It goes down in history as the worst case of The Christmas Cold ever.

Our idyllic New England holiday was darkened by the combination of a wretched virus and about twelve inches of snow.

The first day was supposed to start with my husband taking our son to the last swimming class of the session. Such a nice kick-off to my vacation—getting to sleep in! I wake early to the sounds of them having breakfast, and then drift off to sleep again. I’m confused a short while later by the pitter-patter of four-year-old feet.

“What happened to swimming?” I ask my husband.

“He doesn’t feel good, and seems to be coughing,” he answers.

The kiddo spikes an immediate fever and has no appetite. A few dry O’s get us through the morning. Because I am a total freak, I’m super uncomfortable that he’s eaten almost nothing by 2 o’clock in the afternoon. I spoon-feed him, and he promptly vomits oatmeal all over the couch.

Sunday there is more coughing, a runny nose, and no appetite (let the boy starve!). His fever hits 103.5 degrees and he says, “My head hurts,” so I hop him up on ibuprofen and the Xopenex nebulizer. My courageous sister-in-law and her boyfriend show up for a holiday visit, and I collapse for the night even though I should be wrapping presents after my child’s unprecedented 6:30 PM bedtime.

Monday the coughing, fever, and copious snot have not abated. I let him binge-watch Diego on Netflix for approximately six hours and don’t even feel guilty about it. My parents bravely bring dinner over. The highlight of my day is driving to the drugstore alone to get cold-fighting supplies to the tune of $80. Since it’s there, I grab three bottles of wine and praise the stroke-of-genius marketing that allows drugstores to carry a full range of alcoholic beverages.

Tuesday is the big day: Merry Christmas!! Kid is still coughing, fever is going strong, and runny nose persists. My husband starts the day with a quiet mention that he doesn’t feel very well. Ignoring the reality of his flushed face and tired eyes, I spend Christmas morning accusing him of merely having a hangover from the wine I bought at Rite-Aid. He disappears in the middle present-opening, and I’m pissed off until I find him upstairs, wrapped in a blanket, and shivering

On Wednesday both son and husband are coughing, feverish, snotty, and cranky. Actually, the small one’s fever is down, but I take him to the doctor anyway, and then hide out at my parent’s house for the afternoon. He falls asleep on the way home at 4:30 PM and transfers to bed and stays asleep until 7:30 the next morning! Maybe the hibernation will help?

Thursday: Husband is miserable and boy’s fever comes back. I shuttle fluids, cough syrup, homeopathic remedies, and Motrin to everyone. I’m surrounded by coughing. Oh, and it’s snowing. A lot. The word “blizzard” is mentioned on the news more than once.

Part of our vacation was supposed to be a road trip to visit my grandmother and some other lovely relatives, but that is clearly threatened by sickness, bad weather, and the additional fact that my uncle’s father is on his deathbed.

Whilst making multiple phone calls to said relatives to decide if we should still visit, (because I’m the kind of person who just. cannot. let. go. even when people are sick and others are actually DYING) I accidentally flood the ground floor bathroom because:

I forget about the water I’m running to fill the bathtub since it is snowing and we could lose power and my husband is incapacitated and what if we need to flush??


This leads to the adrenaline fueled use of every single towel in my house to mop up the water which has streamed into the bathroom closet where it falls through the basement ceiling exactly like rain. Two cases of toilet paper are ruined. The pink, puffy insulation is soaked completely through. The woodpile is sopping wet.

I spent the rest of our vacation washing all the sofa slipcovers and 37 towels. It created the largest pile of laundry I have ever seen. Every time I looked at it, or tossed another heap from the dryer, I’d say to myself, “At least it’s clean!”

I hope nothing will ever compare to this cursed holiday, and I wish you a non-germy, fever-free, and floodless (though perhaps not snowless) holiday season.