Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas--The Most Wonderful Time of the Year???

I absolutely love Christmas music! Truthfully, it's one of my favorite things about the Holiday season. This year, I started listening to it regularly as soon as FM 100 started playing it nonstop. I just had it going on a little radio in my house all day long, and I'm telling you, it brightened my spirits every day. My favorite songs of all are the traditional ones, like "White Christmas," "Sleigh Ride," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and of course, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." If you visited me during the month of December, chances are you found me turning up the volume and belting out some of these fabulous tunes. My kids constantly shook their heads in dismay, but I noticed it brightened their spirits as well. There's nothing like an optimistic lyric, such as "It's the most wonderful time of the year" running through your mind all day. That is, until things start falling apart.

Then, it's just annoying.

Let me explain.

Here I was, all full of joyful, uplifting Christmas spirit, a long list of activities planned to do with my children during Christmas break. I was higher than a kite as I thought of each carefully planned activity and how much fun we were going to have together. It was going to be our best Christmas break ever!

Oh, how wonderful! Oh, how positive! Oh, how naive!

My children came home from school early the first day of the break to a smiling, warm mother. An hour later, that mother (me, I hate to say) was ready to ship them all to Siberia and pick them up when they had resolved all their issues and were ready to cooperate. That's when the baby started throwing up. The rest of the day I sat on the couch with a terribly sick 7-month-old and tried to help her through one gagging episode after another.

Day 1 of Christmas Vacation: Failure

The next morning I woke up rejuvenated and  ready to face a new day. That's when my 12-year-old started heaving. She slept on the bathroom floor that night while I lay in bed, listening to her heave her guts out, wishing there was something I could do.

Day 2 of Christmas Vacation: Failure

My six-year-old caught the bug by the following morning, and as much as we tried to pretend we all felt well enough to go to the movies, at last we faced reality and stayed home. No one cared to eat the delicious  treats I had prepared or the dinner I had planned. In fact, no one cared to do much at all, except lie around. When my nine-year-old (the last of my kids to get the flu as my five-year-old had already suffered through it the week before) threw up all over my bedspread and bedroom carpet, I began to come a little unglued. This was not the Christmas break I had dreamed about, prepared for, and looked forward to. The song, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year " came on the radio, and I immediately switched it off. There was nothing wonderful so far.

Day 3 of Christmas Vacation: Failure

I spent that night waiting to throw up. I was sure after cleaning up as much bodily fluid as I had all week, I was sure to be next. I woke up Christmas Eve morning exhausted and a little downhearted. We managed to make it through the day without a single person losing their stomachs. Does that mean it was a success? Maybe.

Day 4 of Christmas Vacation: Semi-successful

 After quickly laying out Christmas that evening I fell into bed, exhausted. To ensure I actually slept, I decided to take a sleeping pill. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the next morning when my children were out in the living room raving about what Santa had brought them, I couldn't arouse myself from my pill-induced sleep. I tried unsuccessfully a few times to drag myself out of bed, but to no avail. I finally got up in time to take a quick shower, put my hair in a bun and slump into the car to drive to church. Not exactly the Christmas morning I had envisioned. The amazing breakfast I had planned for the day didn't actually happen until noon. All of the spiritual activities I had planned to help us remember the true significance of the day . . . well . . . they just didn't happen. I was too tired to put it all together. I crashed on the  couch and fell into a deep sleep. When I  awoke from my nap, I finally felt like a real person again. Too bad it was a little late to make a fabulous Christmas day.

Or not.

Although nothing had gone as planned, I decided to make the most of what was left of our Christmas. I whipped out the strobe light my little girl had gotten from Santa and her Party Mix CD and turned out the lights. Not exactly a Sabbath Day activity, I know, but since we had blown it all day, I decided we would start fresh the next week. We danced and sang and danced some more. It was on the second stanza of the all-famous "YMCA" song that I realized I may have gotten into the activity a little too much. I jumped up to form a "Y" with my arms and when I came down, I realized I had had a little accident. In other words, I had peed my pants a little (sorry if that's tmi--I don't know a nicer way to say it. After giving birth four times, my bladder is just not what it used to be). Running to the bathroom, I thought to myself, Oh great--I've blown it again. How lame can I be? But my kids actually thought it was hilarious, and I dare say it made their whole night. I mean, what can be better than Mom dancing so hard she peed her pants, right?

So, all in all, we ended up spending some quality time together. As we nesteld together to watch a movie after the dancing, I looked around at my husband and children and realized life just didn't get any better. The infamous Christmas tune returned to my mind once more . . .

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

And I couldn't help but agree.

Day 5 of Christmas Vacation: Success at last!