The Ups and Downs of Christmas


Christmas morning was almost perfect. A gentle start with none of the children awake before 7. We all gathered in the living room, a feat which involves rearranging furniture and pushing Smiley's wheelchair up a couple of steps too, so is reserved for special occasions until I get my act together and make more of this house accessible. Anyway, back to Christmas. The presents were opened at a leisurely pace. Smiley loved the family time together, my eldest added the sweetest note ever with the present she gave to me and it was lovely to see her delight when she opened the surprise presents that I got for her. And my son was calm and happy with his presents.

The scheduled visit to see Granny went well. But here at home we hit the first problem: the chicken I'd bought earlier in the week had somehow managed to turn bad before its due date. I was so angry I nearly took to twitter, but to be fair it could be my stupid fridge that caused the problem.

A few deep breaths later, I loaded Smiley into the van and headed out in the van to scavenge what I could. Luckily the local Centra was obviously expecting me, and others like me, because they were not only open, but had a whole fridge of Christmas Dinner options. So while late, dinner was at least in the oven when the other two children arrived home.

The meal was uneventful, chatty and delicious. No one managed to clear their plate, except me, but that's a good thing, right? And Smiley and I went on to enjoy seconds of Angel's Tiramisu too. I'm gonna pay for this...

The late afternoon and early evening passed in a blur of caring and cleaning up. Helped by some of the left-over Tia Maria that didn't make it to the dessert. Back on the wagon in the New Year for me though.

As Angel and I watched our current favourite series on Netflix, there was a crisis in the other room with the news that the gaming site Steam had hit privacy problems, cue a mild panic over loss of games (him) and credit card details (me). All seems to be resolved now though.

So I got through Christmas, and there were plenty of moments of joy to savour. But if you've been reading this blog long enough you'll know that many of our Christmases used to be social, fun, exciting and memorable. Just the way I liked them. But not any longer. I don't recall any Christmases  post 2010 - luckily I blog about them! Of course others are remembering loved ones lost and happier times and it's hard to not compare and remember too. So I distract myself as best I can and treat myself too. I need to do that because however good I get at accepting the way I live now, there is no way to completely erase the memories of the Christmases past.

It did go well, apart from the incidents with the chicken and the website. Smiley didn't get her walk, but we did lots of dancing instead.

But it's not the same. In other households Christmas is a little more about the grown ups, especially once the children have left primary school. But not here.

The day was all about meeting the needs of the children, especially my two with special needs. So everything was low key. No visitors. No church. No Christmas run. Nothing stressful at all.  Meanwhile Smiley needed everything done for her as on every other day, and I have cancelled the help over the holidays to take a break from the grind of the schedule. and the exhausting tyranny of the morning and evening alarms. So I'm doing all the getting her up in the morning, and to bed at night, the toileting, feeding, washing, daily physiotherapy, entertaining. She doesn't have to be anywhere for now, so I'm taking things at a slower pace and I'm banking some sleep, but there's not much time for other things.

But if I step back and look at the contentment in the eyes of my children, I can see that Christmas was all about the ups for them. The downs were mostly in my head. Damn those busy brain cells!

Here's hoping that you had a good day.



20 comments:

  1. It sounds like a wonderful family Christmas.
    Oh no about the chicken...At least you managed Christmas dinner still.
    All the best for 2016 x

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  2. I think in some ways all children love a low-key day at home without visitors or ceremony. My daughter and I love spending the whole day in pjs once in a while - just playing games and watching movies. I'm dying to know what Angel bought you. xxx

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    1. You could be right about the low key Christmas...

      Angel got me a make up lesson -- something I've been prevaricating about for ages, because I'd just like to be able to cover up the bags etc properly for those occasional nights out xxx

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    1. And a Happy New Year to you and your family xx

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  4. A make-up lesson, an inspired idea! I need one of those. I do know exactly what you mean - my ideal Christmas would be lots of people round at ours, lots of food, lots of drink and raucous laughter... None of those things suit our youngest of course. So it was just the four of us (three for dinner), and a v quiet day. Perfect for her, but our oldest came in crying this morning, saying she felt like she 'wasted' Christmas coz it was too quiet :( maybe one year we'll find a happy medium - or maybe you and me can ditch the family and go for the craic in a good bar somewhere ๐Ÿ˜œ Happy New Year to you all xx

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  5. A make-up lesson, an inspired idea! I need one of those. I do know exactly what you mean - my ideal Christmas would be lots of people round at ours, lots of food, lots of drink and raucous laughter... None of those things suit our youngest of course. So it was just the four of us (three for dinner), and a v quiet day. Perfect for her, but our oldest came in crying this morning, saying she felt like she 'wasted' Christmas coz it was too quiet :( maybe one year we'll find a happy medium - or maybe you and me can ditch the family and go for the craic in a good bar somewhere ๐Ÿ˜œ Happy New Year to you all xx

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  6. Sounds lovely, even if not wild and full of parties.
    It could have gone so wrong.
    Aud x

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  7. merry christmas! We had a quiet one but at least it was accessible and done at our own pace. we ate, we played games, we laughed and eilidh coughed - a lot! so chest physio it was, with the usual day to day cares - oh! and a visit from elsa (a patient's family had organised it for the girls). it wasn't my favourite christmas - i love lots of family and food and gin and laughter too - but niamh said it all - "i loved just spending time the 4 of us". I hope that the coming year is bright and joyful x

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    1. Sorry to hear that eilidh coughed a lot, but very glad the niamh enjoyed it so much. Hope that 2016 is good to you all x

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  8. Christmas is what you make it and is different to each family. You do right to work it in around your children's needs for, hopefully, that makes it better for you too. It does sound like your day turned out really well. Apart from the understandable panic over the bird! And Steam. And I have not been told about that.... I'd best go investigate with my No 1 son!! xxx

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    1. Hope there were no Steam--ee problems in your house!! And that you had a very happy Christmas xxx

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  9. A quiet Christmas sounds lovely to me, although I do understand where you are coming from. It's not easy when there are extra challenges. xx

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    1. It's a bit lonely, but luckily I have social media to keep me company :) xx

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  10. So happy that Christmas was all about the ups for your children, and yes, damn those pesky brain cells :) A very happy new year to you xxx

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