I think Santa delivers germs: Sick kids as a holiday tradition.

Christmas tree, presents, cookies, vomit, boogers, and fevers. All of these things describe holiday traditions in our home. Since having children we have not experienced a holiday season without a gross illness sweeping through our household. It’s as if my family’s immune system takes a holiday and good old Santa brings the germs.

I picture Santa gearing up for a pre-Christmas sleigh ride right after Thanksgiving. The sleigh passes over the homes of children everywhere and provides a dusting of influenza, the common cold, and gastrointestinal bugs. You know your home has been hit by St. Nick when the first cough is heard chiming from down the hallway.

Our home echoes with sneezes, coughing, and sniffles. Any other sounds bring an overwhelming fear of vomit to the forefront of our minds. And let’s be honest, vomit is probably going to happen sooner than later. You just have to cross your fingers that your kid makes it through the Christmas program without spewing toxic waste on all the unfortunate kids standing lower in the risers.

Of course we could postpone the festivities, but that would bring such a depressing level of disappointment to our little crew that we have to try and make this work. I have strongly considered informing my children that Santa is a germaphobe or immune compromised but so far I have resisted. Not to mention, if we delayed celebrating the sickness would likely lie dormant, only for us to experience a resurgence on the day of our next attempt.

I have resolved myself to accepting that my children’s holiday memories will include all the fun stuff and copious amounts of bodily fluids. Hopefully Santa brings plenty of vaporub, cough drops, acetaminophen, and patience. I mean, the guy owes us that much.

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