How to have a relaxing holiday…

A Year in Review – Day 24

….My advice?  Get sick.  Really sick.  So sick you can’t leave the house.  Over the last three weeks either me, my husband or one of our three kids has been sick.  Some of us have been sick at the same time.  Some of us have had different sicknesses.  Some of us have gotten sick, then gotten well, then gotten sick again.  We try to keep it interesting and so far in this cold and flu season, we definitely have.


So this means that my usual high-paced, relentless holiday schedule has to come to a grinding halt.  After all, I’m trying to make memories here and that usually means participating in every child-related Santa activity that I can drag us to — from Santa flying in by helicopter to riding the Christmas train to making a gingerbread house weighted down with so much candy no gingerbread person in their right mind would ever dare enter.

And we’ve done none of it.  We’ve barely left the house except for doctor’s appointments.  Which means we also couldn’t take pictures for Christmas cards (Uh, if you could just prop your head off the pillow and say cheese!) or send presents to any friends or family.  Oh, sure, I have the gifts to send but there was no way I could stand in line at the post office with three sick kids coughing wildly in all directions and potentially infecting an entire zip code.


At first not being able to participate in my usual Christmas frenzy sent me into a panic.  What about our memories?  What are people going to say?  Aren’t they going to be annoyed with us for not sending them anything?  And I always send a Christmas card.  Sure, I could sent a “New Years” card, but those are for the weak and disorganized.  It’s a card that says to the world, “We just couldn’t get it together.” (I’m planning on a New Years card, by the way.)

So those were my thoughts as the sick days of December spread into the sick weeks of December.  But then, miraculously, my guilt and panic started to ease.  After all, hanging out at home in our pajamas drinking tea was actually sort of nice.  No crowded stores.  No traffic.  Just us.  But still, I couldn’t shake the feeling I was disappointing everyone, my kids especially.  This was not the magical holiday that I had anticipated.

Black Friday

But then, the other day, August walked up to me and said —

August:  “Mommy, am I still sick?”

Me:  “Yes, you still have a fever.”

August:  “So that means we can’t go anywhere?”

Me:  “Yes, I’m so sorry, honey.  We can’t go anywhere.”

August:  “Yay!  We get to stay home!”

And then August wandered off to play with his Christmas train some more.

Oh.  Okay.  So staying home in your pajamas actually is magical.

You’re right.  It is.

Now you tell me.


  • Cheryl says:

    We were all sick for a week and then we went on a week long VACATION. Which no one does the week before Cheistmas. We returned December 20. So the usual re-Christmas build up was disjointed and yet enjoyable.
    Merry Christmas, I think? Isn’t that what happended yesterday?

  • Hassanah says:

    Ever since I can remember, I have gotten some sort of sickness around Christmas.

    One year, I was less than 7, my parents put a mattress on the living room floor so I didn’t miss any of the Christmas festivities.

    This year, the first week of December had me sick with the flu. I mean the flu, not a cold where you are achy, but the achy flu with vomit. Lovely.

    The second week was spent recovering.

    The third week (my shopping week), found me with a migraine for two days! So, in bed with nausea and nooo shopping completed! Luckily my magic elves (husband and super shopper sister), took the reigns and got a lot done!!

    Christmas was great and the kids were happy and healthy. We only get a few presents and don’t spend a lot of $!! We added “Secret Santa” where we had to make a gift for your person. The kids loved it!!

    • Hassanah says:

      Oh, I forgot to mention that our Christmas cards are still sitting on the coffee table! This is the first time I have missed the deadline. I will send them out but……..We only got 6 cards! Seriously?!? We always send 50. Fifty cards out and only 6 received? Did those people wait to get ours first and only send if they got one from us?!?! What about everyone else? Why NO card?!? Now the most important question of all, when can they be removed from our send list? Was is the card etiquette? How many years do you send and not receive before you can remove them? Does this change for family members? I really want to know!

      • My Year of Fabulous says:

        You are totally getting our New years card — but we haven’t even taken the picture yet because we’re all still sick.

    • My Year of Fabulous says:

      I’m so glad you’re better. That sounds awful!

  • Emily says:

    Due to living 2 000km away from all of our family we are having that kind of Christmas this year. We are loving it. Don’t get me wrong, we love our families and miss them. But we opted out of spending the day with local friends, and are just staying in with our own mini turkey meal. It feels special because we are able to stay in our jammies all day if we want to (and that it at the top of my son’s priority list). We are all relaxed at a level that we rarely enjoy. It is really blissful. I am not sure that all the madness of the holiday season in our culture today is any kind of holiday celebration. The pictures you included with your post brought that right to the fore. Now that we as a family have gotten off the ride, we will stay off.

    • My Year of Fabulous says:

      I think that’s so true — once you’ve gotten off the ride, you don’t want to get back on. You realize it’s not a celebration at all. Thanks for sharing. Hope you had a great holiday.

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