Thank you for everything. I have a little problem that we dealt with this year and I’m asking your advice e on how to avoid this next year. I moved home after a stoke that left me permenaley disabled. So my husband and I moved into my mom’s house as she was there all alone, We were bothspending a great deal at tine and the financial advantages work well for all. In October hurricane Micheal hit the Gulf Coast so my youngest brother, wife and 2 kids took refuge from the storm. Like so many they lost everything. Thier home, they were renting, got a tree through it. Everthing was soaking wet and then developed mold. So as the children and parents could really use a dose of holiday cheer, we endevored, over thier protests to make it a good Christmas for all.
My husband spent three weeks helping me decorate, cook, buy and wrap presents, knowing the joy would be seeing thier faces on Christmas Day. So we spent a good amount of time with all the preperations. On Christmas eve we were up until 4am putting the finishing touches on packages, filling stockings, and any last minute things left to do. We planned to try and get a little sleep since the kids didn’t get in bed despite anyone’s best efforts till 11pm. Thinking they would sleep in just a little we planned to get up between 9 and 10 the next morning. Three year olds do not have the same time zone as the rest of us. 6am three yr olds are up begging, not quietly, to open presents. Anybodies present under the tree.
Mom works at the hospital so Christmas day is a workday. They prompted by an early morning wake up decide they can no longer contain or restrain a certain 3 year old boy. I am roused from slumber myself and informed that Santa has been here and the children can no longer be put off. As I am disabled I use a hospital bed that will not fit in our bedroom. Knowing how much my husband wants to see this I call him. I know we went to bed 2 hours ago so I’m expecting him not to be thrilled with this but we can take a nap later.
The conversation goes as follows;
Me – Santa has been here.
Him – Who?
Me – Santa
Him – Who?
Me – Santa Claus.
Him – Do you know what time it is? We just went to bed.
Me – They are opening presents and I thought you would want to see.
Him – Who did you say was here?
Me -Santa, I thought you would want to see.
Him – (Emphatically) “No”
Me – Are you sure?
Him – (very emphatic) “NO”.
Me – Okay go back to sleep.
I have my brother who is handing out the gifts leave his and mine for the most part under the tree. I’m now wide awake. I opened the gifts from my neice, mom, brother and sister-in-law. After thank you’s are exchanged, I ask for my first cup of coffee as my mom heads out the door to the hospital. All is quiet until 10am.
Hubby is up and upon entering the livingroom is astonished to see the only presents remaining is a small stack. He was so disappointed. The conversation went something close to this;
Him – What the heck?
Me – I called you. You said no! You didn’t want to come see.
Him – You said Santa was here.
Me – Yes, Santa was here did you want to come see
Him – no I didn’t want to see someone dressed as Santa. Couldn’t they have waited until I was up?
Me – Have you ever tried talking a three year old into waiting? They wanted to do this so mom could see before she went to work. I called you when this was happening earlier.
Him – No you said Santa was here. Did I want to see him? I thought maybe one of your brothers dressed up as Santa, or you hired someone to come play Santa, and this was the only time they could come. Well this just ruins my Christmas. I really wanted to see this. Why couldn’t it wait till I was here.
Me – I’m sorry that’s why I called you even though it was so early.
Him – You said nothing about them opening presents. All you said was someone dressed as Santa was here.
Me – Do we often invite, strange men in weird clothing into the house with children at 6am? Especially with all the wrapped gifts under the tree? Is this something you think we regularly do even on Christmas morning?
Him – I have set my phone to record all calls for business reasons. It helps me remember what was said and agreed upon when I talk to people about jobs. Let’s play the recording back, because you never said anything about opening presents.
You can hear everything we both said. I talked about Santa having come (I’m in the room with the kids). I repeated it twice. He still says no twice. The next line is garbled, but I’m sure I reiterated they are opening presents. Then after another “no” I say okay go back to sleep then.
Long story short both little and us big kids had a good Christmas. Toys, clothes, household, things we needed and things we like.
My neices came later that afternoon and he got to see them tear into thier gifts. It helped make up at least some of the disappointment of earlier.
So I guess my question is has this ever happened to anyone else?
Even though we had a good laugh about it, how do we not do this again? This experience was too funny not to share. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and we look forward to a bright and happy 2019.
