Two and half weeks before Christmas, I got the flu and this flu was a doozy. My flu lasted almost nine days, and during those nine days, my 5-year-old’s temperature climbed to 103, and my one-year-old had a temperature of 101. You can probably imagine how we spent much of our Christmas holidays. Many others must be going through the same as us, because we spent three hours at the doctors office, three hours at urgent care, and still ended up back at urgent care another time. We spent our Christmas season getting breathing treatments, filling prescriptions, just lying around feeling sorry for ourselves, and even contemplating an ambulance trip once. We missed many of our Christmas traditions. We missed “Journey to Bethlehem;” Christmas program practices; a week of school, which was filled with Christmas field trips and Christmas crafts. We missed our annual trip with our grandmother to get Santa pictures, my son’s first two basketball games, a special baptism, Christmas parties and Christmas play dates, and so much more. To top it off, my husband even has to work on Christmas day, so he had taken the week before off to spend time with us at Christmas. He didn’t plan on spending the whole week taking care of us. Yes, this was not our favorite two weeks, BUT, did we really miss Christmas? At Christmas we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Jesus was born, lived, taught us all so much, and died for our sins. Jesus taught us that whenever we do for others, we do for him. While we were sick, we received so much kindness from others. We could feel the TRUE spirit of Christ this Christmas all around us. Hilt’s school checked on us, my friends and family showed such concern and offered to help in any way they could, even offering to bring us chicken soup and potato soup. During a doctors visit a stranger brought over a chair for me because she realized that I was so sick that I was having trouble standing. One of Hilt’s classmates even started praying for Hilt when she went to bed. We felt very VERY loved! One of my favorite moments was during our second urgent care visit. A man saw that my whole pitiful looking family was waiting to be seen again. Something made him decide to approach us. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but his encouraging words were perfect. He told us to hang in there and that he remembers when his children were younger. He tells our crying 5-year-old in this perfect, cool “we are men” tone, “I know the doctors here are going to help you and I get better. They are going to fix you and me up.” The nonchalant way the man spoke was perfect for my scared, overly dramatic 5-year-old. Then he offered my children a sucker before he left. You could feel the sincerity when he spoke. After he left, my husband, Chad, put his arm around me as if he was reminded, like I was reminded, that we are a strong united family even during all this sickness. I have felt Christmas this year. We were sick and Christmas still came anyway. The Christmas spirit is all around. To Quote Dr. Sues from “The Grinch that Stole Christmas,” “It came without ribbons. It came without tags…Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” Christmas is more than all the Christmas traditions. Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus and showing Christ's love. People showed us Christ's love this season. We (I hope) are finally getting better four days before Christmas day, but we have already fully experienced Christmas this year.