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December 23, 2008

Christmas, not doing
Posted by Teresa at 06:07 PM *

Dear All—

A thousand apologies—this is neither the place to issue nor rescind invitations—but Patrick and I will not be holding our open house on Christmas Day. I’ve come down with some kind of vile bug, and I can only stay upright for brief spells. Besides, “contagion” is not what we mean by “the spirit of Christmas giving.”

Wishing you and yours a much nicer holiday than this—

Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Comments on Christmas, not doing:
#1 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 06:34 PM:

Rest and get better. May it pass very quickly.

#2 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 06:37 PM:

My condolences -- but not only is it good not to pass whatever you have around (speaking as someone with a freshly compromised immune system), it is important that you have the rest to get well yourself.

Blessings for you and Patrick this season.

#3 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 06:45 PM:

Mes meilleurs voeux pour un prompt rétablissement, Teresa.

#4 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 06:45 PM:

Translation: my best wishes for a quick recovery.

#5 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 06:56 PM:

Stay warm and feel better.

#6 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 06:58 PM:

Hope you feel better soon, Teresa.

#7 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 07:00 PM:

Ditto. This year's bug is a vicious one--take care of yourself.

#8 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 07:03 PM:

Beterschap*, Teresa

-----
* that does not mean "better sheep", just in case anyone was wondering

#9 ::: -dsr- ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 07:31 PM:

But we also wish you better sheep.

#10 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 07:34 PM:

Be well, and in the meanwhile be as comfortable as you are able.

#11 ::: BuffySquirrel ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 07:42 PM:

Nothing wrong with a better sheep. Warmth and well-feelings to you :).

#12 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 07:42 PM:

Rest, recover, repeat.

#13 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 07:52 PM:

Having a bug is bad enough. Having a bug over a holiday is worse. Having a bug that forces you to cancel fun holiday plans is worst of all. My sympathies, and take care of yourself!

#14 ::: Marko Kloos ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 07:52 PM:

In the spirit of multilingual "Get Well" wishes: Gute Besserung, and a Merry Christmas to you both.

#15 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 07:56 PM:

Get better soon. And drink lots of chicken soup.

#16 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 07:57 PM:

dsr #9: Sheep may safely graze in Brooklyn?

#17 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 08:18 PM:

¡Que se sienta mejor pronto!

¡Y más ovejas y mejores!

#18 ::: Julie ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 08:25 PM:

Take care of yourself.

#19 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 08:28 PM:

I hope you feel better soon, and by the way, did a hamster come in the mail?

#20 ::: Benjamin Biggs ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 08:41 PM:

I'm feeling a bit under the weather, but not that bad. A toast of Hall's cough drops to your speedy recovery! May your Christmas be amazingly happy anyway.

#21 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 08:48 PM:

Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery, and a good holiday season.

#22 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 08:50 PM:

I recommend chicken soup. Stay warm. Remain horizontal as required. Feel better, get well, and perhaps you will be recovered enough to celebrate the New Year. If not, save it all for January 20th.

May all sentient beings be blessed. Joy to the world.

#23 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 09:00 PM:

(Mutton, mutton, mutton.)

Get well soon!

#24 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 09:02 PM:

Vile bug, begone! I detest being sick over holidays, and yet it seems to happen at least as frequently as not. Bloody bore.

I do hope you feel better soon, and that the bug is mild enough to warrant much catering to your whims while allowing you the energy and awareness to enjoy dreaming up more and more whims.

#25 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 09:02 PM:

I hope you feel better soon and that you're both able to enjoy Christmas in spite of the bug.

#26 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 09:08 PM:

My wishes for a gift of good health to you (and all), for Christmas -- and in the interim, warm blankets, comfort food, much rest and appropriate amusements.

I'm currently wending my way slowly through the back archives of The Boston Globe's Big Picture, which seems to be well suited to slow-minded browsing, without being overly dull or frustrating to the more lively -- perhaps it might also distract you ;)

#27 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 09:09 PM:

Feel better, Boss. And for heaven's sake, tell Santa to bring you a Healthy New Year, will you please? You are, as I have said before, a National Treasure.

#28 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 09:10 PM:

Best luck recovering, and I hope you get well soon!

#29 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 09:21 PM:

Stay warm and get better!

#30 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 09:26 PM:

I'm happy to trek out to wherevertheheckyouliveistan and deliver some soup or something if you want me to. I can wear a filter mask if it makes you feel better. Let me know.

