Fa La La La La, La La La La

Well,the holidays weren’t what we expected.

To be fair, as you’re reading this, we’re still in the middle of the holidays — it’s Boxing Day, although the rest of the world doesn’t really follow that British tradition, in my experience — and I’m writing this even earlier, on December 23rd. (Secrets behind the blog!) But, already I can tell: this is very much not going to be the Christmas we were hoping for.

This became obvious yesterday, as I write, when we found out that Chloe’s grandparents, who were going to be visiting for the week, were stranded in Chicago after flights were grounded because of weather. That was the start of the day, literally a message Chloe got as soon as she woke up, and before too long it was followed by the news that they wouldn’t be able to get here at all for Christmas, with the airline refusing to rebook flights until after the holiday. In fact, they were almost stranded in Chicago for a few days, with no chance to return home until the very end of the day (9pm their time; they’d been there something like 13 or 14 hours by that point) and every piece of news unclear or quickly contradicted to that point.

As our plans imploded due to weather in Chicago — really, what were we going to do, now that all the, “we can do this with Grammy and Grandad” ideas were suddenly out the window? — the weather in Portland decided that there was no point going above freezing at all, which is a problem in a house with heating and insulation as bad as this one. Blankets, layers, and hot water bottles became a must as it quickly became clear that going outside to do groceries might be a significant undertaking, while last-minute gift shopping could be a luxury we couldn’t afford.

It’s been, as I’ve said before, an odd year and an odd December to date. Perhaps a strange, weird Christmas is what comes of all of this. Tis the season.

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