Ho – Ho – Hum

Christmas almost didn’t happen for me this year.  What did happen was that thing that everyone dreads ever since they are age 5: I was sick for Christmas.

Toughing It Out


I saw it coming a mile away, and like most other adults, I tried to tough it out.  I had obligations.  People depended on me. If I didn’t get done what needed to get done, why then Christmas might not come.  I might just ruin it for everyone. That was too much to bear, so I foolishly  trudged on instead of resting, and I paid the price.

I had just come off another infection, and I was vulnerable to germs. (Little did I know that my infection was not gone until I had blood tests done.) But I ignored the signs, thinking that a Christmas miracle would occur and I would be my old, jolly self soon. (I wonder what Santa does when he gets sick.)



Oh, I got everything done that I needed to get done: bought all my presents for family and friends, sent out all my cards, did all my cooking, so I was all set for the big day. And then it hit me.

I won’t go into the details (you can thank me later) except to say that I felt awful.  I made an appearance on Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning, but I wasn’t really there.  It was just my body standing in for me.



The Big Day

Christmas came and I didn’t much feel like opening presents.  I didn’t much feel like eating food.  I just did not care about these things. All I wanted to do was to go back to bed and sleep it off. And I grew depressed:


“How dare anyone do this to me?  This is Christmas and everyone is supposed to be happy and not sick in bed.  This just isn’t fair.  This is the worst Christmas ever!”




A trip to Urgent Care was needed, and I found out exactly how ill I was.  Still, that didn’t make me feel any better until days later when I realized that I had just been given a very special gift.

By being sick this year, my focus drifted off of the things that don’t mean anything: the presents, the food.  My attention was placed on the sadness I felt by not seeing my family.  It was placed on the important things in life, and in that sense, I felt truly blessed this year.  Gone was any attachment to material goods. All that I had was the love that is in my heart – and what can be better than that! And when I finally got to see people again, I felt like the richest man on Earth.

Today I am still on the mend, but getting better every day.  My spirits are being lifted, and I feel my old self coming back.  In years to come, I will no doubt look back at this Christmas as “the year without presents” except for the one gift – the best gift of all – the appreciation of my loved ones.

I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as mine.


About Joe

Freelance designer and writer whose goal is to help others by writing about my experiences with fear and anxiety (agoraphobia), health struggles (cancer) and my wonderfully-happy life as a husband and stay-at-home dad. I want to empower everyone to have a happy life.

6 responses »

  1. Colleen says:

    Glad you’re still with us Joe.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Get better. Family and health are wonderful gifts that we forget we have.

  3. I’m glad you’re feeling better 🙂

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