I love Christmas.
It is my most favourite holiday. I love the tree. I love the decorations. I love the gifts. I love the turkey dinner. I love it all.
I have even learned to love the fact that my birthday is on Christmas day... for the most part.
But this year?
This year Christmas was something else.
I struggle to find words to adequately describe our Christmas.
I can honestly say that I have never experienced a Christmas like this one in all of my 38 years.
Allow me to tell you the story of the Robertson Christmas of 2013. It is a delight.
For awhile now we have been having some plumbing issues in our home. We've been living with them relatively well but in the weeks leading up to Christmas it got really bad and our landlord had to come over several times to "fix" things.
Unfortunately not so much actual "fixing" happened and a week before Christmas we were left with zero plumbing. Like.... none. No showers. No laundry. No doing dishes. And most traumatic of all? No flushable toilets.
Oh yes... it was super fun.
So on the morning of Christmas Eve our landlord came over to fix the problem but instead he accidentally flooded our basement with sewage.
Oh yes he did.
So now that there was poop-water all over the kids' playroom and our storage room and laundry room and the sewage had exploded out of our toilet and bathtub all over our bathroom and our house smelled like a public toilet we figured it was time to head to a hotel.
We gathered up the kids and our Christmas tree and all the supplies we could think of to make Christmas morning fun for the kids and headed to the local hotel.
Here is where some good things start happening. Pay attention because people are awesome.
We called our friends who totally had a sick kid and they agreed to take our cat just because they are great. So we dropped off Shadow-the-cat at their house.
We stopped at our local Pizza Hut for lunch and the hostess (who recognized us since we live in a very small town) noticed that we looked... um... not great. So we told her what happened and then we went and ate lunch. When it was time to pay for our lunch our server and the hostess came over and PAID FOR OUR LUNCH for us because they felt so bad for us.
So that was amazing.
Then we headed over to the Holiday Inn Express hotel where the second amazing thing happened - the hotel gave us TWO huge hotel rooms FOR FREE for 3 nights.
That's right. People are awesome.
So yes, our house was flooded with sewage ... but we were fed and we had a warm, lovely place to stay for Christmas. It could have been SO much worse.
Christmas morning was good - the kids opened their presents and presents make everything better when you are 11, 10 and 7.
Then we headed back to our house to see where things were at. And they were bad.
Nothing says "Happy 38th birthday" like cleaning crap off your bathroom walls. Really.
We ate kraft dinner and peanut butter sandwiches for Christmas dinner. I did not love that.
On boxing day we came back to the house again after finally being able to buy some cleaning supplies but quickly realized it was WAY more than I could ever clean up on my own. So my husband called the landlord and he called a professional and she came over and sprayed some sort of disinfectant all over everything. Then she came back a couple days later to clean the mess up so at least it is safe down there now.
Of course we have a pile of toxic belongings on our deck that we have removed from our basement that have been perfectly preserved in their crap-covered state thanks to the -40 degree weather which we haven't yet managed to take to the dump. On the up side it doesn't smell. Yay winter?
The day we were leaving the hotel to come home my husband got a call from the food bank where he is the manager and discovered that furnace had died and a fridge had quit working too. Because of course it did.
I've decided that having your basement flooded with sewage is NOT the best way to celebrate Christmas or your birthday. Just in case you were thinking of doing that next year... don't.
But I could have handled all of that if everything was fixed and we were done with the whole nightmare. Really.
This morning my husband (the chef in our family) put our Christmas turkey in the oven and we began to prepare for the Christmas dinner that we missed.
I got in the shower and admired our new non-poop covered shower curtain that we just purchased yesterday and then I heard it... the toilet started making the same sounds as before. The water from the shower was not draining.
And the toilet stopped flushing.
The plumbing was NOT fixed. We are back to a bucket for a toilet and let me tell you... I am not happy.
Oh no I am not.
The turkey is cooked but it is not getting eaten because I am too busy trying not to have a nervous breakdown.
I may or may not have started sobbing and saying things like "the landlord is not allowed in our house again to try and FIX anything - he has to call a professional this time! I am NOT DOING THIS AGAIN."
My husband may or may not have tried to calm me down by making me tea.
So the landlord has been called. We are waiting for a plumber who had better have some sort of certification.
I let you know how it all turns out.
*UPDATE* Dec 31st - A real certified plumber came and fixed the issue today! Yay! 3 Cheers for plumbers!
So long 2013, don't let the door hit you on the way out!