The Holidays Are Just A Date On The Calendar

It is coming up on holiday season faster than I even realized as I sat in a scheduling meeting the other day at work where we were discussing the holiday working schedule.  It is about this time of year that I get super frustrated with people.  Not because of the holidays themselves but because of people’s attitudes surrounding the holidays and working.  The holidays are just a date.  A time to celebrate family.  But is does not have to be exactly on that date  Just ask those of us that are in professions where working holidays is expected.

Every year around the holidays, It never fails that I will see a bunch of memes or posts on social media about the “poor retail worker” that has to work the holidays.  How everyone has a “right” to have the holidays off to spend with their family.  Let’s talk about this.  Having worked in a profession for the last 20 years that has to work holidays, I find these posts dumb.  No, I won’t feel sorry for the “poor retail worker” who has to work holidays.  I won’t feel sorry for anyone who has to work holidays.  Why?  Because to those of us that work the holidays the day is just that…a date on the calendar.

Now, before you get your chonies in a twist, let me explain.  The point of holidays is to spend it with your loved ones, right?  Well, celebrate on a different day if you have to work.  Thanksgiving dinner can be on a different day.  Christmas can be on a different day. Yes, it can.  I know plenty of people who have to work the holidays whose families celebrate Christmas on a different day.  If Christmas church service is important to you, then you try to arrange to go to a service that works around your schedule.  I look at my church schedule and find one that works for me and I work night shift  Yup.  That’s right, I never miss Christmas mass because my church has more than one service.  Sometimes it means going on Christmas Eve at like 4 pm and then go to work, but I go with my family.  We celebrate Christmas whenever we can all get together and usually with my Mom that means the week before because all of us work the holidays and she lives 2 hours away.  But we make our own celebration.  Every year, my Bubby and I Skype Christmas with Seester who lives in Texas and we have to arrange when we can do it because all of us here and her husband work holidays.  You can make it work.  You just have to realize that the holiday is just a date on the calendar.  Make it your own. Your family really can adapt. As for kids, they really do not care what day they open presents or on what day Santa comes.  Let’s be real…they are in it for the loot.

Skype Christmas is so much fun!

As for the “poor retail worker”,  nope I don’t feel sorry for them one bit.  Maybe it’s because before I became a nurse, I worked in other industries that had to work holidays as well.  So lets take a moment and realize how many people work the holidays.  The hotels you stay at when traveling to your family or while visiting family?  Those workers all work the holidays.  The gas you put in your car to drive to Grandma’s house?  The gas station is manned by people working the holidays.  Some people don’t like to cook on the holidays and would prefer to go to a buffet or a restaurant.  Those workers are all working.  When you forget the rolls for Thanksgiving and run out to get them at the grocery store?  It’s open because people are working.  Those trips you plan around the holidays to Disneyland or some other destination?  The airlines and resort staff are working to make sure you get where you need and your holiday is perfect.  When there are car wrecks because of all the tired drivers?  You can thank all the police, fire fighters, emergency crews and staff at the hospitals that are working that day to save your loved ones.  Hospitals don’t close on the holidays.  We are open 24/7/365.  We work holidays to help your loved ones get better.  We give up time with our families to take care of yours.  We lack sleep a lot of time to spend time with our loved ones on a different day because we make our own holidays and it is just fine.  Some of us don’t mind working the holidays. We like making the overtime or we just like making holidays special for those who might feel like crap or who are traveleing.  Pocket Fiance says working Christmas morning at the hotel she works at is her favorite. I love working Christmas Eve and wrapping presents for the kids who are patients and leaving them in their rooms in the middle of the night so that Santa came to see them.  There are a lot of us who work the holidays.  So, no I don’t feel sorry for retail workers.  At all.

Stop with the memes and posts about the “poor retail worker” working and how they should be with their families.  How about posts and thanks to all of us that do work the holidays?  How about a smile and thank you when you see us working hard on the holidays?  Yes, sometimes we would rather be with our families too (or not as the case may be) on the holidays, but there we are working.  So take the time this holiday season to make a post thanking all those of us working.  That is a better use of your time.  Nurses around the world will thank you.  Hell all of us in different industries that work the holidays will thank you.  End rant.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did pick my own holiday dates to celebrate with my family because of work but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl proud to be a nurse who works the holidays and makes her holidays a different day Running.  The experiment continues…

Santa Calls…A Monaghan Family Tradition

Merry Christmas everyone!  I know I need to get back in the habit of your twice (or more) a week blogs…life around the holidays is always so chaotic.  This Christmas morning I thought I would share with you one of my favorite traditions that happened in our family every Christmas Eve without fail….Santa called each and every one of us cousins.  I mean a real honest to goodness phone call.  These are one of my favorite memories of Christmas and let me tell you why.

