Monday, November 7, 2011

It's the Holiday Season. So Whoop-dee-do.

I've been thinking a lot about how this will be our first Christmas without Eliza.

And then I remembered, oh yeah, except for last Christmas.

She was born on December 6.  So this will be our second Christmas without her, our first Thanksgiving without her.  In fact, last Thanksgiving, she was alive and well, hanging out in my belly at my family baby shower, kicking happily as I unwrapped baby quilts and a car seat and those little Trumpette socks that look like mary-janes.

I'm not ready to face a family holiday without Eliza.  After spending so much time imagining her there with us, being there without her would be impossibly hard.  Even though I know how much my family loves us (and loves her) and even though I miss them and I haven't been home since last Thanksgiving, I just can't do it.  I think they will understand.  At least, I hope so.

I was so excited for everyone to meet her, for her to be the baby that everyone fussed over and wanted to hold.  I could just see it in my mind, how this year's holidays would be.  And I am so not ready to have the family and the food and not have my baby there.  The whole idea makes me want to puke.

So our plan for the holidays this year is to ignore them completely.  As I told David's aunt, when she sent us "Merry Christmas!!!" and "Happy New Year!!!" texts last year (yes, I'm serious), we are not celebrating the holidays.  We are simply trying to survive them.

We're going out of town for Thanksgiving--taking a drive up to Chicago.  We'll drive up on Thursday (you know, like it's any other day of the year), stay in a hotel downtown, go shopping on Michigan Avenue, see a show, have lunch with some friends on Saturday (Mexican!), and hit up IKEA on the way home.  (It is quite possible that IKEA was the source of inspiration for this trip.)  Or it may be that shopping feels too "Christmasy" and fun, in which case we'll spend the weekend holed up in our swanky hotel room (thanks, Priceline) watching TV.  Whatever.

We're also ignoring Christmas all together.  I'm going to send gifts to David's family, but my family has opted not to exchange gifts (meaning, my mom and I made an executive decision).  Some of my girlfriends and I normally exchange, but we're skipping it this year, although a little bird told me they're going to get me an Eliza necklace, which I will gratefully (and probably tearfully) accept.  Otherwise, I am NOT PARTICIPATING in Christmas.

Instead, we're going to go to Mexico and spending a week touring Juarez.  I hear it's really nice this time of year.  We're hoping to pay for our trip by offering to carry a few duffle bags back over the border with us.

OK, not funny.

Really we're going to Puerto Vallarta, and spending a week at an adults-only all-inclusive resort.  The website looks really nice, and we opted for adults-only to avoid the agony of looking at adorable toddler thighs in swimming suits, but my brother said that "adults-only" means nude beach and a resort full of pervs.  (Perhaps he has experience with this?).  So then I told him that we chose this resort precisely because the swimming pool is Nudes Only and the only thing we like more than being naked is being naked in front of a bunch of naked strangers.  And I invited him to join us because I'm totally cool like that.

OK, not funny.

I mean, we actually had that conversation, but as far as I know, we'll be wearing swimsuits to the pool and I have no desire to be naked in front of naked strangers or my naked brother (ooh--gag reflex just kicked in).

I'm sure the resort will be blaring Christmas music and doing the lights and the trees and all the Christmas hoopla, but we're just going to do our best to ignore it.  We'll probably spend Christmas day ordering room service and playing gin rummy.  Or maybe we'll hang out by the pool and see who can take the most tequila shots before they puke!  Just making some Christmas memories.

I am currently accepting advice on how to survive the holidays, what I can expect from an adults-only, all-inclusive resorts, and how best to plan for a shopping spree at IKEA.


  1. gah, that sounds so wonderful, and I SO wish I could join in on some "skipping it all" trips.

  2. I love IKEA. Love it. Want to live there. Ben, though, HATES it (probably because he is the one sweating his face off and assembling everything with only pictures and an allen wrench to help him), and we always end up fighting when we are there because my good cheer really pisses him off. Everything is just so cheap! And pretty! (And kind of hard to get home in a small car but really expensive to ship. We shipped a whole apartment full of furniture when we first got married and should have just gone to Ethan Allen or something). Have a great time at IKEA and Mexico sounds wonderful, too.

  3. Ugh - the holidays without your baby suck. It's just such a painful reminder of what should have been. I hope you guys enjoy your time away - sounds like lovely plans. I haven't been to an adults only resort but have been to PV twice - I know you'll enjoy. Go to Sayulita if you can - nice day trip from PV and it's so lovely.

  4. We skipped the holidays last year, but we did not go to a resort, we just stayed home in misery.

    Get through it as best you can, you'll feel better when you're on the other side.

  5. i have no advice on how to survive the holidays without your precious girl. we are in the same boat trying to just survive this round of holidays too. i wish i had some words of wisdom. but your plans sound like great plans and a great way to just be together, loving each other, and remembering your baby girl. thinking of you as the next few months approach quickly. sending you love and strength...

  6. I wish I knew a good way to get through the holidays. Love the Mexico all adults trip though, minus the nakedness. My husband has to work thru the holidays this year, thinking they are going to suck more than they already were going to.

  7. Sorry, I don't know how to survive the holidays either. We've opted to stay home and avoid the family gatherings because I know I won't be able to tolerate all of those happy people, though we will aim for a normal Thanksgiving and Christmas for Eleanor's sake. We spent Christmas day last year calling our families to tell them I was pregnant. Not such a great idea, in hindsight. So we're just trying to survive until 2012, when I hope things will start to feel a little better.

  8. I thought last Christmas would be the worst one of our lives, but I have to say I am terrified of this one. Last Thanksgiving I had Addi in my belly too...ugh.

    I have no idea how to survive them, but I know we will whether we like it or not :( Mexico sounds like a good start, if we could get a way, we would too!

  9. NAKED. You know you're gonna be. Hah.

    Have a blast in IKEA... it's my resident location! I've been quite a few times myself, but mostly for awesomely cheap decorative and household crap. Oh, and maybe cinnamon rolls. ;)

  10. Your holiday plans sound marvelous! I skipped the holidays last year, but wasn't smart enough to plan a trip. I spent Thanksgiving eating boxed stuffing and watching netflix in bed, fun times! This year will be a *little* easier for me (I think), but I don't think it's ever going to be what it used to be (or could have been). XO

  11. I'm all for avoidance. ; ) I hope you have a great time. I think the trick with Christmas & other holidays is to decide what's absolutely essential to your idea of how to celebrate & let the superfluous stuff fall by the wayside -- maybe not forever, but for as long as you need things to be different. For example, I put up a Christmas tree (which is full of Katie-related ornaments anyway) but I haven't done any Christmas baking in years and I try to avoid the mall when I know Santa is going to be there. Seeing adorable kids sitting on his lap still has the power to bring tears to my eyes.

  12. Surviving. That's all you need to do. Joy and celebrations be damned!
    While my Christmases have gotten progressively easier since the dreaded cancelled Christmas of 2008, it is still a sad time of year. There is always someone missing. She will always be missing.
    Thinking of you and Eliza, so much.

  13. While your wounded heart aches this holiday season, thank your cooperative family and husband for being so understanding.
    Tradegy either makes you stronger or breaks you. Through your blog, you are growing stronger and making many of us relize how far we have came in the dreaded walk of grief.