Or rather, a multitude of little plans, all hinging on the outcome of a big round of colds that currently afflict the Haus. Will no one be running a fever for Christmas Day? Will we be tag-teaming Christmas Mass instead of attending the sparsest attended one as usual, as a family? We almost always go Christmas Day in the morning anyway because it’s the one Mass guaranteed to have enough seats for us without coming two hours in advance. Will we still be hosting Christmas Day dinner on Christmas Day??
Things began to unravel last Friday when what seemed like a simple cold for Rascal escalated to a fever of 104.6. A trip to the pediatrician’s office ruled out strep or flu, and his first ever chest x-ray ruled out pneumonia. Just a bad bad cold, we came home to begin the rounds of fluids, Mucinex, vaporizers, and relaxing. The very next day all the other children began coughing. On Sunday Sunshine woke up with a fever of 102, Dino at 101, and today Princess peaked at 100.5. The upshot of all this is that I have a handy new thermometer (ack! It was cheaper on Amazon?! Oh well, I needed a new one fast). It makes me feel like Dr. McCoy.
The kids love it. They ask me to take their temperature. Even Sunshine, who hated the regular ol’ thermometer even being under her arm! I just didn’t think I’d be using it as often as I am, especially right now.
So over the weekend plans began to be tweaked and changed. For once, we are doing most of our decorating tomorrow, on Christmas Eve. We achieved this goal of ours partly by laziness–Haus Meister’s giant boat was blocking my way to my boxes in the garage and I finally used the last 65 degree day we had last week to dig them out. I opened a few things and put them out. My Advent box had already been opened and dispersed through the house, making sure there was at least a little cheer in every room, even if it was only a window candle. I’m glad of that.
The Nativity set still stands, if in disarray. The Holy Family are due to arrive tomorrow.
My straw goat stands proudly on the mantelpiece. More than I can say for his Swedish counterpart, who got torched last Saturday morning.
When Haus Meister informed me at dinner tonight that he was starting to feel a little under the weather, I seriously began to think about postponing our big dinner. After all, Christmas lasts twelve days at least! Extended family are arriving at different times throughout the week (my parents at the weekend, armed with chicken broth and whatever it is they take for colds these days :)), so there’s always going to be someone to help us eat that 26lb turkey I nabbed at the grocery store before Thanksgiving when turkeys sold for 59cents a pound. NOTE: If you have the freezer space and are planning a turkey dinner for Christmas, shop before Thanksgiving. My frugal tip of the week.
Seriously, I told my husband I would make empenadas on Christmas Day if it was just going to be us here for dinner. We all love empenadas (except Trooper, the mac and cheese maniac). I will just need to go out tomorrow morning for peanut oil. I could tell he didn’t like that idea much–especially as he’s in the shop cranking out a Christmas present for our girls–but (sssh!) I also forgot the licorice that Princess wanted to give him for Christmas. And four more over-the-door wreath hangers so we can hang stockings the way we did at our last Christmas in the Old Haus. Somehow the lack of those two things bother me more than any other plan gone awry right now, and I chalk that up to pregnancy loopiness.
But you know what, whether or not we have the feast on the 25th, whether or not anyone’s still coughing, whether or not I get those over-the-door hangers, whether or not my Christmas village ever gets out of the box, whether or not I ever make my homemade buckeyes, it’s all going to be okay. We’re all here and we’re all together.
And really, Christmas never was about our plans or decorations or parties anyway.
It’s about welcoming Him into our lives. I thought a lot during Advent about how the people in Jesus’ day didn’t recognize Him at first when He came. Not everyone in Bethlehem flocked to the manger. That only happens in Fontanini! Sometimes we in our day to day life don’t see the way God manifests His will for us because we’re looking somewhere else, for something else. We expect everything to be just as we ordained it, just as the people looking for a Messiah thought He would come in the way they ordained it. This year, if He came to our house this Christmas in the form of seven kids with coughs, sniffles, or fevers, then that’s how I’ll meet Him.
And it will be perfect.
(There we go, Star Trek, Swedish Goats, pregnancy loopiness, Mucinex and an Advent meditation. Classic Haus Frau at her best blogging randomnymity!)