Quarantined for Christmas

Our first Christmas with babies wasn’t nearly as great as it should have been.

There should have been massive piles of gifts, thousands of photos, and snow.  But there were none of those things.

Megg’s parents came over for breakfast on Christmas morning.  The babies looked adorable in their Christmas jammies and the food was delicious.  It was the perfect start to our first Christmas as parents.


But before we knew it, Scout was fussy and she was put to bed.  No presents for her (only because she was sleeping).  I’m sure this was the last year that this will ever be allowed to happen.

So Griffin “opened” his gifts, which were actually just some little toys and teething rings that we had been holding onto for a while.  What does a four month old really need for Christmas anyway?  I like to think that he loved them all and that he felt incredible gratitude towards his parents.


In the evening, we went to my parents’ house and had a great meal and opened a few more gifts.  The babies got a sweet doorway jumper, which daredevil Griffin would love.

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We completely forgot to take a photo in front of the tree, but there was always time for that the next day.

The next day was just like any other day at home.  We barely made it out of the house on time for lunch with friends, ran a few errands, and came home for an easy afternoon.  I wasn’t feeling so hot, and I hadn’t felt well for the past few days, so I was permitted to take a nap around 5:00, hoping that the Vitamin C and fluids I had been consuming would do their job and I wouldn’t get sick.

Then I woke up at 8:00, feeling worse.  My temperature was 103 degrees and I knew I had the flu.

Despite my vaccination each year, I never fail to get the flu.  I’m sure it came from one of the students I work with each day, the germy little things that they are.  I knew all the symptoms and I had each and every one.  I phoned a family member for help and she called in some medicine.  No pharmacy in a 15 mile radius had it in stock, but we tracked some down eventually.

She also made it very clear that I should stay away from the babies.  That’s when things took a turn for the worse.

Megg made me go to bed and advised me to steer clear of her and the kids.

The next morning, I stood around watching her take care of the babies, who were extra fussy.  The idea of me watching her take care of them, but doing nothing to help, finally set her off.

“We’re going to my parents’ house and you’re not coming.”

This was my fear.  I would have to miss a great Christmas party with great food.  But it made sense.  I couldn’t help and we didn’t want them to get sick.  Plus she would have lot of help at her parents’.  She packed up and hit the road.  I watched them leave and just stood there.

What am I going to do now?  I’ll be alone in the house for two days.

Wait.  I hadn’t been alone in the house for months.  What wouldn’t I do?

I made an optimistic to-do list and hoped that I would be well enough to get a few things done around the house.

It escalated pretty quickly.

In an hour, I had taken the Christmas lights off the house and tucked them into the basement.  Then I thought about taking the ornaments off the Christmas tree.  Our tree stood bare for three weeks and was only decorated two days before Christmas.  I was convinced that it would take us another three weeks to get rid of the tree, so I should just do it now.  I sent a text to Megg for permission.

Two hours later, there was no reply.

Well, we can always take a photo in front of someone else’s tree, right?

I took the ornaments off in record time.  Then I stared at the tree and took it one step further.  The tree was sitting at the curb 15 minutes later.

Then I put the furniture back in order, vacuumed pine needles and glitter, and put away each and every Christmas decoration that was displayed in the house.

Then I received the text message from Megg: “Do NOT touch the tree.”  Too late.  I was afraid to tell her what I had done, but I did, and immediately regretted everything.

Basically, I am really good at overdoing things as soon as I recover from being sick.  And that’s exactly what I did.  In the next two days, I had accomplished more than I had in the past four months.

The basement was clean and organized, finally.

The floors were mopped and scrubbed.

The entire house was vacuumed and dusted.

Clutter was no more!

We never got around to taking our family’s first Christmas photo and I’ve never heard the end of it.  But the basement look amazing.

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