I suppose patient zero may be more accurate but it feels like things have gone explody over the course of the last few days. My efforts to try to make my Grandfather's wish to see the whole family together for the holidays went down the crapper. All it took was one tiny little virus to do it.
Laughibly (and predictably) Beloved has the sniffles and I've been dragging myself around like some sort of zombie. My youngest, who was home from school last Wednesday with this bug, has been just this side of climbing the ceiling. Snuggle Bug, where do you get your energy from? Cuddle Bear has caught this thing too and he's just a ball of energy. Congested and coughing, but just on the run from the word go.
It seems, however, the divine providence may have been at play on this one. Apparently there are members of the extended family on my side who would have taken offense at my presence and the presence of my sister-in-law. So, it may just be that the gods decided to protect us all from an enormous cluster fuck of a holiday disaster. Because she had stuff come up too.
My holiday baking has been greatly reduced because of a double whammy of this stupid virus and a mild depressive episode. This evening, for the first time all day, I felt up to doing some housework. So I cleaned the kitchen, because it really needed it. I'm going to try to rope the boys into picking up the living room 'for Santa.' I'm thinking if I put it that way, they may actually do it.
I've been busy over the last few weeks working on Yule/Christmas gifts. I have a box full of stuff to give to people and I'm not going to be seeing them until after the holidays. I am not pleased. I was really looking forward to the kids' reactions to the hats I made them. I made slippers for my boys. I have a feeling this is going to be turning into something of a tradition for me. I made them slippers last year. Those slippers, however, went missing. Thus I made them new slippers.
I've something special for Beloved. I'm pretty sure that he's going to get a big laugh out of it. If I felt better, I'd probably make something else for the kids. They're getting books, a couple games, and a toy car each. I feel kinda bad that I'm not giving them more substantial toys. At the same time, we've purged unused toys (made them part of a care package for an impoverished family down the road) and life has continued with out even a slight hiccough. This tells me that there is just too much 'stuff' in the house.
My other big project this season was the surprise care package for the family up the road. Shortly after they moved in the wife said to me that she was concerned about Christmas. She told me about how they were looking at having to choose between groceries and gifts. Now, the school and their church did give them care packages. I had decided before I had even heard about this to put together one for her.
In the care package went a pair of stroller blankies for the baby (which she'd found out she was pregnant with shortly before their move), a handmade rattle for the baby, household goods, a handmade washcloth for each person in the house, and some holiday hats for her girls (who are the same ages as Snuggle Bug and Cuddle Bear). We had extra winter coats, so I gave those to her as well because they had only light jackets for the girls. I also took out the nifty felt bag that my Grandmother down in FL had sent presents up for Cuddle Bear in one year. I filled it up with toys that the boys just don't even touch. Thus, we sent over a very nice train set and a teddy bear for each child (including a Winnie the Pooh for the coming baby).
The woman was expecting the first bag. I figured she had enough chaos going on that springing this as a complete surprise was going to be bad. When I handed it to her, she teared up and gave me a hug. Then I pulled the bag full of toys out from behind my back and she just stared in wonder. She said that she couldn't repay me. I told her that it was a gift from my kids to hers. And that sometime down the road, when she meets someone in need, help them out.
I'm pleased with the results of this. I am also pleased that there is one more surprise waiting for the girls. E. and her girls went out and got them My Little Pony ponies. I'm planning on dropping them off with a 'Santa made a mistake, this comes here.' line. I'm really looking forward to seeing the delight and excitement on the girls' faces.
My boys have been getting excited about Yule/Christmas. For Yule, we put out some sugar and oats for Silepnir. Into their stockings, which we hung at the foot of their beds with some solemnity, they each got a little toy from Odin. Cuddle Bear still is talking about the magic horsie. He could care less about the All Father but he's really fond of Silepnir.
They've been making noises about Santa Claus. School has been getting them riled up on that front. It started with talk of Christmas Trees and went from there. So, tonight before the boys go to bed, we're going to put out a plate with a special cookie for Santa and a glass of milk. I'm going to try to hunt down one of my electric candles to put on the altar so Santa can find our house. ;)
I'd add more but I have miles to go before I sleep tonight.