An Odd Holiday

This has been an odd holiday, in many ways. Not bad – actually rather slow and lovely, considering.

First, it was short. I know many people consider the life of a teacher one of ease and leisure. We work from 8 – 3 and have all that time off. But in truth, I am at work from 7:30 – 5 most days (paid from 8-4) and then come home and work again 8 – 11 at least 3 evenings a week, plus usually an entire weekend day. Writing lessons, grading papers, uploading things to the websites for the classes, changing tests, revising homework – it takes a great deal of time. In fact this holiday I worked on Saturday all day – it took me 1.5 hours just to grade an IB Maths Exam I had given – and there are only 15 students in that class.  Another 3 hours to grade the 60 geometry tests and upload their grades. All this to say, that with my own three busy children, I was ill prepared for this holiday. We worked through Friday the 21st, and we go back tomorrow. I was in a quandary about how it was all going to be accomplished, considering we had 5 people staying with us throughout Christmas, and another 5 next door at the inlaws…lots of food and celebrations to get ready for.

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Well, the hubbler stepped in and when I came home on the Thursday, the house was sparkling. He had hired a professional cleaning service in to “spring clean” the house… baseboards scrubbed, light fixtures cleaned, everything dusted and shining. Now, I am a pretty good housekeeper – I keep a pretty clean and tidy house – but the deep cleaning was a real gift – it let me breathe. It was a huge thing checked off my list. He said it was my Christmas gift so I could enjoy my holiday with fun. A very thoughtful gift indeed, and it gave throughout the holiday by letting my brain feel I could sit down and relax.

So Saturday and Sunday were spent enjoying the cooking, rather than frantically cooking and cleaning. Finalizing the gift buying and wrapping. We were ready when relatives began to arrive.

The relatives were planning to be here the 24th, 25th , 26th, and 27th…. but as they rolled in, it was apparent that things might change. When someone greets you at the door with “Don’t hug me, I have a high fever” you know the flu is joining in the festivities.  We had 1 down on Christmas Eve, then 2 arrived Christmas day under the weather, and by boxing day 3 more were headed in a downward spiral. So most everyone left on the 26th, and many were not eating as normal, so we had lots of food left over.

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P1000178(From top – traditional homemade white fruitcake, the cookie platter that was constantly refilled and often empty, rum cake that had a lovely rum sauce for it).

Once the family left, it was time for the hubbler and 2 of my 3 boys to come down with it. This meant a lot of laying about on sofas and blowing noses. Mostly, it meant the holiday was strangely quiet and restful. Noone was so miserable they couldn’t enjoy a movie.  But they were all ready to go to bed and slept long hours, which is not normal of my energizer husband. So it meant I got lots of sleep. Very much needed. It just goes to show that sometimes Higher Powers know what you need. And while I never would have prayed for illness for the holiday, it turned out to create the peaceful, calm holiday I needed. Cold and rain helped that as well. We just all cozied up and enjoyed each other.

So here are some photos from our celebrations :

P1000023Christmas Day Brunch is always at my home… 19 people..

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P1000008Eager boys waiting for the call… the youngest woke the eldest who texted the parental units to wake up…. the middle felt that it was all too early, even if it was Christmas. This was before the illness struck the house….

P1000005Santa is pretty low key around here – but this year he delivered a lovely big gift – or he will when it stops raining. He is going to asphalt the old basketball court, which is currently a sad state of concrete decaying. The boys are eagerly looking forward to this, and have new basketballs to boot.

IMG_7969The house cleaning gift gave me time to “play” and the boys and I made some lovely peppermint trays to serve cookies on – something we saw on pinterest. Funnily enough, we never did serve cookies on them, because I accidentally cracked it when I tripped in the laundry room where it was stored and put my hand down on it to catch myself – but it was pretty and easy and we will do it again next year.

P1000051A popular gift to the youngest son – our good family friend made him his own cornhole set – due to the rain, it has been set up upstairs in the playroom and the boys have spent many hours playing. Never too ill or sick to toss a beanbag!

P1000184While the family was still here, the well ones enjoyed pulling out the Wii and playing. Hilarity ensues… rock band, basketball, and baseball are perennial favorites of the gathering clan.

P1000186Joy.  Happiness and contentment. It was a lovely holiday.

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2 thoughts on “An Odd Holiday

  1. We had the flu at our house too. It made for a quiet and much needed rest for us as well. The cleaning was quite a gift! We are using cloth bags for wrapping which has saved a huge amount of time and energy when wrapping.

    1. I read about your gift bags and was quite jealous. I would love to get to that place. I used some this year, but not a ton. Hmmm.. need to start thinking about this!

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