I think that Christmas brings out the absolute worst in many people, and transforms usually good people into a ravenous mob who care more about stuff than about people. This isn't a reflection on my immediate family, but more as a reflection on society as a whole.
Not sure when things shifted in America, but we're now a country who worships stuff...and usually poorly made, cheap stuff at that. So, Christmas, being the holiday that revels in poorly made, cheap stuff, rubs me absolutely raw.
In my oh so humble opinion, virtually everyone I know has way too much stuff. WAY TOO MUCH STUFF.... and we ought to instead spend that money on creating communal experiences with those we love. That can be through shared sacrifice (like volunteering) or providing stuff for others who don't have the bare necessities (like kids in cancer wards). Whatever the case, I'm anti-stuff.
Not sure when I became so vehemently anti-stuff, but I'm firmly there. I have no doubt that if I was suddenly single, I could live comfortably in one of those crazy small IKEA rooms that they demonstrate out. One room is fine with me! Give me my technology and somewhere to sleep that is soft and warm, and I'm good.
I'm sure that the fact that my 2 year old having cancer has absolutely nothing to do with the absolute lack of patience I have for anyone whining about Christmas gifts, or shopping, or gas prices, or any of the other mundane complaints that people have. None at all.
So, is this all a rant? No. It's explanation for my crazy mindset leading into Christmas.
Firstly, I totally forgot to buy Shelley anything. I've been in survival mode for months, trying to do my job enough to keep it and the insurance it brings, while at the same time to take care of my family's needs at home. It's totally overwhelming most weeks....and it hit me like a semi from that intersection I never looked at that I didn't buy anything for Shelley.
I'll be honest in saying that she does everything else. She buys everyone everything for our family because she's way, way better at it than I. I buy stuff that I think would be cool for them to get...and then it's often awkward and strange....or overly nice...or whatever. She buys gifts that are appropriate and they will like. She's the queen, I'm a lowly serf.
So yeah. I have nothing, other than my undying service and attention to the needs of my family. I guess that's a pretty nice gift too....but I still need to go buy some crap once we get past Tuesday. ;)
For those who have followed me on Facebook, we've been having a great time playing with our Gnome (Finley), who has been being mischievous as of late. I decided to play nice the last night he was here and make a grand spectacle that Anya would love. She really did. A little too much, because when we deconstructed it she lost her poop. Crying, screaming...overwhelmed with emotions.
We've been trying to get as many good pictures of the girls this holiday season (for obvious and depressing reasons), but have been really coming up short. Amie just wants to be held, for hours in a row, and only by Shelley and I for the most part. She also wants to suck her pacifier for most of the day. We're pretty much following her lead, figuring that Chemotherapy is not the time to set harsh limits on what comforts her and what doesn't. Anyway, with all that being said, I loved the picture above. Good stuff.
Same series, but without the pacifier and with the scrunchy face.
Taking pictures of kids is never easy. It's like trying to hit a 90 mph fastball. There's an element of skill, but also one of luck. This was about the best I could do with the twinsy T-Shirts I purchased from Shirt Woot a few weeks back. I love shirt.woot.
You can see from the shot just how much weight that Amie has lost, as well as how much hair. But you can also see that she's in great spirits.
On the total positive side, her appetite has returned with a vengeance! Andrea Sprague (a former co-worker) gave me a loaf of cinnamon bread the other day when we met up at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti. Amelie ate most of the loaf over several days....and enjoyed it enough that we scored a second loaf today. She also ate Krispy Kreme donuts and drank most of a quart of milk in the last two days. Go eater girl!
We're back in the hospital for this Thursday for round 4 of chemo. Woo! More updates as we have things to talk about.
I hope all of your Christmases are filled with grateful, healthy people who love each other and take time out to notice one another. What else can one really need in life?