Unexpected Parallels Between The Holidays and The Flu

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Aside from the vast difference in weight gain, the holidays closely resemble many characteristics of the common flu virus.  Let us consider some of the distinct similarities.

Both holiday preparation and the flu virus will leave you exhausted, run down and sore from head to toe.  I know this feeling well as I bring these symptoms upon myself every damn year.  No one who comes to my giant Thanksgiving feast inspects my baseboards for cleanliness nor do they peek in every single closet to see if they have recently been reorganized.  As far as I know no holiday guest has ever commented on how clean the master bathroom grout is looking these days, yet I nearly KILL myself engaging in these mundane tasks the week before the holidays arrive .

All of this cleaning takes place in tandem with the food shopping, menu planning, the prep, the cooking and the house decorating.  Let’s throw in all of normal household chores for good measure and see what I am really made of.  Once the first holiday gathering begins I am off to the races running through the house like a hostess that just stuffed her Thanksgiving turkey full of methamphetamines.

Do.Not.Sit.

Feed the guests, interact with the guests, hand wash the China, refill the food, clean up the food. Send everyone off with a smile.  Put the kids to bed.  Drink the rest of the opened wine bottle contents.  Collapse.

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The holidays are filled with love and joy and I really do enjoy having so much family around.  The whole routine however does leave me exhausted beyond measure, aching from head to toe and wanting to sleep for a week straight.  Much like the flu will do.

Both the holidays and the flu can leave you running to the bathroom to heave up the contents of your gut.  Ok…perhaps that is just me.  When I have the flu I live in the bathroom.  I also tend to throw up at some point during the holidays as well.  This is almost always from drinking too much wine.  It might be on Thanksgiving, perhaps at a Christmas Party, but most likely it will be on New Years Ever where I sputter New Years Resolutions to live cleaner with my head hung over our bathroom toilet.

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Most of us suffer from some sort of fevery flush when we come down with a case of the flu.  You might also find yourself feeling a bit warm and sweaty during the holiday rush.  This fevery feeling is not from viral intruders however.  It is from running around the house like a bat-shit crazy lunatic making sure the house continuously looks as if no one even lives there.  Everyone knows one out of place throw pillow or rogue sock laying around will bring on Holiday Armageddon.

When mom gets the flu the show must go on…the shit show that is.  I have hosted a school Halloween party with a raging flu, have attended the kids’ open house for school swallowing down vomit and have attended birthday parties feeling like I was knocking on death’s door.  Life doesn’t stop for mom…ever.  Dishes must be done, laundry must be folded and meals must be made.  Mom can’t eat them, because she feels like dying on the kitchen floor, but the children must be fed.

Same goes for the holidays.  The chores don’t stop just because you have twenty dinner guests over and a handful of relatives staying for the weekend.  If you are fortunate enough (like I happen to be in this department) you have extended family that helps with the kids and cleans up the house so it makes their overnight stay totally worth it.  Still the chores are plentiful come holiday time.  You have to cook for the masses morning, noon and night.  Appetizers get set out, desserts make their way around lethargic and full-bellied holiday guests and all is merry.  Yet somehow mom is still hungry?  How can this be?  Oh right, just like when mom has the flu she prepares the food yet never actually eats it.  She is far too busy restocking the crackers and cheese and fluffing the throw pillows.

Lastly the holidays are expensive as fuuuuuuck.  My family goes broke starting with Thanksgiving and this financial drought lasts well into the new year.  Two fresh turkeys, oodles of booze, side dish ingredients, all new stemware, place mats and Tupperware, (because we must look as if we stepped directly out of a Pottery Barn Magazine for one damn day,) will drain your wallet…fast.  New Thanksgiving outfits, Christmas dresses, matching holiday pajamas for four kids… the dollar signs are really adding up now.  Presents…forget it.  Time to sell the house and live in a cardboard box.

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The flu can really dry you out financially apparently as well.  I haven’t experienced this personally but I have a close family friend who battled the flu for weeks and weeks.  Her, her husband and their four kids spent some real quality time hovering around the toilets.  For the first time in her life she became so desperate to escape the vomit that she dragged everyone into the physicians office and demanded anti-virals for the clan.

800.00 for meds!

Her and her husband have insurance and Masters degrees I might add.  Actually she may have her PHD by now.  Nevertheless the flu will screw you in the rear.

Happy F-ing Holidays Mommies.

May your mops be ready, your turkeys be brined and your Xanax be refilled.

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