Last Christmas Hilde, my four-month-old daughter, was in the hospital for the weeks leading up to Christmas. Spending all those hours in a children’s hospital during the holiday season is, well… it’s a thing. From my recliner next to Hilde’s bed, I would watch out the glass doors into the arrestingly bright hallway of the ICU. I could see how much volunteers and staff did to ease a troubling time—how they showed up with festive spirits and festive attire to spread some much needed cheer. One afternoon I saw jolly old St. Nick strolling down the hallway with his sack. My heart wrenched. In the worst way I wanted him to come in and greet my baby so close to her first Christmas. But I stayed cemented in my chair and let him walk right by. I was fairly certain seeing Santa at Hilde’s bedside would shatter me like a glass ornament slipped from its evergreen branch.
I did have a strategy for combatting the blues, however. The primary weapon? Christmas pajamas. I had four sets for Hilde. My mom, at home (wo)manning the household and two older kids, fervently helped me launder them on repeat. This way little miss was consistently swathed in her holiday finest.
When so much is out of your control, it helps to focus on what you can. I couldn’t control that Hilde wasn’t stable enough to be out of the ICU. I couldn’t control that we potentially weren’t going to spend her first Christmas together as a family. I couldn’t control the fact that there were no answers as to what was causing her setback and making her utterly miserable. Pretty much the only thing in my power to control was jammies. Comfy, cozy, adorable Christmas pjs.
When times are difficult, remember the jammies. Just do what you can.