Confession: I always wanted to look appealingly pale and tragic when I’m sick or upset, a sort of damsel-in-distress approach like in fairytales. But instead, I only manage to look like a suffering sheep.
I want to say this about being sick on holiday: it stinks.
I spent a lot of time between Christmas and New Year’s trying on my ovine look. Today is the first day that I feel human again.
When my husband said “in sickness and in health,” I doubt he really had in mind four days of living with a sheep, tucking covers around her, bringing her Tylenol, washing dishes, finishing potty-training her daughter… If I had known he was so handy around the house, I’d have quit years ago.
And he still loves me. Can you believe it?
Before our attack of sickness, we had a whole lot of fun celebrating. Here are some highlights of my season:
- Making gifts by hand (slippers, blankets, pillows, jar mixes, a purse). This brought me much joy.
- Cutting paper snowflakes.
- Cooking candy with a friend.
- Wrapping dormant baby trees in burlap and twine to give as presents–Arbor Day Foundation.
- Realizing that taking a knitting basket along to a family gathering makes me feel very happy and brave. I have something to do with my hands.
- Singing “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” with my community, with continuous drone backing the melody throughout most of the verses, and full parts on the last
- Watching the dress rehearsal for Aarick’s Christmas program, all the kids so sweet and in earnest. Mary dumping the baby in the manger long before the line about the time coming for him to be delivered. Wise Man #3 really getting into his We Three Kings carol, then leaning toward Herod with a malignant undertone in his “have come to WORSHIP him.”
- Hosting a Christmas hymn sing, with tacos and cheer and full-voiced joy, while nannies minded our kids upstairs.
- Caroling at Juniper Village, an old folks’ home, seeing how they lit up. The magic of watching a gruff old war vet singing Silent Night in harmony with my kids.
- Hearing that our youth group decided to make and distribute fruit baskets to the needy instead of doing a traditional gift exchange among themselves.
- Seeing how Jesus gave me quiet Advent assignments on my tough days—“hot tea” and “rest” when my body was sore and exhausted.
- Dinner out with Merle and Amy, their treat.
- Getting a package in the mail from my dear friend Becca in Michigan. I cried.
- Reading A Christmas Carol.
- Opening a big ol’ box from our Zook loved ones–presents and goodies from Grandpa and Grandma, homemade body scrub and candy cane playdough from Chastin.
The season was full of joy. What were your favorite parts?