Friday, November 8, 2013

The Holiday From Hell



     Christmas 2001 will forever be known as The Day Of The Neighborhood Flu Epidemic. There is nothing worse than spending a major holiday like Christmas with your head in the toilet when you should be taking advantage of the biggest, guilt-free binge fest day of the year. There is no cheerful clinking of champagne glasses or popping sugar cookies in your mouth faster than an aardvark sucking up ants. There is only LONELY time in the bathroom to contemplate the identity of the fiesta-colored items that erupt from your stomach into the toilet bowl. Nor is it fun to be a party of one when you've been quarantined from family and friends like the town pariah. Swapping gifts on Christmas is fine. Germs, not so much. But the flu bug doesn't have discerning tastes and will happily descend upon whatever poor, unsuspecting host it can find.
     In 2001, we attended the annual neighborhood holiday party, which is traditionally held a few days before Christmas. As was custom, the entire block gathered for the festive event at a neighbor's home to chat with old friends and strain the waistband of our pants with an array of holiday foods. Little did we know that our stomachs and intestines were preparing to take us for a ride on the toilet train to hell.

     There was a child at the party who was recovering from a recent bout of the flu, but none of us gave it a second thought as we chatted over rum balls and queso dip.
     The party was a success and we left that night with full bellies and happy hearts.  We had no clue that an invisible, uninvited guest had followed the majority of us home.
     By Christmas Eve, the entire block was infected by the nefarious flu bug that took us down one by one like dominoes. The bubonic plague was alive and well in our neighborhood. The "Welcome To Our Home" plaque outside our front door should have been changed to: "Welcome To The Vomitorium." While others were listening to "O Holy Night" and sipping apple cider, my oldest son and I were singing "O Wretched Night", curled in the fetal position with a vomit bowl between us.  It didn't matter that the stockings were not hung by the chimney with care, because old St. Nicolas was not going to be coming there.  The ONLY thing that mattered to me was the sprinting distance between my mattress and the bathroom door. The problem was that I couldn't decide which end should hit the toilet first----my mouth or my backside. I ended up sitting on the throne with the vomit bowl in my lap and called it a BOGO---buy one get one free.
     That night we missed the candle light Christmas Eve services at church, along with the big solo my son was to perform with the choir. He was too busy making a casserole in the toilet bowl to be bothered with hitting a few high notes. The Hubs was forced to pull double duty with babysitting, gift wrapping and stocking stuffing, not to mention all those pesky, "Assembly Required" packages stored in the garage.

     Christmas morning I was greeted by the cheery sounds of retching and moaning behind the bathroom door. The Hubs was down for the count, along with two more of our children. I knew it was a bad start to the day when no one raced into the living room to see what surprises Santa had left under the tree. The only surprise I wanted from Mr. Claus was a second toilet, along with a gallon of Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate.
   
 Once we reached four hours of vomit-free bliss, we felt well enough to attend the big family dinner at my folk's home. Selfish perhaps, but we were stir crazy from staring into the well of a toilet bowl for twenty-four hours and needed to get out of the house. We took into consideration that our motley crew looked like Typhoid Mary survivors, but we did our best to control the contagious bug by refraining from bodily contact.  At least the surgical masks and gloves we donned made for some interesting Christmas family photos.
     As we drove home that night and congratulated ourselves for surviving the holiday with our intestines intact, we heard the sound no parent ever wants to hear while they're behind the wheel of a car.
     "Mommy....Daddy....I think I'm going to be sick...."
     If we pretended not to hear our youngest daughter in the backseat, we were certain the specter of illness would surely disappear.
     Apparently Santa had other plans for us.
     Is it any wonder why the following year there was a new porcelain throne under the Christmas tree with my name on it?




52 comments:

  1. As one who has had many "vomitful" holidays, including one that resulted in a week long hospital stay for my son, I can totally relate. Not just Christmas either, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Memorial Day. Especially Memorial Day-that was the year that we were simply known as Typhoid Sarah and Travis.

