How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

how I spent my christmas vacation

This year we decided to stay home for the holidays.  No traveling, no scrambling for winter clothes, just a quiet week at home with our family, a luxury we rarely get to experience.  My husband had the whole week off so we were excited have a fabulous staycation.

Merry Christmas

Christmas Eve and morning were just like we had imagined; good food, great friends, the excitement on both the boys and our parts for Christmas morning.  It was really perfect.  Until the boys started coughing Christmas night.  I had a sliver of hope that it was just over stimulation from the rush of Christmas or even a small cold because the temperatures were dropping.  But I couldn’t have been more wrong.  What started off as a promising holiday break, basically turned into the black plague hitting our house fast and without remorse.  It began as a horrible cold that morphed into a stomach virus and continued with an unsettling intense cough that has kept on for days.

All of our dreams of a magical Christmas vacation were dashed by some dreadful infection that kept us house-bound for the entire week.  At first I was so bummed that we were finally home for a holiday and this happened, however, I soon began to think differently about certain aspects of this turn of events.

Please pass the germs

I remember when I was pregnant and researching everything twin related, I came across a blog written by a father of twins.  One of the things he said was when one gets sick you might as well rub the toothbrush of the sick one all over the face of their twin because inevitably they will get sick too and you might as well get it over with.  I kept thinking of that article as Kris and I ran from room to room and kid to kid, trying to clean up everything that had just come up.  That dad was so right.   As hard as it is taking care of 2 sick babies, it is way better than one getting sick and then the next one.  With both boys sick at the same time, when it is done, it’s done.  There is no passing it back and forth, putting us on a revolving door of illness.  There is also no trying to keep one twin entertained while the other is laying on the couch desperate for you to hold him.  We can all snuggle together and be miserable as one.

I realized that Kris and I make a pretty good team.   Two 2 year olds, having intense coughing fits, throwing up, crying and 2 dogs, one being a puppy we are watching, running all over the house, trying to eat whatever the boys threw up, having to go the bathroom every 3 hours, made it a bit of a zoo at our house.  And yet we were able to keep a sense of calm between us and within the house, taking turns and tag-teaming when needed.  

Tag You’re It

I became so grateful that they actually got sick when my husband was home.  Taking care of two sick babies alone is no small feat.  Each boy had a parent to help them.  No one was ever left out of being taken care of, even for a minute.  We could divide and conquer.   At night the boys only wanted me so Kris slept on the couch while I slept in the bed with at least one twin every night for the week.  He was able to get some sleep so that during the day I could get some sleep after being up most of the night with them.  Just being able to get some rest during the day made the nights so much more bearable.  

Normally, with Kris at work, I have to handle most of the night shift and all the day shift, which is exhausting.  When the inevitable happens, after a week of having double the germs spewed at me all day and night, I finally get sick as they are getting better, there is someone there to help me.  They are still at the age that once they are better they don’t really notice I can barely stand.  They are bursting with everything that encompasses a 2-year-old; a sh-t ton of energy.  So having Kris home so I can lay down mid-day has truly saved me.

Unable to sleep myself, at 3am as I was uncomfortably propped up so the boys could sleep against me at an incline, I had a moment when I looked down at one of the their flushed little face sleeping against me and thought this is going to pass and will never happen again.  I wasn’t thinking about their sickness ending but the security and comfort sleeping against me gives them.  

Just the small gesture of holding my hand while they slept enabled them to relax enough to actually get some sleep, which they desperately needed.  That won’t happen forever.  There will come a time when they will be too big for that, or too cool, or someone else’s hand will give them that comfort.  Just thinking about that during the middle of the night, night after night this week, made it completely ok that I wasn’t going to get much sleep.  I actually kind of looked forward to bedtime in a weird way.  To me, everything is more beautiful at night, and the nights this past week, being quiet with my babes, taking in this brief moment of time when I am more than medicine, was in a certain way, quite lovely.

