Mom blog: Because I Said So! The Christmas craziness aftermath

Mom Blogger JacquelynIt’s Friday morning, and our small world is settling down from the excitement that is Christmas. I wrote a story last year for Canadian Living on how to reduce children’s stress at holiday time (December 2006 issue), and this year was one of the most stressed yet! My guys started with Santa’s gifts at our house, then we packed up and made our annual trip to the haematology/oncology ward at Sick Kids (more on that later), then the dad came to pick them up to go to his house for lunch and gifts, then I grabbed them and we headed 90 km to my parents’ house and Christmas dinner with them and my littlest sister’s family. I had a huge headache and slept through the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, and more, waking, oddly enough, in time for dessert.

Here’s a roundup of our Christmas:
Mum’s best present given: a necklace for my mum, made by me, out of rose quartz, freshwater pearls and other pink beads
Mum’s best present received: Hand Therapy in Rosewater from Crabtree & Evelyn—Tessa knows me so well!
Tessa’s best present given: Hand Therapy in Rosewater from Crabtree & Evelyn to moi
Tessa’s best present received: perfume yet to be purchased, but researched so long that her sinus tissues are dissolving
Graydon’s best present given: squirrel salt and pepper shakers for his sister (“I’ll take these to college! They’re so cool!”)
Graydon’s best present received: running shoes (go figure!)
Luka’s best present given: paintings on canvas for Grandma, Grandpa and Nana
Luka’s best present received: Verticon Mid-Air Combat and Squawkers McCaw (he can’t decide)

Good will gifts: two bags of food for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Sick Kids: Graydon spent the entire Christmas two weeks there in 2001 (Dec 17-31) with his leukemia diagnosis and start of treatment. Since then, he’s gone back each Christmas day with gifts for each child. This year we took up handknit dolls and animals, cool shoelaces, little glass keepsake boxes, craft kits, vanilla bath gels and confetti soap in red mugs, and Kernels popcorn in Super Kid flavour. The gifts are not wrapped, so the kids and their parents can pick what they like. We took bags of chips for the nurses, many of whom we know from when Graydon was in treatment. We took a tiramisu coffee syrup and a tray of homemade cookies for the parents’ kitchen. While I was writing a note to the parents, I talked with a dad whose 4-year-old son was diagnosed that morning with aplastic anemia. It was a very raw moment. He was hurting incredibly. He was where we were six years ago. I introduced him to Graydon, who was laughing with the nurses and handing out big candy canes to kids and parents in the hall and the Child Life room. I told the dad Graydon was fighting for his life back then too, and to have hope and focus on the good. It sounded ridiculous even to me. I gave him my number and email and told him I would love to speak to his wife for whatever moral support I could provide.

But it definitely puts all the presents and candy and parties in perspective.

Have a warm weekend, hug your kids, and see you Monday with a list of resolutions!

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4 Responses

  1. It’s nice to know that everyone has a lot of running around to do, yet knows the importance of it to others they are running to. I too was not up to par on the 25th but couldn’t sleep because my three are still under 5! My top gift given: digital picture frames filled with my children for their grandparents. My top gift received: digital picture frame for me to load and display my children from my loving husband!

  2. You are a very kind person, as are your children. I hope you know that…

  3. First I wanted to comment on Tessa’s blogging … loved the photos … you do have talent with a camera! Thanks for filling in for your mom 🙂
    Secondly I wanted to say what an inspiration you all are. I haven’t walked the path you have with a child of mine being ill and fighting for his life but I would hope that I would have the same compassion you do in visiting & lending support & encouragement to those in need.
    May you find many blessings in your life because you do so willingly for others.

  4. Dear Jackie, Happy 2008 to you and the family! I’m really not sure how you manage all of the things that you do!!! You are truly inspiring!!! You’ve actually inspired me since we were little because you’ve always been able to do so many things at once and excel at them all. Over the years, I’ve seen you struggle with stuff that life has thrown you, yet you manage to stay strong, keep your head up and move forward with a smile. I wish you and the kids love, affection and all the blessings that the new year can bring.
    (cousin) jen

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