1. Go to your family Christmas party on Christmas Eve, even though you have a huge lump in your stomach. Figure it's because of the extra family stress this year.
2. Leave family Christmas party a little early because you are cold (and it doesn't seem strange that everybody else seems just fine) and not feeling great anyway. Also there is lots to do at your own house, including the kids acting out the Nativity with their new puppets.
3. Arrive home at 7:30.
4. Start throwing up at 7:35.
5. Drag yourself downstairs around 8:00 to watch the Nativity puppet show. Cry because you are so happy.
6. Drag yourself back upstairs promptly after the Nativity is over to throw up some more.
7. Throw up about 200 more times for the next four hours. Feel thankful you didn't get around to putting away that pile of clothes on your bathroom floor. (FYI: sweatpants make a nice pillow in a pinch.)
8. Wonder if Santa is going to be able to make it to your house this year. Wonder if it would scar your children for life if you died on Christmas Eve (AND Santa didn't make it to your house).
9. Drag your weary carcass to bed around 1:30. Start thinking about all the last minute things you didn't get to do, like putting out the orange rolls to raise. Worry again about what the kids will think if Santa hasn't been here yet when they get up.
10. Instruct your tired husband where everything is and thank your lucky stars everything is already wrapped and color coded so he just needs to put all the gifts with the red Santa tags in one pile, etc. Cuss in your mind because it hurts too much to cuss under your breath that you didn't have the stocking stuffers equally separated and have to instruct him on every little thing as to which stocking they belong. Vow (again in your mind) to separate them out next year.
11. Try really hard to get some sleep and just hang in there until 6:00 a.m., which is the time the kids have been told it's safe to show the whites of their eyes. Every year they are threatened bodily harm if they show up even a minute sooner.
12. Wonder why you haven't heard anything yet and it's 6:45. Drag your carcass downstairs again and get as comfortable as you can while you get ready to watch the magic happen. Send husband to find the darling children. Feel like crying again because they have been playing a game to let you sleep in a little longer.
13. Watch the usual mayhem and merriment ensue. Feel very, very happy to be well enough to enjoy it from your little spot on the living room floor.
14. Drag yourself to the couch in the dining room. Lie semi-unconscious while the kids play with their new Christmas paraphernalia for a few hours. Feel sick all day, especially while the nice breakfast casserole you lovingly prepared the day before is baking (finally at noon). Realize that it's a bad sign that the smell of good food is so repulsive to you.
15. Go find your throw up bucket "just in case" and find this lovely, heartfelt message in it:
Feel happy again because you know someone truly cares, even if it is a guy in a magazine.
(Note: I am writing this on Sunday as I wait for our dinner to finish baking. Later today I will eat my first solid meal since Thursday. Let's all learn from my mistake. If there are no Clorox wipes left at the grocery store to wipe off your cart handle, please don't lick your finger to make it easier to open the produce bag for your cilantro. That may not be the reason I got sick, but then again, it just may be. Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!)