Tag Archives: Christmas

Festivities

Well, that’s it for the first part of the Christmas season in Pinklea-land. I am stuffed with both food and alcohol, the happy recipient of many fabulous gifts, well-thanked for the presents I bestowed … and also unexercised, unrested, with a messy house and too much laundry to do, and in a bad mood.

All in all, a good time.

Of course, my birthday started the Christmas season frivolity for me last Friday, so basically, I have been partying for four days straight. Today I am in hiding. I do not wish to see or talk to people. I do not wish to look at another piece of shortbread or one more buttertart. No, not even another rum and coke – really. Well, except for maybe a very small one. Just one and just before dinner. Which, by the way, will be peanut butter and jam on toast, NOT turkey or anything resembling a real meal.

My brother and sister-in-law have been staying with my mom for almost a week now. They brought what appeared to be a truck-load of food with them, purchased more upon arrival, then cooked Christmas breakfast and dinner at Mom’s place. They did an amazing job, particularly since they were working in someone else’s kitchen with someone else’s often-crappy old stuff (although my mother does like quality things, she IS 81 years old and doesn’t always recognize when stuff needs replacing any more, insisting that those things are “just fine for me”.)

And after Christmas dinner, about 9 pm, my sister-in-law ended up in the emergency ward. She has Crohn’s disease and her innards were fighting back with a vengeance, causing her intense stomach pain. I don’t know much about Crohn’s, but I do know that people who have it are supposed to be careful with what they eat and drink. My sister-in-law, while a lovely person (and a great cook!), doesn’t always appear to be very careful. Also, I have noticed that she often has these attacks right around the time that they are leaving on vacation. Then this one came at Christmas. Hmm. Could stress be a factor? I’m not a medical professional, nor do I live with the disease like she does, but it does bear thinking about.

Anyway, emergency wasn’t super-busy, fortunately, and she had bloodwork done and was hooked up to a morphine drip within an hour. She started to doze off then, so PG, DD and I couldn’t really do anything more and so went home, about 10:45 pm. Mom hadn’t come with us to the hospital, but we called her and let her know what was happening. At about 1 am, the doctor pronounced everything under control and sent my sister-in-law and brother on their way. The next day (yesterday), she was a bit weak and groggy, eating lightly, but not in any more pain, thank goodness.

So that was all quite exciting … okay, maybe not for her, but I’ve never gone to emergency on Christmas Day before, so it was certainly a new adventure for me.

And now I’m off on another new-ish adventure: back to the gym after far too many days off.

I wonder if I’ll even remember how to do the machines?

The last time I was sick at Christmas …

So it appears that I will live after all. I am not permanently sick, nor will I be coughing forever. In fact, it looks very much like I will be healthy for Christmas … or healthy-ish. My voice is still raspy, I’m coughing only in the mornings and in the evenings now, and I’m blowing my nose rather infrequently, so I would say that I was most certainly on the mend. I may, of course, be stuck in this state for weeks (and I do know that has happened to some people who have been hit by this “thing” – which, I’m quite sure, is its scientific name). But I’m hoping for the best.

The last time I was sick at Christmastime, I think I was nineteen years old. I was madly in love with my first serious boyfriend, and although he did not have heaps of money (as it later turned out, he spent a great deal of the money he did have on dope – but that’s another story), he had purchased tickets to a Vancouver Canucks hockey game for me for my birthday. They were going to be playing the Montréal Canadiens that night, which had been my favourite NHL team prior to the existence of my hometown Canucks. I was so excited! Hockey tickets were not cheap nor easy to get, even back in the late seventies when the Canucks were an abyssmally poor team, and this was, I thought, obviously a measure of his love for me that he’d somehow gotten these tickets.

He and his roommate had also promised to take me out to a pub for the very first (legal!) time, as it was my nineteenth birthday and so I would be of legal drinking age. They were older, and therefore much more experienced in such things as drinking establishments, so again, I was very much looking forward to this. I still looked like I was about fifteen years old, so I was anticipating flashing my newly-legal ID with great glee.