As a kid, there is nothing more magical than the thought of Santa coming.  There is something so fascinating by the thought of this man you don’t know, coming into your house while you are sleeping and leaving you presents.  Wait…as an adult, this sounds slightly terrifying.  I don’t know if I necessarily want some strange fat man breaking and entering my home while I am sleeping to leave me presents.  Would these be presents of a serial killer sort?  I mean, am I going to wake up and find some severed head in my living room?  Is Santa gonna turn out to be the SOTL Man and kidnap me to make his Fat Girl skinsuit finally?  I guess I should be grateful that children don’t think like me or Santa would be quickly out of business.  Let’s just go back to that magical thinking we had a children and forget Santa being a creeper and doing weird serial killer things that would bring the BAU from Criminal Minds into your house.  Most children are thrilled by this sort of magic (and some adults…obviously not me) and it helps make the special quality that is Christmas.

So, in my family on Christmas Eve, the phone would ring and my Mom would answer it and smile and tell me Santa was on the phone.  I would race over to the phone and breathlessly say hello….hearing jingle bells and a deep voice saying “Ho Ho Ho Kristann!  This is Santa Claus! Have you been a good girl this year?”  I was thrilled.  Santa was calling me!  He knew my name!  He would listen as I told him things and encourage me to be good and go to bed as he would soon be there.  I would agree and when the conversation was over, I would dance excitedly around the kitchen (inevitably twirling the long phone cord around me in my excitement) and hurry off to bed to be read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and Santa Mouse by my Dad.  The best part about Christmas with my big Irish family?  All of us cousins soon realized that Santa called us all!  We would all talk animatedly about our phone calls and we felt pretty special when our friends told us they didn’t get phone calls.  I mean, Santa called all of us cousins every Christmas Eve without fail.  It was super special to us and a memory I cherish from my childhood.

When I got older and learned about the truth of Santa (I must admit I was about 12 when I finally found out), I was confused about the phone calls. I mean, if Santa wasn’t real, then how did he call me and my cousins every Christmas Eve?  I puzzled about this for quite some time before I asked my parents.  My Dad smiled at me, pulled me into his lap, and whispered that it was really him that called all of the littles in our family.  Every Christmas Eve.  He would go to my Grandma’s house and call every one of us, making us all feel like the most special child in the world.  Not once did I recognize my Dad’s voice.  Not once did I even catch on that he disappeared for awhile on Christmas Eve to make those phone calls. My Dad made all of us cousins feel so special and so wonderful on Christmas Eve with those calls.  Instead of being disappointed when he told me, I just asked that he continue to call all the littles including my baby brother and he did.  I am sure all of my cousins can attest that those phone calls were some of our best memories of Christmas.

Even now, he still makes them to the littles in the family, including my god daughters and BFF’s god children.  When I asked my Dad years ago to call BFF’s Grandpa’s house one Christmas Eve to talk to the littles there, he didn’t even hesitate and asked for the phone number and all the kids names that were there.  I wasn’t sure if the two slightly older kids that were there still believed, but I gave him their names and ages anyways.  Sure enough, a few minutes later, the phone rang, we put it on speaker and I heard jingle bells and this big booming voice saying “Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!”  It brought a huge smile to my face and memories came flooding back of my own Santa calls.  The littles in the room grew quiet, their eyes wide as Santa magically called them each by name and talk to them all.  When the phone call was over, dancing around the living room were 3 happy little children and I quietly snuck off to call my Dad back and thank him.  The next day, BFF’s cousin pulled me aside to give me a hug and thank me.  Her daughter had started to question if Santa was real and after the phone call where Santa asked for her by name, the doubt was removed as she declared her love for Santa over and over on the ride home.  See Dad…those calls are special I tell you…so thank you.  Thank you for making our childhood Christmas memories something made of magic.

Merry Christmas dear readers.  May you rediscover the magic of Christmas through this blog today and may you create some Christmas magic of your own.  Bless each and every one of you and yours today!

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.   I did, however, remember some of the magic of Christmas and I thank my Dad for this today but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl who Santa called personally every Christmas Eve without fail Running.  The experiment continues…


The Disneyland Christmas Parade Event: Another Guide to Life by BFF

Since my last post was about Disneyland and BFF, I thought I would tell you some more good ways to handle people per BFF.  I mean, she has some major people skills my friends.  Not many people can pull off kicking a kid in line and what happened at the Christmas parade like BFF.  She can handle people in a parade crowd like no other.  Let’s just say I would not want to get on her bad side…like ever.  She is one tough tiny little Mexican woman!  Now that I have you intrigued, let’s get on with our story.  The Disneyland Christmas Parade Event…

