A few weeks ago as Christmas was drawing near and our plans were being finalized, I had in my mind the vision of how Christmas was going to go. Here is how I envisioned it would go:
Tuesday my in-laws would come over sometime around noon. We would get food ready and eat. Kids would open presents and then go play downstairs with them. The adults would sit around and visit for a few hours.
Around four we'd start getting girls ready for church. At five we'd be sitting together at the Christmas Eve Service.
When we got back the girls would open their blankets I made them and the Polar Express book. Then we'd watch the movie, drink hot chocolate, and eat some caramel corn.
Wednesday morning we were to open presents, smile, laugh, and enjoy the morning. Then we'd get dressed and head over to my parents house and have some pancakes while we wait for my brother and his fiance to get there.
We'd open gifts again, smile, laugh and enjoy the kiddos. The rest of the day would be spent getting our meal together, visiting, and playing a game or two.
Doesn't that sound like the perfect Christmas? Who wouldn't want a Christmas like that? Well it didn't really go like that at all. Here is how Christmas really went for us this year:
Tuesday my in-laws did come over before noon. As I'm getting the meal together, my middle daughter needed to be cleaned up and comforted because she had diarrhea. Later the little one was discovered to have diarrhea also. That meant someone was going to stay home with the younger two instead of going to church.
My husband went with our oldest and when they returned it had started snowing pretty well. That meant that the husband would be out all night moving snow, so we opened all the presents that night.
Because it took a little while to do so, it was too late to watch the Polar Express. Instead we read the book while drinking hot chocolate.
As the two older girls were finishing their hot chocolate, I was sitting on the couch with the little one and of course she had to throw up all over her new blanket.
Husband got the other two to bed, I got the little one to bed, and he headed out to move snow. It was a long night, ending with someone in bed with me and it was not my husband.
Wednesday morning started with the girls watching the Polar Express, me starting cinnamon rolls and the little one throwing up, again.
The husband got home and blew off our driveway around 9am (we had about twice as much snow as predicted). Little one went back to sleep, husband went to sleep, and the other two girls and I headed to my parents.
We opened presents, chatted for a little bit and then I had a phone call from the husband and little one. She was hungry (which made sense since she had very little to eat in 24 hours and threw up what little she did have).
I came home, gave her a cracker and a sip of juice and snuggled. After an hour she seemed ok so we headed to my parents again.
I spent the next few hours snuggling with her and chatting with my family. She got really tired and want to go home and sleep in her own bed so her and I headed home, alone.
At five I woke her up so we could go eat supper with the family. She ate a little bread and turkey, but looked very out of it still. We didn't stay long and headed home to get everyone in bed. My husband was the first in bed, he was extremely tired.
There were some really important lessons I learned yesterday. My Christmas was far from the perfect one I imagined. I did enjoy Christmas despite everything.
I was forced to slow down and just be. I'm a planner and when things don't go the way I planned, I sometimes have a hard time with those changes. It creates a lot of anxiety in me. Forcing me to sit and cuddle the sick child made me sit and be. I couldn't be in control of anything except the care of my child. It made my Christmas one of the most relaxed I've had in a long time.
I was given opportunities. Because I came home alone so my little one could nap, I was given a chance get some things cleaned up and a break from everything. I had a chance to sit in a quite house and have some time alone. That is such a rarity for me. It gave me peace and time for reflection. It was a wonderful time of renewal of energy for me even though it was only a few hours.
This Christmas I was very blessed to have sick kids. I was given things I never asked for but very much needed. God is truly amazing that way. He will give us what we ask but also what we don't ask. He knows our needs even when we don't.