4 Ways to still have fun with a chemo Christmas

4 ways to still have a fun with a chemo Christmas

This is our first chemo Christmas, and hopefully our last. In the meantime we are making the best of it. Thanks to Pinterest and Google I have found some some solutions to the five main problems that chemo patients will have on Christmas.

The problem #1: No live-cut tree

The solution: Alternative tree’s that are just as fun…if not more. 

Photo of  a large tree made of felt

Our own personal tree I made of felt. You can find a tutorial here.

Christmas tree made of lights

Blog post that this is from, here.

Tree made from wood shelves

Original article that featured this tree, here.

Or my personal favorite…

stack of books that make a tree

Pinterest link here.

The problem #2: Nausea, changed taste buds and sensitive stomachs from chemo.

The solution: Chemo friendly designed recipes! This is not so much of an issue for my 6-month-old, but this is a common issue I hear from anyone over the age of 3 (I am convinced kids under 3 don’t know what they want or like on a day to day basis with or without chemo).


Former Master Chef (best booking show ever!) contestant made headlines by coming up with Chemo friendly recipes. Here is the article on him and the recipes for Cream of Cauliflower Soup and Coconut Rice Pudding with Spiced Dried Fruit Compote.


Guide2Chemo has a whole page devoted to recipes. I am particularly intrigued by the Tomato & Basil Frittata.

If you want to discover more cooking tips and chat with people about good chemo-friendly recipes check out and engage in this CookingLight.com forum specifically discussing this issue.

The problem #3: Being forced to stay in a depressing hospital room. 

The solution: Dollar store decorations or get creative with hospital supplies. is no reason Christmas can’t spread to the hospital. Just be forewarned, if you do lights (which I 100% recommend) make sure they are battery powered and not plug in. Or you will have a very awkward conversation with a nurse manager who is devastated about having to tell you to take down your lights. Don’t do that to the poor soul, just go for the battery powered in the first place.

You could always just use what’s around and make something awesome like this:

Tree made of inflated hospital gloves


glove santa

If you do, please oh please send me photos (Jen@Thebadatcleaningblog.com)!

If you don’t feel like getting your art on many times the hospitals will have a small reserve of decorations for patients, so it couldn’t hurt to ask.

Also, many times there are a lot of friends or acquaintances that say “let me know how I can help.” You know what? Going to the dollar tree and spending $10 on Christmas decor is not only a cheep and easy way for them to help, but I am certain they may even have a little fun with it too. Don’t be shy. Ask for help.

The problem #4:  Random hospitalizations, last minute doctors appointments, unexpected transfusions, and generally not knowing what the next day will bring. 

The solution: Remember Christmas is a special time between family and, if Christian, remembering Jesus’s birth. It doesn’t have to be on the exact day of Christmas. 


This year, we opened our Christmas gifts with our kids two weeks early. We spent Thanksgiving and the beginning of December in the hospital, the week before Christmas will primarily be devoted to a out-of-town specialist appointment, and then Christmas. So after a rough week, we decided all of us needed some smiles. It’s not like the kids won’t have gifts on Christmas, and honestly we needed the Christmas joy early.

Whether you need a smile early, or Christmas ends up being another day in the hospital, try to fret. it’s okay. Give yourself, and your family, permission to make Christmas any day you want it to be. Wake up and feel particularly good? How about that day?  Want to celebrate being done with a treatment and it’s a couple days before Christmas? Maybe that would be a good time.

The key here is to do Christmas the way you want, even if that means moving the date around a little bit.

Going through chemo is hard, especially during the holidays, but with the right attitude and creativity. Above all just remember, because this year you can’t invite over all the family or have tree, doesn’t mean next year you can’t. Some traditions may be put on hold for a little bit, but that doesn’t mean they are gone forever. It is, however, the perfect time to start new, fun traditions.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and let me know what new traditions you may be starting!

Other The Bad at Cleaning Blog posts that may interest you:

Santa be crazy

Thank you, Cancer (1/2)

7 Tips for surviving long hospital stays


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