And then I got sick, a couple of weeks before Christmas. I was right in the middle of exams at university and I remember that I was too ill to even study. I managed to read a bit, but I mostly curled up in my bed, dying, I was sure. My throat was soooooo sore, my entire body ached, and I didn’t think anyone could even produce that much snot in their entire lifetimes. My boyfriend actually had to drive me to the university to write an exam or two, as I was too sick to drive safely. But I wrote every exam, and passed them all – except, ironically, my French exam. (And just to set the record straight, I pretty much aced the final French exam in April that term, and so my average mark in that class ended up being fairly decent.)

I started to feel better after exams were done, but my throat sure didn’t. It got worse and worse, to the point where I couldn’t even swallow my own saliva. It felt like a million tiny knives stabbing my esophagus whenever I tried. I will never forget that feeling – it was terrible! Still, I had a few more days before the hockey game, my birthday (which was going to be the pub night), and then Christmas. I was optimistic that the worst was over, and that I’d be good to go when the time came.

Alas, as it turned out, strep throat is not to be messed with. I missed the hockey game, the pub night, much of my birthday, and much of Christmas that year. I could barely swallow a bite of birthday cake, nor could I enjoy much of Christmas dinner. Drinking, of course, was out of the question, what with the medication and all.

By January, I felt fine again and my life continued on its merry way. It took me a very long time to get over not having been able to go to that Vancouver-Montréal hockey game, though. In fact, it may have taken thirty years, until 2008, when I was in Montréal, and I finally got to see the Canadiens play in the Bell Centre. Their opponents that night were the Philadelphia Flyers, and with Carey Price (a BC kid) in net, the Canadiens won the game.

(But of course, I really rather would have seen them beat the Canucks thirty years earlier!)

Already?!

So. December has arrived. A week ago, in fact.

I’m not ready.

Every year I feel this way, but this year I’m feeling more stressed than I think I usually do.

I’ve pretty much done my Christmas shopping, though, which is a huge leap in the right direction. I have just a few stocking stuffers to pick up still and that’ll be it. Sounds good, right? Except that not one single thing is wrapped or even organized. I’m not really sure where some of the stuff I’ve bought even IS at this point. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to totally forget somebody’s gift – and it wouldn’t be the first time.

But my house is still so unChristmassy! Mine seems to be the only one in the neighbourhood without any outdoor Christmas lights or decorations or a tree blazing in the window. I’ve hauled everything out of the garage and the boxes are now sitting in the basement. So far, I have only managed to hang up a wreath on the front door. Woo hoo. One lone wreath. Aren’t we festive.

I haven’t done a shred of Christmas baking either. I don’t bake a lot, but I do have four or five standards that must be around at Christmas or DD will melt into a puddle of tears. “M – o – o – o – m – m!” she will wail sadly. “It’s trad – i – i – i -tion!” So I bake to avoid that heart-rending sight and plaintive cry. Also because I like baked goods, especially the stuff I bake once a year.

I’ve been to two Christmas social functions already, though, and have two more scheduled for this weekend. I do have a lovely new Christmas outfit, and I must say that I look quite smashing in it (PG and DD both said so, so it must be true!). All I need is some fabulous, sparkly, new jewelry to accessorize my elegant new clothes – and that is PG’s department. I hope he comes through for me – or else gets me hockey tickets. Both would be good, really.

I’m listening to Christmas music as I type this, the fireplace is burning merrily, and I’ve lit lots of candles. I believe I’m actually relaxed, finally, after a couple of very long and trying work days. I may be regaining my perspective – and some energy.

Okay. Deeeeeep breath. Yes. I might actually be ready now. I might be able to tackle the Christmas decorating tonight, at least.

Isn’t it amazing what a little rum and eggnog does for one’s Christmas spirit?