during the holidays before my husband Brian became ill. You may have to do the very same thing. It is perfectly fine to change traditions and the way you have done things forever so that you can actually enjoy yourself. I suggest trying to talk with family and friends and if this doesn't work still do what works for you and your immediate family. This may sound harsh but you must take care of yourself. If your family and friends don't understand or care how life has changed for you as a caregiver, your holiday may be more peaceful without them. Also, remember if people ask to help you and its something another can actually do for you, let them! God may have sent them to be His help to you! You would never tell God no. So don't tell them no.
I also send my thoughts and prayers of comfort out to all caregivers who have lost the ones they cared for this past year and face their first Christmas without them. This is a very real pain you are feeling. Don't allow others to belittle it or underestimate the loss you have experienced. But DO ALLOW God to be your comforter and healer. His joy can overcome anything including the pain your heart is feeling at this very moment. Remember, Jesus felt and took it all when He hung on the cross for you. Cling to His love and call His name anytime you need Him. He will be there and He will never leave nor forsake you.
He is the true joy of this season. Let's not allow the enemy to ever take that away from us. Remember, you were CALLED to be a Caregiver and your work is unto the Lord.