It was my daughter’s first Christmas. We were celebrating at my parents’ home; they live six hours away from us. Now, because of the distance between my home and my parents’, my husband and I trade off holidays between my family and his. Since it was my parents’ turn to host us for Christmas, my mother was beyond elated at the opportunity to make the holiday the best one we had all experienced. The house was beautifully decorated. Every meal was meticulously planned. Every i had been dotted and every t was crossed on my mom’s “to do” list. The only thing she needed was for the rest of us to arrive and then all of her hard work, planning and daydreaming about the special holiday would finally come to fruition.
Our first few days were fun. We enjoyed the time together. My oldest son, Brennan, played in the snow with my sister and her husband. My daughter, Kendall, reveled at the lights on my parents’ huge Christmas tree. Christmas Eve morning arrived and we all eagerly waited with anticipation as we started preparing for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner – Norwegian Meatballs.
The only problem was that my mom started feeling under the weather that morning and my brother-in-law followed suit. It wasn’t your typical flu-like virus, with the sniffles and the shivers; no, it was that blasted norovirus (what most of us lovingly call the stomach flu). My family and I had already succumbed to the illness two weeks prior to Christmas so we were in the clear as far as immunity goes. My parents, sister and husband, however, weren’t so lucky and that morning started off what would be quite possibly the worst best example of best laid plans gone awry.
My brother-in-law made a trip to the emergency room because he became so severely dehydrated. Once we returned from the emergency room, my sister started her upheaval in the kitchen sink. Next, my dad fell prey to the nasty bug and that’s when you could definitely say that our dreams of a perfect Christmas were shattered.
Despite the ruined holiday plans, you can say that we all look back on that Christmas with a sense of humor. It was quite possibly the “worst” Christmas we had ever had together but it was also the most memorable. It stands out in comparison to all of the “normal” planned out events of Christmases’ past. So if you’re celebrating Christmas this week with your family and you’ve got it all planned out down to the kind of cookies you’ll leave for Santa, take a minute to sit back and look around at the scene in front of you. Paying too much attention to the details in any special event often makes us miss the scene that’s right in front of us. The day goes by at lightning speed and before you know it, everything that was so carefully planned has quickly come and gone.
How will you take a minute to sit back and remember this special holiday time? Quiet your thoughts down just a bit and take in every detail that is in front of you. Memories aren’t made in the details, they are made in the story of the day.