#31 ::: Darice Moore ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 09:29 PM:

Oh, no . . . we just spent a month cycling through that (there are four of us, so every time one got better, another got worse). We are still trying to escape its clutches. Get all the rest and fluids and what-all else you need, because this bug's a tough one.

I hope you feel better soon!

#32 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 09:59 PM:

So sorry! I hope that a peaceful holiday under the covers brings better health. Don't forget the liberal application of hot booze.

#33 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 10:02 PM:

Kelley and I may have gotten that same bug. (But let's not compare symptoms.) Been out of action since Monday morning.

Hope (a) you feel better (b) the bug doesn't spread to PNH or the rest of Brooklyn (c) you wind up having a merry Christmas, happy New Year, and glorious Patrick's Birthday.

"God bless us, every one!"

#34 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 10:13 PM:

I hope you get some rest and get better soon!

#35 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 10:15 PM:

If you build a better sheep, the androids will beat a path to your door. And who needs that? (Okay, if you've had a lot of snow, it might be a good thing. Never mind.)

Hope you're feeling better soon.

#36 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 10:19 PM:

Aw, drat. Best wishes on mending, and thanks for the insights, fun, and comfort you've me and so many others all year.

#37 ::: Shay Caron ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 10:29 PM:

Oh, ouch. It seems like bugs are going around; my parents and brother and grandmother have all had colds or worse recently, and we had to postpone one of our family Christmases because of it. Hope your recuperation is swift and complete!

#38 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 10:33 PM:

In situations like these I recommend the Julian calendar: ta-da, you now have 15 days until Christmas.

I hope you feel better soon.

#39 ::: Ingrid ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 11:13 PM:

Get Well Soon, Teresa! May you have all the necessary magic potions close to hand, plus soft handkerchiefs, warm feet and lots of TLC. And Merry Christmas (don't worry, it'll be there for you when you're better).

#40 ::: janeyolen ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 11:17 PM:

Dear T--virtual chicken soup and love. This has been a rotten year for you on the health front and the sooner it has gone, the better.

Especially since you need to be healthy to come to Boskone to celebrate my Big Birthday.

xxxJane

#41 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 11:24 PM:

May it pass swiftly and lightly and not return in this year or another.

Chicken soup is all very well, but don't neglect the codeine, either, or similar as suits your metabolism.

#42 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 11:36 PM:

Oh dear, I hope you feel better soon. Here is virtual chicken soup, and if you lived nearby, I would bring you the real thing.

Hope you have plenty of reasons, and occasions, to celebrate in the coming year.

#43 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2008, 11:48 PM:

If you're stuffed up, hot and sour soup. Ginger tea is good too, and also helps an upset stomach. Oh heck, you know all that stuff - rest, plenty of liquids. Be as comfortable as you can, get well soon, and party when you're up to it.

#44 ::: Nina A ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 12:15 AM:

I hope you feel better soon.

#45 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 12:16 AM:

Oooh, ick. Sympathies.

#46 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 12:20 AM:

Queep. Bless you all. Abi, shaping better? as in "it's shaping well." Shapen, sheepen. There are sheep in Brooklyn but they do not safely graze, being sold on a "DIY, or we'll do it for you here" basis. Chicken soup is a basic component of takeout Chinese, and has been had. Nancy, a fair small hamster arrived: thank you!, and is being reshaped. The post office did something dire to that card. Xeger, Big Picture, always fab. They're doing best-of-year wrapups now. Mad, Santa never comes through on the health stuff, so this year I've asked for a new and better president. Also, if I've been good enough to warrant it, we could use a loud and persistent left-wing troll for the moderators to thrash at Boing Boing. Santa keeps lists of who's been naughty. He's bound to know one. Bill, just for science, did yours knock you down like you'd been poleaxed? Marilee, thank you, that's fascinating. When one has a bad fever, shoemaking seems plausible. I shall decide as Herodotus said the Persians do. Kathryn, Julian calendar, excellent thought. Jane, surely your 60th was recent? I remember it in great detail.

May you have the best of Christmases, may your lamps stay lit, and may the long night once more be turned away.

And now, I'm going back to bed.

Veni, veni, Emmanuel, captivum solve Israel, qui gemit in exsilio, privatus Dei Filio.

Veni O Sapientia, quae hic disponis omnia, veni, viam prudentiae, ut doceas et gloriae.

Veni, veni, Adonai, qui populo in Sinai legem dedisti vertice in maiestate gloriae.

