The family that ‘Plagues Together Stays Together,’ my son-in-law said as he shoved the last 31 Bag filled to the roof of the car and kissed me good-bye. I almost felt guilty until I remembered that it was his youngest twin daughter that was the carrier monkey whom infected us all on Christmas 2018.
You probably think it was a terrible Christmas as, one by one, we started sniffling and carrying around tissue boxes. A common shout of, “Cover your mouth!” was constant for five days to young and old. Speaking of old, the oldest generation in the group didn’t get the plague.
Why you ask? Well, maybe he, at 88, was too busy sitting back and enjoying the constant chaos four other generations caused the minute they enter the mountain retreat. Each family showed up in SUV’s stacked to the hilt with food, alcohol, presents, snow clothes, electronic devices and dogs.
The explosion that occurred inside the doorway and eventually on a pool table that hasn’t been used for pool since all the babies were born. It was first used as a diaper changing station, a place to assemble baby contraptions, once a snow village and now snow clothes for all ages. The noise level changed with each generation.
In the beginning, Fox news was heard between episodes of John Wayne reruns, the dogs by the fireplace while the house remained spotless until the next generation arrived bringing lots of homemade goodies, beer, and champagne for Mimosas.
The house is still spotless because that generation quietly puts everything in their own room or tucked neatly away in cupboards or a refrigerator. They sit down calmly with their cocktail awaiting the next group.
And then the real explosion begins.
The energy level on the mountain literally starts buzzing as the first of four grandchildren fall out of the car with their blankets, stuffed animals, half eaten snacks to greet Great Papa, Nana, and Papa. Their parents look desperate for alcohol but power through and unload all their supplies.
Do these items go into strategic spots? Nope, they are dumped on the infamous pool table.
Do things go into the refrigerator? Nope, they are left in ice chests and rolled out onto porch decks.
The joy of cousins seeing each other starts with running around the pool table and an instant game of hide and seek. One child is hungry. One child has to go to the bathroom. One has already bumped their head on the coffee table. And one instantly wants Nana to read a book while she wipes the snot on her sleeve.
Four hours in a car with four year olds, is probably the max to keep sanity but they have all survived. The Christmas vacation has begun and so has the 'pass the Kleenex box.' There are presents that still need to be wrapped by the son-in-law’s, daughters that are wrangling food to feed the starving children, and the noise level reached a new octave. Fox and John Wayne are replaced with Vampirina and Frosty The Snowman.
To say the house looks like an explosion, is a serious understatement but it is heaven. It’s the one time of the year that chaos is welcomed and actually enjoyed. No one has to be perfect and thank goodness because as the week progressed, our wardrobe reflected the flu like symptoms and uncaring sentiment.
Movies were watched beneath blankets, spiked eggnog and whiskey calmed sore throats and coughs, and children played around everyone as they blew their noses and found an occasional trash can.
We survived Christmas Quarantine of 2018 and I really think it was one of the best Christmases ever because we were all together.
Four generations took care of each other and were under the same roof. Not everyone gets that kind of blessing.
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