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    1. Aach!!! There's a blog post in there somewhere, I just know it!!!

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  2. Oh my! I remember having the flu once in my life. That must have been just awful!

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  3. Oh yikes ... what an awful Christmas. I'm glad you at least got a good dinner out of it but that's horrible! Hopefully the flu bug will stay way the hell away from you this Christmas!

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    http://raising-reagan.com

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    1. I'll be attending this year's party with a surgical mask firmly in place!

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  4. Worst BOGO ever.

    I SO want to see that family Christmas picture. Now that would be epic.

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    1. Lol I should use it as a TBT pic on my Fb wall!

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  5. Boo to sickness at the holidays! Mark and I had the flu so badly one year, we just watched the toddler take bulbs off the tree and play with the pine needles. Neither of us could move an inch. Ack. I hop that the Christmas of 2002 rocked your socks off. You deserved it, with a new toilet and all :) I'll be sure to check out your new writing grounds. You are one busy, beautiful lady! Stay healthy. The holidays are right around the corner <3

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    1. Ohhh you had it on Christmas, too? Isn't it THE WORST? Any day but THAT day! Thanks for coming by, Michele--I miss talking to you on Fb! XO

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  6. Hi MM! Oh my goodness, your description of going steady with the toilet just plain rings true. (Even the description of the contents. EWWWW!) My husband and I were so sick one year, we were laying in bed trying to 'outsick' each other into who was going to get the baby out her crib. I really didn't think I could even lift her.

    Later, he woke me by opening the door on my head, as I was passed out in the bathroom. I win!!
    You know, if you can't laugh, you just cry...
    Love to be here, love not being kicked off during writing this :)
    Hugs,
    Ceil

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    1. That's the worst--when you are so sick but still have an infant to take care of!

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  7. Just reading that gave me a scratchy throat. Hypochondria setting in. My liver just shut down.

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    1. OMG you are cracking me up. Don't let your liver shut down, hahaha!

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  8. Fortunately this has never happened to me before the holidays. I did manage to contract some evil demon the day after Christmas. I didn't know whether to sit or kneel at the toilet. It was horrible. The worst thing though was that my employer thought I just wanted a few extra days off after Christmas. Can you imagine???
    Barbara @ www.allmylivesnow.com

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    1. Too bad you couldn't go over to his house and give him your germs so he could see what fresh hell you were going through!

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  9. I think there was totally some making out at that neighborhood party that you're not divulging. ;)

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    1. HAHAHAHA!!! That would have made it an entirely different kind of party now, wouldn't it?!?

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  10. Oh mama......that's a raw deal, Not a good BOGO at all. I'd demand a full refund! lol

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    1. Let's just hope I NEVER go through that again!

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  11. I had a Christmas like this except everyone but me was sick. I was the only person out of all my family and friends who didn't get the plague. I spent Christmas watching TV and the only thing on was It's A Wonderful Life. I still can't stand that movie.

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    1. Lol! To this day I still can't eat sloppy Joes after throwing them up!

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  12. Clearly, you did something awful naughty to piss Santa Claus off that year. Like so naughty that the obligatory lump of coal would not suffice. I hope you've been good this year, lady!

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    1. Come to think of it, I WAS pretty naughty that year...can't wait to see what surprises he comes up with this year!

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  13. Hi, thanks for linking up on the Journeys of the Zoo Bloglovin Linky, stopping by to see you from www.crazystepfordwives.com and looking forward to reading more of your blog

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    1. Thank you, Karen! I'll be sure to stop by!

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  14. Just reading in this post....
    The first time blog walking here

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  15. Now that's a Christmas to go down in the history books. Wouldn't it be great if we could make those bugs feel the same way? I guess not. They just enter our little bodies and play havoc with our bowels and guts, it's just not fair.
    But, with all this said. It's a warning not to go anywhere near anyone, who has the sniffles, cold, flu or even a simple cough, especially if you know you've got a great event coming up. I must buy a packet of double protection face masks this year, toilet paper is not cheap you know.