We were at DL right as they started the Christmas season this past trip and we were thrilled.  We normally go at Halloween so to go at Christmas time (even thought it was November) was a nice change and so much fun.  If you have never gone there on a holiday, I highly recommend it,  There is nothing like a good Disney magic and the holidays put together.  We were stoked that they had a Christmas parade and planned our schedule accordingly.  Ever been at DL and seen people sitting along the curb of Main Street and wondered why? They are waiting for the parade to start.  Know this about catching a parade at House of Mouse:  you NEED to plan to sit for the parade along the route about an hour in advance if you want a good front row seat and don’t want to be peering over the heads of anyone else.  We usually take this time to send one of us to get a snack and enjoy the people watching.  It is a good time to sit, rest your feet and enjoy all the craziness around you.  We actually found a bench and were thrilled we didn’t have to sit on the ground, so we staked out the bench, got a bucket of popcorn and sodas and enjoyed our break about an hour before the parade was scheduled to start.  Now remember, we are not the only ones doing this.  Lots of families are also camped out with blankets and snacks…little ones napping in strollers placed carefully behind them and people saving spots with jackets and such.  It is a common practice.  We had a nice conversation with the older lady and her son sitting on the bench next to us and were enjoying the little girls dressed as Elsa next to us who were beside themselves waiting to see the Princesses in the parade.

Disney is fantastic announcing that the parade is going to start and they do so over the loudspeakers about 30 minutes ahead of time.  So really, unless you are in a bubble while you are there, you know the parade is about to start by the gathering crowd, the vendor carts trolling the parade route to sugar up your children and spend your last few dollars on light up balloons and other crap to entertain them while they wait, the Cast members roping off the area and did I mention the announcements over the loud speakers?  Not to mention, they hand you a schedule when you walk in the park with the parade times on it.  People start to get hurried around the 15 minute mark and try to quickly find space for their kiddos to see without being blocked….although usually all the good spots are gone by then. Several times, we told people that no they could not sit in front of us and they assumed we were saving spots and left.   Five minutes before the parade is to reach us, we can hear the music from where it has already started coming down the route and we see families start to get frantic about finding spots.  Timing people.  Timing and planning will save you this stress.  We are excited to see the parade when all of a sudden…it happened…the Disneyland Christmas Parade Event.

A woman, her husband, and two small children in a stroller (both under 3) come running down the parade route frantically looking for a place to watch the parade.  They see us sitting on our bench (although we were planning on standing once the parade started to get pictures) and the Mom decides to run over to us park her stroller in front of us and not say a word.  Wrong move.  We both immediately stand up and BFF starts to have a conversation with the Mom.  It goes like this:

BFF:  “I’m sorry.  You can’t stand here or park your stroller here.  We were planning on standing for the parade and you are in front of us.  If you could please move, that would be great.”

Mom (looking shocked and annoyed):  “Look lady.  We didn’t know we would be caught up in this and we need a place to watch.”

BFF (raising eyebrows and standing a little taller):  “I am sorry but we have been here for over an hour.  You should have planned better.  These are our spots so you need to move.  Now.”

Annoying Mother with a Huge Stroller (whose husband is now trying to pull her away):  “You don’t need to be so nasty!  This is Disneyland for Christ’s sake!  I have two small children in a stroller here!!”  She has now resorted to yelling at BFF…wrong move number 2.

BFF (now pulling out all her Mexican and getting in the Shouting Mother’s face):  “I am not being nasty.  I am telling you next time to plan better and get here an hour early like we did.  Your children are too young to even care about the parade anyways. You are being rude and need to leave.  Like RIGHT NOW.” I am now terrified BFF with hand me her purse, take off her earrings and kick off her shoes like the Mexican girl she is and we will get kicked out because she will kick some Soccer Mom’s jogging booty over a place to watch the parade.  What am doing?  Standing behind her saying things like “Yeah!” and “Leave” and other such one word retorts and making faces like a good Fat Girl sidekick.

Angry Soccer Mom who needs a Dole Whip to the face:  “You have ruined my children’s trip to Disneyland!”  Her husband is now anxiously pulling her away and has yet to say a word…pussy.  I would be scared of BFF too…or maybe he was scared of his wife.

BFF (as Disgruntled Mom indignantly strides off looking back at us with all the venom she can muster):  “Your children don’t even have formative memory!  They won’t remember this trip!”  We then high-fived each other.

