Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Untangling Christmas Spirit

Ahhh Christmas is finally here! What emotions do this magical season conjure up for you? Loving, giving, joy, happiness, abundance (or lack of), religion, spirituality - all of the above? None of the above?

Christmas is for everybody, but it's the children that turn it into magic: Santa flying over the rooftops, reindeer hoofs and jingling bells, sugar cookies, chocolate milk and sparkly eyes.
Watching a child unwrap a present on Christmas morning is truly magical for me. Capturing that little face on camera as it transforms into a look of pure joy, is music to my soul.

I went to my daughter's on Sunday (Dec. 23) to celebrate our Christmas. Hubby stayed home because he doesn't go out anymore and it would be too chaotic and noisy if we had Christmas here.

Being flexible is part of my nature. We don't have to celebrate on the specific day. Life is complicated enough - there are in-laws, out-laws, out-of-town relatives, etc. etc. etc. So we celebrate Christmas and other holidays when the time is right for everyone.

I arrived at my daughter's loaded with goodies. My granddaughter had just come out of hospital, so Daughter hadn't had a chance to prepare much. That meant I brought the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, crisp, raw vegetables and dip and cranberry loaf and shortbread cookies for dessert. This grandma had been busy.

A while later my son and his family arrived. The children looked happy and excited - the parents exhausted. We opened gifts first - no sense making the kids wait until after the meal. I've done that before; it doesn't work. The kids are too wound up to eat - they just want the gifts. And parents become short-tempered. Not the kind of atmosphere to celebrate Christmas.

I was so proud of myself - I had bought Youngest Grandson a " Little People Farm" which required batteries (I didn't realize that when I bought it), so before wrapping it up, I sifted through the kitchen drawer, found the appropriate batteries and taped them to the gift. My daughter-in-law was ecstatic.

"I hate it when the toys need batteries and no one thinks of including them!"
I can understand her feelings. I'd be upset too, if the first thing I had to do was run out and buy batteries.

However, my pride turned into embarassment when I discovered the digital cameras ($20 at Walmart - not expensive ones) I had given the older grandkids needed those dreaded batteries. Had I known, or read the instructions (they make the print sooooooo darn small, I can't read it) I would have bought the frigging batteries and everyone would be happy. Oops!

Sitting around the dining room table, stuffing our faces with turkey, my 6-year-old grandson must have been talking effusively about the gifts he would be opening Christmas morning from Santa (I personally don't see anything wrong with that. I guess his mother thought differently).

"Christmas is not just about presents," she admonished "it's about Christmas Spirit, about Baby Jesus".

Immediately smiles vanished to be replaced by sober looks.

"Oh yes, Older Brother said - this is Jesus's day."
"Jesus's birthday, you dork" said his 11-year old sister.

So - what is a grandma to do?
Well, this one started singing "Happy Birthday to you!" Happy Birthday to you"

The kids looked up at me in surprise.
"Happy Birthday to Jesus, Happy Birthday to youuuuuu"!

The table erupted in laughter, bringing back those precious smiles and happy faces once more.
Their mother was not amused. She later fell asleep on the couch.

I felt just fine - Somebody had to untangle Christmas Spirit and bring it back to our table!


JOY said...

Ah yes, those three little words that always bring tears to a parents eyes...(batteries not included)And all the stores are closed! And they waited all year for this!~ We had our turkey dinner too on the 23rd as my daughter was flying back to Texas the next day. We got snow that day (just a thin little blanket) and a little snow again today. My eldest daughter came over and stayed all afternoon. We watched TV and she made us turkey sandwiches and brought us pie before she left. It was really sweet. I can't remember the last time anyone made me a sandwich!I'm gonna have to call that nursenextdoor.com & enquire about respite service.I haven't had one day off in over 4 months & now I have to think about moving! Yep, definately time for a day at the spa.The Fairmont has a $15/day deal where you can use the hottub & the sauna all afternoon.(Waterfront, downtown VAncouver)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Wendy,

I read this and thought it might interest you. (If you already know it, just hit Delete!)

Johns Hopkins Health Alerts: Lung Disorders
COPD Guidelines
A recent study shows that COPD patients often receive substandard hospital care. What should you do?
www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com | Johns Hopkins Health Bookstore | Email this to a friend

COPD Guidelines

A recent study shows that COPD patients often receive substandard hospital care. Our recommendation: COPD patients should keep a list of recommended tests and treatments with them in case they are hospitalized.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) -- which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema -- is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Now a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (Volume 144, page 894) reports that two thirds of patients hospitalized for acute flare-ups of COPD do not receive ideal care.

The study of 70,000 patients found that only a third of patients hospitalized for a COPD flare-up get all of the tests, treatments, and interventions recommended in the COPD treatment guidelines from the American College of Physicians and the American College of Chest Physicians.

In the vast majority of cases, a COPD patient received at least one recommended test or treatment while in the hospital: 97% received bronchodilators, 95% had a chest X-ray, 91% received supplemental oxygen; and systemic steroids and antibiotics were given in 85% of cases. But only two thirds of COPD patients got everything they were supposed to get, according to the guidelines. Women and older people with COPD were most likely to have ideal care.

Meanwhile, nearly half of the study subjects (45%) received at least one treatment that is not recommended, such as a methylxanthine bronchodilator, a sputum test, acute spirometry, chest physiotherapy, or mucolytic drugs.

Bottom-line advice: Someone who has COPD (especially a younger man) might make note of the recommended tests and treatments, just in case.

Wendy said...

Hey Joy - Fifteen dollars a day for a spa???? I'm coming with you!!

Anne - thanks for the tips re John Hopkins. I hadn't read that article. It gives excellent advice for patients and caregivers. You really have to be aware of what's happening, re medications, tests, etc. Sound advice for everyone who goes into hospital.
Glad you took the time to send it along.