A week ago today I was curled up in a ball, running a fever, hallucinating and barely able to take care of myself let alone my family. I felt sad and overwhelmed. Starting at about 3:00am on Thanksgiving morning until now we have had at least one sick person at our house constantly.
We’ve had everything from influenza to ear infections. And poor baby Ruth she had pneumonia and then got croup on top of that! I was freaking out. Literally this past month everything has taken a back seat to just making it through the day—feeding, medicating, humidifying, changing sheets, changing clothes, checking temperatures…it was kind of a lot….and to top it all off my mom was in the hospital having surgery.
It all suddenly seemed like too much and I threw myself a pity party. This holiday season we had missed every family and neighborhood party….and all those great plans we had for the season were not going to happen.
My girls getting to wear their fancy holiday dresses? Nope. Gingerbread men made and eaten together? None. Car rides to find Christmas lights? Nada. Family gatherings attended together? Zip. Warm cups of wassail sipped in fancy tea cups? Zero Gifts finished, purchased, or wrapped? Zilch.
Just make it through the day. Survive the nights. Repeat.
But last Friday I was tired of the cycle and I wanted the parties and the gift making and the memories and I had a melt down. I don’t remember falling asleep but I do remember waking up the next day in a pile on the floor. I was covered in blankets and surrounded by toys (put there by my husband and kids). It was then I realized I needed to change my attitude.
What did I want for Christmas? To be together. And was I going to get it? For sure—no one else wanted to get within a mile of our family and it’s accompanying sickness. So the pity party ended and I decided from that minute on we were going to have a very merry Christmas no matter what.
I’d like to say from there everything went well…but not so much. Fevers continued, nausea returned, my husband was called into work on the holiday, and I had to run to the store on Christmas day to get more toilet paper for my kids digestive issues…but we made the best. And we were happy.
And I guess that is the point of my post and why I’m even writing down this long story. We were happy. My husband and I took down the Christmas tree and put away all the decorations yesterday and he ask me if I was sad about this year. To my surprise, I wasn’t and am not. And neither is he.
Sure I love the gift giving, craft making, wrapping, sparkly craziness of the holidays just as much as the next guy (probably just a bit more actually) so I should be devastated. But yesterday as my family played around in the house in their pajamas (old ones—not the new homemade ones I had planned to make) I realized that I was indeed very very happy. I had my family and we were together. And if I have that, what else matters? Not a few white elephant gifts, that’s for sure.
It’s a funny thing, this past holiday season. I feel like the Grinch who was shocked that Christmas came without presents, ribbons, or bows…and I felt like writing it down. Even if I’m not explaining it very well. (Still a bit sleep deprived…)
Christmas night after opening her less that a handful of gifts Grace announced that this had been “the best Christmas ever!” I’m not sure that this Christmas will go down in my memory as the best ever but it definitely will be remembered. I only hope I’m smart enough to remember the lessons that I learned this year about the importance of attitude—and of remembering what is really important.
Have a good weekend.
We’ll see you soon.