Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sick on Christmas

Christmas is supposed to include candy canes and mistletoe. But, this year, my Christmas included sneezes and coughs. I’ve been dealing with a nasty cold and have been taking DayQuil. Unfortunately, it has taken some time before the relief from symptoms were an actual relief. All the same, I swallowed the pills on Christmas morning and hoped for the best.

The night before Christmas, Jennifer was too excited to sleep. We had to keep sending her back to bed. This had me wondering if she was going to be up bright and early on Christmas Day. Nope! Actually, I was the first one up yesterday. And, believe me, I cherished that “calm before the storm”! So I let the dog out, made coffee and made sure everything was in order. Then Jennifer finally woke up and, after seeing the presents and getting all excited, she ran to wake her brother up. Both kids started getting all excited around the tree and I reminded them we needed to wake up their dad before we opened gifts. I waited until 8, then I told them to go wake him up.

As if on cue, the coughing and sneezing hit me with a fierceness when we sat down to open gifts. Jennifer played Santa. Because Jesse wanted to help pass out gifts, too, he was designated as her elf. It was cute watching her read the labels, handing him a gift and telling him who to give it to.

Jesse got a lot of toys for Christmas this year, but also a good supply of new clothes. Jennifer also got new clothes, as well as a chess game, books, art supplies and a snow globe (which she’d had her eye on for months). She also wanted just one big thing for Christmas, if nothing else on her list: A Nintendo DS. She was disappointed that it was not among her gifts. When she unwrapped an Atari game console she could hook up to the TV, I thought hubby had no luck in finding the DS. (We could only find the DSi and DS Lite, but not the regular DS.) But then he said there was one more gift for Jennifer hidden under the tree. She had to go hunting for it. I thought it was cute he had hidden her special gift, but he didn’t stop there! Not only had he hidden it but … he’d overwrapped it!! Jen opened one gift bag after another and another and another until she got to the box. Which was a box within a box! We kept laughing over her little obstacle in trying to unwrap her secret special present. Finally, after the third unwrapping of a box, she had her REAL present. And she was ecstatic to see it was the Nintendo DS! Hooray! He’d found it! She was walking on air. So excited she FINALLY got a Nintendo DS.

Now I must include a side note here. Up until now, I have banned video games from our home. I did this because I was worried about Jennifer becoming a video game addict. I don’t want to be one of those moms who let their kids play video games all day! But, see, the key word here is “let.” It’s up to the parents to draw the line on that kind of thing and curb the video game addiction. Nip it in the bud before it gets worse! Since I have been doing this with Jennifer and her computer games, I have come to realize I can probably do this with her video games, too. And as if to test this idea, I had to tell her absolutely NO video games at the dinner table when we sat down to dinner that night, and told her to set it down. (Hubby didn’t help my cause much. He picked it up and started playing it, too! I had to remind him that I was trying to set an example here.) So now we have video games. I will just have to make sure it does not become an addiction.

As for me, Santa (hubby) brought me the file cabinet I wanted. My sister, Millie, got me the flannel PJs I wanted. (Thanks, Millie and Allison!) And I also got chocolate covered and flavored sweets! Yay! (Thank you, Bob and Kathy.) I also got the Jovan perfume I wanted (again, from hubby), a Fred Meyer gift card, more chocolates from hubby, and bath salts (thanks, Stephanie!). We also got a beautiful crystal palm tree ornament – again, from Millie and Allison. It is so pretty. The palm tree reminds me of my desert home, so it’s meaningful to me. (I guess the California desert will always be my home no matter where I go!) I was really moved by this gift. It’s beautiful. Another “family gift” from them were, you guessed it, chocolates! (We’re big chocoholics in this house!)

One thing I wanted to get hubby for Christmas was a tool cart on wheels. It also had a locked drawer on it. Even though it was marked down, I could still not afford it. I was really bummed about that. But he was happy with the creeper I got him. I could not wrap it -– the box was too big! Jennifer got him an auto first aid kit. I advised her to get him one that has flares in it, but none of the stores here had any! So I got online and was lucky enough to find one on (Good thing I shopped early this year!) Jesse got him a waterproof pouch for his cell phone. He also got a movie, as did the children.

After the gift business was taken care of, it was time for breakfast. Every Christmas, we have cinnamon rolls for breakfast. However, because I’m sick this year, I just wasn’t up to baking cinnamon rolls. So I told hubby to get a pack of them from the bakery at the store. He got the kind with cream cheese icing – which are heavenly, actually. I lubs them! But Jennifer … did not. She didn’t care for the cream cheese icing. I felt bad. I felt like I ruined her Christmas breakfast tradition! Was I being selfish on account of being sick? That’s a guilty feeling I really wrestled with. We also had the movie A Christmas Story on during breakfast, which was also part of that Christmas breakfast tradition. At least she still enjoyed the movie.

The medicine seemed to kick in, finally. I had enough strength to do dishes, laundry, make beds and do some other assorted chores around the house. I also managed to go to the grocery store. After I got home, I baked a pizza from the store while Jennifer’s friend, Michael, visited. Then he left and we ate lunch. After that, my strength had left me. I crashed on the couch. I don’t know how long I slept – probably not that long – but after I woke up, I was refreshed and ready to go again. I used this new burst of energy to make Christmas dinner: Ham, mashed potatoes, corn, carrots and dinner rolls. (I made corn AND carrots because one child wanted one veggie and the other child wanted the other veggie.) Jennifer couldn’t get enough of the ham, even though it was not a traditionally baked ham. (Again, me being sick, I wasn’t up to that.) After dinner, we had pumpkin pie, then the kids had their baths then got into their new PJs that was part of their Christmas present from their paternal grandparents.

I didn’t take any pictures for Christmas. I know parents usually do this, but I did not even THINK about taking pictures, because I was so “out of it’ with my darn cold. Even if I had some physical strength here and there, my head was just too congested and foggy.

I keep telling myself that next year will be better. Next year, we’ll have lights on our house for Christmas. Next year, we’ll have an area rug under the tree so that any glass ornaments which fall won’t break on the hardwood floor. Next year, I’ll get hubby the gift I WANT to get him. Next year, I’ll send out the cards early, and start shopping early, too. (I’ve entertained the idea of shopping for Christmas all year.) Next year, we’ll have more Christmas decorations and Christmassy stuff in our home. Next year, I’ll be able to afford buying gifts for EVERYONE in my family. (All 46 people – unless there are more babies!) Next year, we’ll make homemade gingerbread men that taste AWESOME! And homemade sugar cookies that are Christmassy and taste better than the ones we got from the store! Next year, we’ll have a garland on the fireplace mantel. Next year, I will remember to take pictures of the children opening their Christmas presents on Christmas Day. Next year, we’ll have the usual kind of cinnamon rolls for our traditional Christmas breakfast. Next year, we’ll have Christmas music playing in the house!

And, next year, I won’t be sick on Christmas.

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