Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist

Well it happened. Christmas came and Christmas went and now we’re in that weird limbo week where if you have a job you might be at it, but nothing is happening. We can’t quite get back to normal because there’s still New Year’s but am I the only one feeling vaguely guilty and unsettled by a complete lack of normal routine?

I wrote quite a bit about expectations the last few weeks, and how having them can ruin anything, but especially Christmas. Overall I think I did really great. I know that’s the case because this was one of the best Christmases yet.  I say this, despite our reality of two start-up businesses, twin 20-month old male cyclones and a three-going-on-thirteen-year old (can little girls get PMS???) AND a, shall we say unsatisfactory, child care situation (I could get into this more, because there are some humorous aspects to this in a dark, suburban nightmare kind of way, but it’s not very Christmas-y).

So here was the scene…in addition to the ongoing stress of the above, we also welcomed our son and daughter-in-law and grandson (who is three months older than the twins) the Monday prior to Christmas as well as my parent. This is not in itself stressful, other than the NOISE LEVEL, and the fact that my folks have lived alone for a long time now are aren’t use to NOISE. I think they were the most shell shocked during our family dinner Monday but they did good and didn’t wince or cry in front of us. I did actually beg them to take me with them, but they wouldn’t. I guess we’re still not quite over all that teenage stuff, eh? Three words though…Bad Nursing Home. Just sayin’.

Sadly, they chose to drive hundreds of miles through bad weather rather than enjoy the season in the house of chaos, but we understood and were glad to see them.

I was prepared to have the Christmas of “No, Ben” and for Grace to boycott the whole thing due to the Santa at the mall not wearing the right color suit and so being stricken off her list of friendlies which kinda happened. I was prepared for a lot of little kids running around fighting, which kinda happened too, but not as bad as I thought.

I wasn’t prepared for Dreamy to get sick. My husband tends to prance around annoyingly all year round proclaiming that he “never gets sick”-  particularly helpful when I’ve lost my voice and am at death’s door. Well, after this Christmas, we have decided he must change it to “I rarely get sick”. I know I talk and write a lot about how your husband can’t be your higher power, and he’s really not, but I have come to depend on him for certain things and when he’s off his game it sure does throw me off mine. Even though I was prepared for all kinds of terrible and non-festive behavior from the littles (well, except Adam. I expected him to be a cheerful little doll who only smiled and was awesome, and he pretty much was. Not saying he’s my current favorite right now, but I’m not saying he’s not) I did have a Wonderful Life type picture in my head of Dreamy being cheerful and fun and enjoying Christmas.

Because I’m so highly evolved and spiritually fit, I think I handled it really well when he was lethargic and miserable and fell asleep Christmas Eve. I held it together for the kids and did the Santa Letters and Birthday Cake for Jesus and Story of Christmas and was super fun and nice and then proceeded to give him the silent treatment until he asked what was wrong and informed him he ruined Christmas. To which he responded “You’re right, I’m so sorry. I can’t believe how insensitive I’ve been. Will you forgive me?” Oh wait, that’s not what he said. At all.

I AM grateful that we can have a doozy of a knock down blow out and in the morning say we were sorry, and stupid and have a good day after all. And I am sorry I called you that, honey. It won’t happen again.

And stomach flu. And Ben getting two teeth, which is SUCH drama…105 degree fevers and ice baths and no sleep for 3 days. And Grace puking in our bed again. And the WORST pumpkin cheesecake I’ve ever made.

And really, it was the Best Christmas ever! Time with family just being family and ending a really bad childcare situation with the little au pair who couldn’t and finding someone we think will be wonderful instead can’t be beat. And all the bad stuff makes for great stories later.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and were good to your loved ones and said sorry when you weren’t. Happy New Year!

3 thoughts on “And so this was Christmas…

  1. Mary Rowen says:

    Carrie, thanks for this, and a belated merry Christmas. I think my expectations were a little high this year–won’t go into the deets here–but after reading this, I feel a bit better about the arguments and tears that sadly, we did have. You’re right: just being with family, warts and all, is what it’s about. None of us are perfect, and we all did say we were sorry. Lots of love and peace to you in 2016.

    1. Merry Christmas to you too, Mary! I hope 2016 has less warts, less tears, more words 🙂

      1. Mary Rowen says:

        🙂 Thank you, Carrie!

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