Tag Archives: Thanksgiving and Christmas

Thanksgiving and Christmas

As the Editor of Dementia Alliance International and also an Australian, I either remember nothing, or know very little about the tradition of Thanksgiving! Hence, I have had to look it up. Wikipedia says: “Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving was also celebrated nationally in 1789, after a proclamation by George Washington. As a federal and public holiday in the U.S.,

Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas and New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.”

So, happy Thanksgiving to all our American members, I hope the Turkey and all the other trimmings were wonderful?!

Firstly, sincere apologies to all the DAI members from the USA for adding this information. But for those of us who not steeped in this tradition, I thought it might be useful. Thanksgiving is just over, and now Christmas is almost upon us, and so I thought it fitting to focus the next few blogs on Christmas and Dementia.  This week, Mick Carmody has given us permission to publish a poem he wrote recently about Christmas and dementia. His blog Journey of Discovery: Shine on is a great read too.  Mick wrote:

As a person living with Dementia, what does Christmas in 2014 mean to me?

Like most people it means, planning, purchasing presents, stuffing the
turkey, stocking the liquor cabinet you see
Decorating the tree, the house inside and out
Uncle Bill calling, hey Mick, it’s your shout
All this excitement makes me tired, hand shakes, smiling, laughing,
kisses and bad jokes
This inebriated Bill is normally a good bloke
Then out come the uneducated experts who majored at the school of
nothing and failed
Saying he is to young for Dementia, that is for some one seventy or
more whose boat has sailed
Uncle Bill and Aunty Vi who come every year empty handed for
goodness sake
All I can do to stay awake
Kids and Grand kids all running wild
Remember the naughty is only a child
Uncle Bill shouts Sue save me a leg would you darl
The answer is ok with a snarl
All in all its been a good day now the best part, for the time has come,
to wake up and GO HOME for another year
Aunty Vi looks at us both and sheds a tear
I am sure Stigma is rife in your family just like mine
If only family would listen and take the time
For some reason, don’t know why christmas reminds me of old

Thank you for allowing us to publish this Mick.

Author: Mick Carmody 2014

Editor: Kate Swaffer