Apparently, the stomach virus didn’t have a nice home to spend this Christmas, or maybe we were overdue for a visit, but either way, it stayed at our house. Six of the nine were affected as of Christmas day. We had to change our plans a bit, but Christmas came all the same. We opened presents with eight of the nine, and took a brief break in the middle of opening to clean up the baby’s vomit.
Thankfully it happened while I was off work and the kids were on break from school. The first night I slept until 3am then woke up to clean messes while my wife rested. Once the baby came down with it I was done. The little ones wanted to stay by mommy’s side.
The only real disappointment was having to miss a few caroling vists. There are just too many special people around and we couldn’t get to all of them. We also missed Six’s laughter. He came down to open presents after everyone else was finished, but didn’t last long.
The best part of this Christmas is that we’ve been enjoying it all year long. We decided after last Christmas to forego lots of presents and instead purchase tickets to a theme park. I also did a girls and boys long weekend at the park. We stayed in a hotel and had three full days of daddy time. It was a lot of fun, and since it’s an hour car ride to the park, it resulted in good quality time. I was able to talk with the kids, play road games, listen, teach, and enjoy each other’s company.
Instead of buying presents we gave each kid a little money to shop for two of their siblings and put those gifts under the tree. They had fun shopping for each other, wrapping gifts, and really being on the giving side of Christmas.
So despite our uninvited guest, we had a nice Christmas and were able to use the holiday to build relationships throughout the year. We may just have started a new Christmas tradition.