It’s been quite a ride these past few days. I was all prepped and ready to go to a party. I had an outfit picked out; I was going to bring some fudge and/or divinity. It was going to be fun! I love Christmas gatherings with friends, but am rarely invited (not that I am left out, most people just don’t host them. I think I’ve finally learned that life is not a sitcom). However, Elsa developed high fever and awful cough on Friday. I thought her fever broke today, but it was back this afternoon. I hope the ped’s office is open tomorrow, because I really don’t want to take her to the ER. I don’t think she has anything that can be treated with prescription meds, but it worries me. I know we’ll get in there and they will just tell me it’s a virus and to wait it out. Ugh. But what if she has something that needs treatment? I hate making the call, because I always make the wrong call.
The good news is she’s a happy little patient. She’s lethargic right before her next dose of medicine, but once it kicks in she’s a wild woman, running and jumping and playing.
Mike has been a cleaning machine the past two days. He’s steamed the carpets, shuffled around piles of junk and decorated the dining room. I’m so glad! The piles were getting to me, but I never know where to start so I just ignore the whole problem. It is going to be lovely to set a nice, decorated Christmas table. It will feel like a holiday instead of the same ol’ “find a place to eat around the junk.”
I’ve had a major shift in thinking this year. I no longer think I owe anything to my family of origin. I mean yes, of course I want to help my niece and nephews, but I would want to help any child in their situation. However, I no longer feel like I need to go “home for the holidays.” I no longer feel like we are missing something by staying in our own home and creating our own traditions. We are having exactly the holidays we want to have, with the food we want to eat, the traditions we want to encourage and the people we care about most. We are not going to a place where we must defend ourselves, defend our choices, wait for passive-aggressive comments, deal with rudeness, worry about drug addicts stealing our stuff. It’s nice. Really, really nice. I don’t want to brag, but I’ve got a pretty spectacular little family right here in Maryland. I am absolutely loving making the magic happen for my kids.
We did Christmas cookie cut-outs today and I planned a little too well. I found a great recipe for someone who doesn’t really like cut-outs. They taste like shortbread, are SUPER easy to make, and roll out really smoothly. You can find the recipe HERE. They don’t make a huge lot of cookies, but I figured it would be perfect for our small family. How many sugar cookies does a family of four need?
It would have been perfect if my bonus child wasn’t here. Erik’s little friend loves doing all this decorating and crafty fun stuff with us and I’m thrilled to have her. We still would have been ok, but her brother knocked on the door and wanted to play. Normally I don’t let him in the house because he steals things and has perturbed me in the past, but how am I going to slam the door in the face of a nine year old kid when he can clearly see we are having fun making Christmas cookies?
The kids had fun and I didn’t break my diet, so what’s the problem?
Santa! That’s the problem! What are we going to leave for Santa? Should I whip up some dough and make some more cookies tomorrow?
I’ve already decided I am not making a pie for Christmas. I’m going to make peanut butter blossoms (hmmmmmm. . . guess we could leave those for Santa) and fudge. I tried to make divinity but that was a soupy failure, despite using a recipe that promised it was no fail every time despite the weather. There are worse things in life than spooning up big globs of warm, fluffy, sugary soup.
I hope I have everything ready for the big meal. We actually have two big meals–a Swedish Christmas Eve and a turkey Christmas Day. I was in the store for chips on Friday and realized it was the last non-weekend, non-Christmas Eve day to buy groceries for the big day. I scrambled around to buy everything I thought we might need, which was dumb because I was at the wrong store (Safeway–more expensive than my usual store). I somehow managed to get almost everything we need for a small Christmas dinner. With only four of us, I am not going overboard which helped a lot with menu planning on the fly. I am only making the things I know Mike and I enjoy the most. I’ve asked Erik what he wants and his answer is predictable: bread. Elsa. . . well. . .who knows. She just likes sugar (and I HATE that I have let her get to the point where she eats so much sugar. I always vowed my children wouldn’t know what sugar was until they were at least three, but with an older brother I lost a lot of the control I had when Erik was young).
As soon as I stood in the check-out line I started crying and had a hard time paying for my purchase. They had People magazines all over the place with pictures of all the Sandy Hook victims on the cover. How will those parents and that community ever start to heal? I wasn’t there; I know none of the victims; my heart is still breaking in a million pieces.
I’ve had a couple of people on my FB page make their aggressive “I’ll wish you a Merry Christmas and you’ll god-damned LIKE IT” posts, which set my teeth on edge. In light of this recent tragedy, though, they make me go through the roof. This horrible, horrible thing happened and you are worried about whether or not people say Merry Christmas? I know that is a stupid thing to latch on to, but if I latch on to the bigger details, the bigger problems, my brain will explode and I’ll need to go to a mental institution.
Seriously, though, the only people I know who make this whole “merry Christmas” thing a problem are the aggressive, Fox News Christians who make their wish for a happy holiday sound so spiteful and bitter. I’m an atheist and will wish you a Merry Christmas and be glad of any kind greeting I receive in return. I don’t get people. I really don’t.
I guess it is time to put Erik to bed. He thinks he is going to get to open Christmas presents in the morning despite being told a hundred times that it isn’t happening. I’m just glad I had the foresight to keep all the family presents locked up until last night. We put them out last night after the kids went to bed. I didn’t need Elsa ripping into them before Christmas and I also wanted to keep the begging to a minimum. I can handle two days of begging. The anticipation is part of the fun, right?