So our Christmas was a bust. Especially mine.
Christmas Eve is when we traditionally have our big meal. It’s how we did it when I was a kid so my mom could relax on Christmas instead of being busy cooking all day–it’s a tradition I’ve kept alive (with a few exceptions over the years).
So, Jack (9) woke me at 10am on Christmas Eve because I promised to bake cookies. Meagan (19) had to work until 7pm so we were going to have a late dinner anyway. Lots of extra time to get those cookies done.
I was in the kitchen by 10:30am and ended up having to clean all the stuff I told the kids to have done before I could bake. I just don’t have the energy to clean and bake, but I pushed through, determined to improve what was going to be a dismal Christmas morning (more on that later).
Anyway, I got the dough for kolackies and sugar cookies in the fridge to chill and was about to just end the day because I was in so much pain my back and hips from leaning over the counters, but my husband offered me a reserve oxy from when he had his surgery. It got me through the day (mostly).
With Jack’s help (and occasionally the other kids), I managed to make batches of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, and ranger cookies. I also had to make the filling for the kolackies because you can’t buy the Solo filling here anymore. The raspberry filling (made from frozen raspberries, sugar and lemon juice) turned out perfect, but the apricot one (made from dried apricots and sugar) was too sweet–next time, I won’t add the sugar or not as much. The kolackies themselves turned out great. It’s the first year we’ve had them in a while because of the filling issue.
We also managed to fit in a couple hands of UNO while the cookies were baking and then it was time to clean up and get the pork roast in the Instant Pot.
All-in-all, I was on my feet pretty much nonstop from 10:30am until we ate at nearly 9pm (the cooking took way longer than I anticipated and I got the meat in the pot later than I had wanted) minus the 20 minutes to play UNO and maybe 30 minutes after I put the meat in. By that time, the oxy had worn off, and I was in so much pain, I was nearly in tears but the night wasn’t over.
After dinner, I snuck off upstairs to finish the gifts I was working on. I still had to put together a llama and put the finishing touches on a couple other things. And wrap it all. All without the kids barging in and ruining the surprise. I was up until 5am.
And then I started feeling sick to my stomach. I still have no idea what was wrong. I managed to get things wrapped and under the tree, but left the stocking stuffers in the car (the kids know it’s not from Santa). I was so sick, all I could do was crawl in bed and cry myself to sleep.
Jack tried to wake me at 9 the next morning, but I was still too sick to move. My head felt like it would explode and every time I moved, I wanted to puke. And I was just plain exhausted. I obviously overdid it on Christmas Eve. I slept until 6:30pm then managed to eat a tiny bit of leftovers but was back in bed by 9pm and slept until 2:30am. Stayed up for an hour before I started feeling dizzy and sick again then slept until noon the next day. I didn’t watch the kids open their presents or get to see my grandson on his first Christmas. I was that sick. It sucked.
The kids, gracious as always, loved their one gift each. Meagan (19) got a shawl I made from a pattern in a 1970s booklet I found. Owen (18) got a cribbage board because he’d been wanting one for a while now. Brenna (17) got a stuffed llama. She wanted me to make her another little giraffe because the one I made her was taken hostage by the baby even though I made him his own, but I did the llama instead–it sleeps on her bed now. Nora (13) got her blanket finished. I started it in January as part of a monthly crochet-a-long, telling her it would be done by Christmas. It almost wasn’t because I ran out of yarn and had no money for more, but managed to get just enough to finish it two days before Christmas. Jack (9) got a little game about submarines and exploring the oceans (we haven’t had a chance to play it yet). And Arrow (6 months) got his own llama that I think his mama is claiming as her own. And each person got a food-themed ornament.
That’s it. It wasn’t until two days after Christmas that the kids finally got their stocking stuffers–chicken in a biscuit crackers, sour gummy worms, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.
That was the entirety of Christmas at our house. I guess the baby enjoyed playing with the wrapping paper and ornaments the most.
Being poor sucks. In the past, I managed to salvage Christmas because a friend sent me money. She was our real-life Santa for years, but she moved out of the country this year so I didn’t expect anything. I used the birthday money my dad sent me (which he always specifies to spend on myself) on the games, snacks and a Sims 4 expansion (we actually got 3 of them–Meagan paid for one and the third I used some other money I had stashed on my paypal that may or may not belong to one of the kids).
I hope everyone else’s Christmases were more merry.