Ahhh as the song says break out the Holly . As everyone gets ready Christmas. Lights up outside, tree with all the ornaments. My first we’re kept and passed down to me so when additions to our family arrive it’s sure to be on a list. At 37 my first halmark rocking horse holds a place of honor. I find my self really missing my dad this time of the year. Every year after my parents bought this house my dad took great pride in decorating the outside with lights. For the last several years it was a special memory that we shared.
I would take my regular day off and meet early for breakfast, then spend the day getting them up. I climb the ladders , he hands them up and helps with ground level, and the front porch. As grown children we all have our own families, so usually we would be finishing when my mom got home work . She would cook something wonderfully homemade, my husband would join us, for a nice quiet evening to admire our hard work.
I thank God everyday for the time i got with my father before cancer took him from us.
“No more lives torn apart, everyone will find a friend, right will always win. This is my grown up Christmas wish list”. It hits home at this time of year . I was lucky and reminded at my brothers wedding when I watched my brothers wife enjoy her father/daughter dance.
So as the shopping , decorating and general merry making goes full speed ahead, make time for the special moments, yes even adult children should hope to have them while parents and grandparents are still here. I’m working on a family cookbook full of favorite recipes from mom, grandma, aunts and cousins before they disapprare. I’m including photos and memories disks. I look forward to baking with my mom every year it’s one of those special times . I hope my nieces get to join in the fun. You can be assured that powdered sugar and flour will dust a lot of surfaces, and the adults will have “spiked egg juice”. That’s eggnog according to my five year old niece . So here’s to family recipe’s, and Holly, whatever the tradition share your favorites. Enjoy every moment for time and those memories are what we take with us always. In the meantime I know my dad will always live on in our hearts, and what we pass on will shape them and our world in future years to come.
Cooking Up Memories
Wow! Where did the year go? I would like to apologize for the hiatus in posts.
It was not planned that’s for sure. As many of you know I have been taking physical therapy since my spinal surgery two years ago, however as I prepared to leave for my weekly appointment I started experiencing shortness of breath. As I attempted to get in my wheelchair, I started not being able to breathe. I asked my husband to call 911. I awoke 5 days later having never met the paramedics who came and transported me to hospital. I was in respiratory distress, a breathing tube was inserted and kept in a medically induced coma while testing and stabalizing treatment was given. Luckily the drugs they gave means I remember nothing about this obviously scary time I spent in ICU.
Ten days in step down care before release to a skilled nursing facility. After another twenty days ton make sure prescribed therapy worked I was released to go home on October 30th. As a result I combined my homecoming dinner with my birthday celebration also the 30th. With Thanksgiving fast approaching the stress of the holidays starts creeping in. My answer is to remember just how lucky I am. The main thing I would tell anyone is to cherish the time the we have with family and friends. Instead of coveting toys, gadgets,clothing, or other material items take a brake from the hustle; look around and see all the blessing in your life you have to be thankful for. Friends, family, pets, even a kind word from strangers.
One event that I will never forget ; I think I met my guardian angel during my stay in hospital. After friends, family, visited I have to admit I was feeling really down with fears creeping in. I went to bed that night to shut off my brain from all those stupid thoughts. So 3am comes around and they collect blood for laboratory testing. The room was freezing, this beautiful young girl felt how cold my hand was she was encouraging me to get warm. I’m not proud of it but I was feeling pretty low and I just did not care which way it ended. She stayed with me. Held and rubbed my hand to warm it. She only left long enough to get some heated blankets. The rest of the time she held my hand and sought to reassure me that I would be deeply missed in this world. This girl didn’t know me at all. I’ve never had someone touch my life so profoundly. I try to make it a point to leave nothing unsaid. When I told her how mush her gestures and caring touched me she replied that she was just glad that she could help. After making me feel better she collected her sample, encouraged me to get some more rest because the sun was gonna come up soon enough. When my door closed the biggest thought was this bright light in this world just left me and I didn’t even know her name.
I’m happy to say I related this to my wonderful nurse and she agreed that it was in deed special. She helped me find out her name and since patients do not talk directly to their supervisor I could mention her in glowing terms in the follow-up survey following my stay. Wherever you are Whitney I want you to know how special you are. I hope this holiday season is indeed magical. If by some chance you get to read this please know how special you are and I hope you continue being a light in this sometimes dark world.
As we move into the holiday season I hope the world benefits from many more just like her. I have many people who are special to me and I have seen evidence of how simple gestures can touch the lives of others but this is probably the first time I have been so profoundly touched by a stranger. I hope there are many more like her and they continue sharing that special gift with the world.