How I Spent Our Christmas Vacation

Our Christmas vacation was supposed to be day trips, museums, hitting a bunch of playgrounds with the aid of another adult, just do all the things we normally don’t during the rest of the calendar year due to work schedules or other trips.  Instead it was a week of malady at home.   And yet, the boys will never know what they “missed.”  For them it was time with both of their parents for 8 days in a row where they watched their first movie, “Peanuts” (thank you screeners), sat quiet outside in the sun on our laps, played with all their toys, old and new, with both mom and dad all day and they got to eat popsicles.  Minus seeing my kids sick, it was kind of a great Christmas vacation.

Check out how we changed the elf that is in our house




The Snitch


People kept asking if we are doing Elf on the Shelf this year, my initial reaction was no way, as a mom to two-year old twins why would I add another thing I have to remember. I also wasn’t sure how much they would understand, given they are only two. However, it is clear the boys are loving Christmas, even if they do shout out Happy Halloween every time we see a house lit up. Each time they see a picture of Santa they yell “Santa Mama!” even though I am pretty sure they don’t understand Santa’s skill set.

All I knew about the Elf is that you hide him and have to look for him each morning.  It reminded me of how I used to believe my stuffed animals came alive when I was asleep and played in my room. I see that beginning to start with the boys and I love it, so I bit the bullet and ordered the Elf on the Shelf.

It’s Here!

When the package arrived I began to get excited. It was a huge box with the elf, his naming certificate and this gorgeous book. I suddenly couldn’t wait to get started. I sat down to read the book before showing the boys, so I knew what we were getting into, however, as I turned each page, instead of a build up of joy that I was expecting, I found myself getting more and more pissed.

I personally don’t believe in being a good kid or bad kid, especially during Christmas.  Christmas is supposed to be a time of spirit, love and generosity. I never had any plans to tell my kids that if they are bad Santa won’t bring them anything. I think that is mean.

Kids are so excited for Christmas. They actually have the mental capacity to believe in magic and in something greater than themselves. We all talk about the Christmas spirit, well look at any child’s face looking at your neighbor’s house that is covered from roof to root in blinking lights, it is pure joy. I am not about to put a damper on that with the threat of being a bad kid and no gifts from Santa. Nor is that Elf.


The good kid /bad kid isn’t even the worst part of the elf. The elf is a snitch. He literally runs back to Santa every night to report on you if you are a bad kid. I mean isn’t that the last thing we want our kids to do is tell on their friends? No one wants to hang out with the douche kid who is going to rat you out and I definitely don’t want that little tattle-tale being one of my kids.

One of the twins already likes to tell me when his brother is doing something I deemed not okay. I have already, at two, begun to tell him that mommy and daddy will handle it and he shouldn’t tell on his brother. So why would I contradict that lesson in morality with the Elf who is going to tell on them every night to the one person, who during the month of December, will mean more to them than us?

Do We Ditch The Elf?

It has been a real struggle in my house this week of what do to about this Elf. My husband thinks I am slightly over-reacting. His suggestions were to A. send the elf back or B. who cares, it’s in all the songs that Santa checks his list or C. come up with something more positive.

For me, to not do the Elf will means that in the coming years, I will have to come up with a reason why we have no Elf in our house. I don’t want them to feel cheated out of the joy of finding the Elf eating blueberries in the refrigerator. I am probably projecting the sense of loss over no Elf, but once I became a mother my sensitivity barometer skyrocketed.

As for Santa checking his list, it is fine in a song, but to go to bed every night worried the elf might say you broke a rule, is too much for my heart to take. Again, sensitivity barometer.

So after a lot of bitching, mostly on my part, and talking to everyone under the sun about our big problem, I chose C. and have fallen into the Christmas trap of Elf on the Shelf, however, the book is headed to the trash. Instead our Elf had to evacuate his Christmas jet and landed on our doorstep, stranded until Santa can pick him up on Christmas Eve when he delivers toys to my very good twin boys. I think it is a win / win for everyone.

Check out more – Top Toys For Toddlers

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