Christmas Cheer Amidst the Viruses

Our Christmas tree is officially up, so the neighbors can quit giving us grief about how we’re the Grinch family on the block, with no tiny, twinkly light bulbs anywhere in the vicinity of our house. We put the tree in front of the living room window, so everyone can see it at night and say, “Hey, Hubs and Mama have some Christmas spirit over there after all.” This is, of course, if they can actually SEE our tree through the glare that is their own fully-decorated homes. We like to refer to all of them as the Griswalds.

The nativity set is proudly displayed on the coffee table. Mary, having just come through labor and delivery without the benefit of an epidural, is holding sweet baby Jesus, while Joseph stands close by, hoping that the hand which Mary squeezed during said delivery will eventually regain feeling, and the shepherds are there, fighting for space to see the newborn king with the stable animals. The boy has moved the little family and sheep around and around the coffee table, until he devised the perfect set-up: Everyone would either stand or sit (depending on how they were molded at the factory) in a circle around Mary, who is holding baby Jesus. His reasoning was spot-on-true, as he said, “Mom, I put them all this way, because everyone should always look at Jesus.”

The stockings have been hung with care from the mantle on our fireplace, waiting for Jolly Old Saint Nicholas to arrive and fill them with retired Lego sets, the likes of which can barely be found on eBay. We hold little stock in the thought that Santa is going to come through with this particular Lego set. Although Mama did indeed find the coveted set at the online auction site and managed to end (in a big sweat) as the high bidder, the seller is taking a sweet forever to mail it to us. Clearly, I need to send him a message which states, “Hey! Don’t you have kids at home? Don’t you know how important it is to have the Lego set in your possession sometime before Christmas Eve actually arrives?” At this rate, I might as well be pushing and shoving at the local shopping center over the last Zhu Zhu pet. Thank goodness plastic Lego pieces which were retired more than eight years ago outrank fake hamsters at our house. (But you know, fake hamsters absolutely trump real hamsters, because you can “fake clean” their cages!)

The Christmas letter has been written, for the most part, and simply needs to be proofread, because, goodness knows, I hate typos like I hate a good sunburn. With any luck at all, the letter will be mailed out later this week, and that monkey can be flung off my back and soundly stomped on. (That’s the holiday spirit!)

The Christmas shopping has nearly been completed, although I have just recently learned that being related to my sister means that we think exactly alike, as I purchased the exact same gifts for her children that she purchased for her children. Or rather, which the little elves up North made in their workshop for her children. Naturally this means that I need to venture back out into the frigid temperatures and make exchanges, starting at Ground Zero with gifts for little L and K. What are the odds on that one? Twenty-nine million toy options for this holiday season, and I successfully pick the exact same ones out that my sister does, on two entirely different shopping trips in which we did NOT call one another.

Clearly, our family is ready for Christmas to arrive.

And the virus which is currently wreaking havoc on my computer in our home office? That’s just a little bonus for Hubs tonight. Apparently I was quite successful at downloading a germ tonight on the hard drive, which decided to paste pictures that would make a sailor blush twelve shades of pink all over my desktop. There is a little black cloud hanging above Hubs’ head in there, as he whispers words to the computer. I’m not thinking that he’s feeling much love for the computer right now, nor is he feeling much love for me at the moment, since it seems like it was my fault, as I tried to open a photography website and the fireworks that exploded on the monitor would have done the 4th of July proud.

Although I am not particularly fond of using the laptop (I like my desk; I like having a mouse; I like the old monitor that weighs twenty-one pounds), I guess it’s coming in handy tonight. I’m sitting in the living room, in front of the Christmas tree (Can you see it through our window, Neighbors?!), typing away.

But alas, I may need to take Hubs a hot buttered drink to restore his Christmas spirit, and I need to take the wooden chopstick away from the boy (which is currently serving its time as a magic wand) and get him into bed.

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