All our family Christmases are tagged. Makes it easy for a memory search. Here's what I mean.
"Remember the Christmas the children got the mumps;" or "Remember the Christmas we lost power on Christmas Eve and didn't get it restored for ten days?"
This Christmas' tag will be "Remember the Christmas. . ." wait, you must read the story.
The Tuesday before Christmas I got a call from my youngest daughter saying her husband was very ill and on the way to the doctor. He had been ill for several days and was not getting well. He had not had a swine flu shot and was in the high risk category. Our area was very slow to get vaccine, I had just gotten my shot and was not yet protected.
The doctor tested him for H1N1 and the test was positive. He was sent home on complete bed rest. Now, this daughter was hosting Christmas Dinner and she had to cancel. She was so upset, Christmas is her favorite holiday. It was decided that we would host Christmas at our house for the fluless in Seattle.
On Wednesday my son called from Montana saying he and his wife were both ill and could not make the eight hour drive to Washington for Christmas. He thought they might have swine flu. I told them not to endanger their health, stay there. He hasn't been home for several years and both his sisters were very disappointed that he wouldn't be home for Christmas. Another strike against a Merry Christmas.
Try buying everything needed for Christmas dinner two days before Christmas. The stores were empty. Making a Merry Christmas was becoming more and more challenging.
Then on Christmas Eve morning my youngest daughter made the Grinch call. "Christmas is my favorite holiday. I was looking forward to having the family together. Now I'm sick. We're both so sick we ordered pizza to be delivered for Christmas dinner. My Christmas is ruined!"
Mr. Maven refused to let any child of his Grinch Out. He drove to town on Christmas Eve and bought everything needed for a second Christmas dinner. No small feat and not completely traditional. He came home and we cooked Christmas dinner on Christmas eve. We boxed the food and loaded it in the car. We took all the presents and started out on a one hour drive (one way) to surprise the Grinch, her ill husband, and our grandsons.
Ten minutes before we arrived I called my daughter and asked how they were feeling, what they were doing, just a little conversation. Keeping her occupied. We pulled up in front of the house with our lights out. Mr. Maven silently carried everything to the door and rang the bell.
Wyman, our youngest Grandchild, peeked out the window next to the door. He is not allowed to answer the door. Mr. Maven said you could hear his feet run down the hall and in a later conversation my daughter told me Wyman had said, "Mom, I think Grandpa's at the door."
"He can't be," she told him. "I just talked to Grandma on the phone. They're at home."
She got out of bed and answered the door to find that yes, Wyman was correct; there stood her father delivering Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, wine and dessert. We couldn't hug her, but we gave her our love and more importantly we gave her back her favorite holiday, Christmas. We then got in the car and drove home, so tickled with ourselves that we had gotten one over on our unsuspecting daughter and her family. We actually laughed most of the way home.
Later that night I found my daughter was posting on Facebook from her sick bed. What she wrote made our Christmas:
So now, this will be "Remember the Christmas Mom and Dad Delivered!" As Wyman later told me, "It was the best Christmas ever." Oh yes, Wyman, it was. The very best.
I have the most amazing parents. Since John has H1N1 we had to cancel Christmas dinner and I was a little depressed. Tonight there was a knock at the door and standing there was my Dad with a full Christmas dinner already made. They drove over an hour just to drop off dinner, Amazing! Thanks Mom and Dad.