Pretty sure the couple next to us gave us a round of applause probably because they were afraid to cross us.  I wouldn’t either…BFF can handle her own when she is fighting for a spot to watch the parade from!  Needless to say, we enjoyed the parade without a stroller in front of us taking our spots we had sought out an hour ahead of time. Planning people.  Planning will make your trip oh so much better.  Sigh.  But BFF…she is awesome.  I love her.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did however witness my BFF go all Mexican on a Soccer Mom over a spot to watch the Disneyland Christmas Parade but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl with another Guide to Life by BFF Running.  The experiment continues…


Sometimes Santa Makes You Pee

Now that the craziness of the holidays is over, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite Christmas memories.  It involves my Seester and I am sure she will be thrilled I am about to tell the world this story.  You have to remember I am about 13 years older than her and so I was a teenager when she was a toddler.  I remember this happened about when I was 16 so she would have been about 3 because I remember getting the coolest phone that year and I was thrilled to get my own corded phone (this was the 80s remember).  Having your own corded phone back in the day was the bomb.  It meant you didn’t have to sit in the family common area and have a phone conversation with your friends.  You could now do that from the privacy of your own room.  It really was magical.  This wasn’t an ordinary old phone either…It was this round creation where it looked like a something that came off of Back to the Future.  I have a hard time describing it, so here:

Coolest phone in 1984/85...I swear
Coolest phone in 1984/85…I swear

For reals.  It was the coolest phone and I wanted one so bad.  Santa was good to me and brought me that magical phone…by now however, I knew Santa was not real so I guess I must thank my parents for the most awesome phone.  I kept up the Santa charade for the sake of my siblings however, so I hyped it up, especially for my baby Seester who loved Santa.  I remember distinctly what she wanted…A Care Bear Sit and Spin.

For those of you too young to know what a Sit and Spin is, it was this toy that was very popular in the 80s where you sat on it and used the center stationary piece to spin yourself into vomit inducing oblivion or until you were so dizzy you couldn’t walk straight.  It was an awesome kids toy.  I mean who doesn’t want a toy that basically imitates the Cups O’ Vomit at DL in their living room?  I think I would love this new version of Russian Roulette if I had a kid.  Will my child barf if she only spins a few times around?  What about several minutes worth?  Will the barf come spewing out as she turns herself around nilly willy, causing a kaleidoscope of colors on my wall, furniture and carpet?  Yeah…this sounds like a great invention.  Pretty sure this toy terrifies me as vomit is the one thing that I cannot do…yup.  It is a terrifying toy.

At home version of Cups O' Vomit...let me jump right on
At home version of Cups O’ Vomit…let me jump right on

Seester wanted one of these so bad that her little 3-year-old self jumped up and down every time she saw the commercial filled with happy smiling children holding back their vomit.  She got right up on Santa’s lap in the mall and poured out her little heart in her squeaky little lispy voice about wanting the desired Care Bear Sit and Spin.  I helped her write a letter with the exact item cut out of a catalog or newspaper ad so that Santa would be sure to know which one to bring.  Mom and Dad knew what they had to do.  It was the only thing on her list, so a Sit and Spin had to be found.  Luckily, Mom tracked one down at a Toys R Us and we could all breathe a sigh of relief.  I could not wait to see her little freckled ginger face on Christmas morning as she realizes Santa brought her the epicenter of her 3-year-old world.

Early Christmas morning, my two younger siblings were up at the crack of dawn, eagerly anticipating seeing what the red suited man had brought them this year.  Seester could barely contain her excitement as she jumped up and down in her little footie pajamas on my bed while we waited for Dad to appear in his robe (we won’t talk about the length of that 80s robe…that is another story) and turn on the Christmas tree. I took both my siblings by the hand and led them slowly out to the living room with their eyes closed.  Once positioned so they could see their loot under the tree, we had them open their eyes.  There, sitting under the magical twinkling lights, was the prized Sit and Spin.  I looked at little Seester’s face to see what her reaction would be.

The minute she opened her eyes, they became as big as saucers and a squeal to end all squeals of delight started to emit from her throat.  Her little plastic coated feet started to do a Dance of Joy when all of a sudden it happened.  In the midst of all this excitement over the Care Bear Sit and Spin, a large wet stain appeared down my Seester’s legs.  Her eyes turned from wide-eyed with excitement to wide-eyed with horror and they filled with tears.  The squeal of delight quickly dissolved to sobs as she realized what had happened.  Seester had peed her footie pajamas.  Mom and I quickly took her to change into a new pair of jammies and calmed the sobbing mess she had become, as well as dumped the urine from plastic reservoirs on the pajamas.  Face washed, new jammies and unders on, she returned to the site of her Santa excitement accident and the goal of her desire.  We placed that little 3-year-old on the vomit inducing toy and watched her spin to her little ginger heart’s delight, laughter filling the house.  Including ours, as Mom, Dad and I realized that it might take an act of God to get her off it…or another need to urinate.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did realize that sometimes Santa makes you pee but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl with a fear of vomit inducing toys Running.  The experiment continues…