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    1. Oh yes--I'd say we went through a fortune in toilet paper. Definitely need to stock up on surgical masks

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  16. What a grim Christmas. My family refer to such problems as 'sluice-gates open at both end.'

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  17. Aww, we went to DC to visit my son and his wife last year right after Christmas. Hubby got sick on the way over, and I was sick from the second day on. I was a nervous wreck his wife would get sick (she was expecting). We spent all of our time in the hotel room while the kids mingled. On the way home, my teen daughter got sick too. It was not a pretty visit, and I'm still mad at the flu for robbing my time w/my kiddos all together. Nasty bug, the flu is, and certainly not welcome around these parts.

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    1. That's the worst--when it robs you of special moments with family!

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  18. I hate it when this happens!! One year, we all met at my dad's house and I got sick. They swore I was hungover and made fun of me the whole day as I was puking. I kept telling them I wasn't hungover as I had only had like 3 beers the night before, and this was back in the day when I could drink 10 and still not be hungover. (Now it takes like 2, haha) Anyway, ALL of those bastards caught it the next couple of days as a result of stepping into the room for the sole purpose of making fun of me. And I felt better, so of course I slapped on a mask (it helped in the making-fun-of process) and gave them a taste of their own medicine by making fun of them back. Too bad all they missed was the post-festiviites stuff; I had missed all the fun drinking stuff.

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    1. I LOVE that story, Shay. I think you need to write a blog about it, too. Your family stories always crack me up!!

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  19. Yikes!!! Does. Not. Sound. Like. Fun. Holy Smokes!!! And at Christmas, no less. But, y'all made a 'memory.' Ha... Have a great weekend, Slu

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    1. We certainly did, and I got a decent blog post out of it as well!

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  20. You done your time, girl!
    Amazing how often the very worst that life has to offer makes the very best blog posts! :)
    I am just beginning to realize how lucky we were. With six to eight kids in the house, we never had more than two down at a time. And never more than one parent! Except for the chicken pox marathon of '83. Oh, those were the days . . .

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    1. OMG I got chicken pox when I was a sophomore I'm college!!!

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  21. Hiya Meno Mama
    I've given you an awards - pop on over to: http://www.lifecherries.com/2013/11/tis-season.html

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    1. Oh Thank you, Lanthie!!! I'll be sure to stop by!

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  22. WOW, I feel for you and yours Marcia, it's awful when you cannot enjoy anything around you because all you want to do is feel a little bit better than you did... I hope you don't have anymore Christmases like that in the future ...:)

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    1. Me neither! Praying a nice, peaceful Christmas!

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    2. I am sending this to my mother. While she's never had to deal with an entire family sick for Christmas, for awhile there she usually had to deal with one or the other or both of her children doing the Vomit-Diarrhea-Rama for Christmas :)

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    3. What your mother said in the email was so cute! Thank you, Nicole, for sharing this with her!

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  23. how strange - I started to reply and it vanished. I had to follow - the name of your blog got to me. I am venturing into that territory now too! Found you on Lets Get Social Sunday.

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    1. Yay!! I love new readers! Welcome, Paula. I'll be sure to check out your blog!

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  24. cute

    http://www.facebook.com/AmandaChicFashionRoomLounge?ref=hl
    twitter & instagram : @fashionrlounge
    Fashion room lounge

    A chic kiss ;)

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  25. I remember one winter my son had a playoff basketball game and both he and I came down with the dreaded stomach bug. He insisted he could go and play, that he couldn't let down his team, then promptly vomited the rest of the night. He still holds a grudge against me for not letting him go!

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    1. He has NO idea how much worse he would have felt if he had gone out on that field. Teenagers….can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em!

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