Veni, O Iesse virgula, ex hostis tuos ungula, de spectu tuos tartari educ et antro barathri.

Veni, Clavis Davidica, regna reclude caelica, fac iter tutum superum, et claude vias inferum.

Veni, veni O Oriens, solare nos adveniens, noctis depelle nebulas, dirasque mortis tenebras.

Veni, veni, Rex Gentium, veni, Redemptor omnium, ut salvas tuos famulos peccati sibi conscios.

R: Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel nascetur pro te, Israel.

#47 ::: Xopher in darkest Culver City ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 12:52 AM:

Drat. What a spoilsport sickness is! Recover with all speed, o beloved Teresa!

May the flame of Yule burn in all our hearts; may it warm the chilled, cleanse the sick of all illness, and spring forth as joy in our eyes, to be shared with all in need!

#48 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 01:52 AM:

Teresa, get better soon. I hope that the darkness of your illness goes away now, even as the day is returning following the solstice.

#49 ::: Xopher in darkest Culver City ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 02:18 AM:

Light is returning
Even though this is the darkest hour
No one can hold back the dawn

#50 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 02:24 AM:

Ack. No fair. Get well soon!

A student arm of GT (PFRC, at Michigan Tech) used to celebrate Christmas in late December. As in December 45th or so. Trying to fit a Christmas party into the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter breaks was difficult at best, and often impossible, so we'd extend December. (I've used 'celebrating Orthodox Christmas' to explain belated Christmas events for years.)

#51 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 02:30 AM:

Teresa, get well soon! And have as merry a Chrismas as possible. (Everyone else too, as merry as possible of whatever holiday you're having.)

And as we close out Advent, here is a lovely site about the O antiphons and "Veni veni Emmanuel."

(And in both Latin and English here for those whose Latin is rusty.)

One night last week in Walmart I was in the craft section (where they had Valentine stuff!) when suddenly the PA system started playing "O Come O Come Emmanuel," and I rejoiced that they were actually playing a song appropriate to the actual liturgical season!

#52 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 02:33 AM:

Ooops. Misspelled Christmas. :(

#53 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 03:21 AM:

Wellgettings and sunreturnings, and joyous contemplation to you.

#54 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 04:59 AM:

TNH @46:

-schap is generally used to noun* an adjective, but I can't say I have enough feel for the language to place it to "shape". (Native speakers? Feedback?) The other word with it that I most often use is gemeenschap, which means "community"†.

Schaap, of course, is sheep.

-----
* Yes, thank you, I am Teh Eeeeevul for using that
Gemeen means common, with much the same range of meanings as in English

#55 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 06:42 AM:

Adding my hopes for a speedy recovery, and wishes to you both for a peaceful Christmas and guten Rutsch ("good slide") into 2009. ML is a gift every day, all year long.

#56 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 07:00 AM:

Get well soon!

(I loved your Christmas card.)

#57 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 07:11 AM:

Here's hoping it's not flu.

(The UK is officially in the worst flu outbreak for 8 years, which, coinciding with a norovirus outbreak, is making hospitals over the festive period very un-fun places indeed; and given the level of international travel these days, I'm expecting to see word of a US flu outbreak real soon now. On the other hand it's H3N2 Brisbane flu, the current UK vaccine covers it, and it looks like we've dodged the H5N1 bullet for another year.)

#58 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 07:50 AM:

Argh. Hope you get well soon.

#59 ::: John Dallman ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 08:02 AM:

Get well soon. Happy holidays, to you and to everyone else.

#60 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 08:18 AM:

Take care of yourself, Teresa. Best wishes to you and Patrick for Christmas and the New Year.

I hope this might cheer you up!

#61 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 08:22 AM:

Oh no! Hope you feel better soon...

#62 ::: R.M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 08:39 AM:

Get well soon.

#63 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 08:59 AM:

May you get what so many of us wish for at this time of year: peace and quiet. Merry bah and a happy humbug.

#64 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 09:18 AM:

Ack! It's no fun being sick, and doubly so in the holiday season. (The worst Christmas I ever had was the one time I was felled by the flu.) I hope you are feeling better soon, and I hope the local Chinese places don't run out of chicken soup.

And while you're sick, you might listen to the songs of The WHO*, such as "Phleghmball Wizard", or "Flu Together", to take your mind off your troubles.

*As in World Health Organization, not some strange musical group no one's ever heard of.

#65 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 09:21 AM:

Oh, dear. May you heal swiftly, and completely. And may we all have a quiet, healthy holiday/end of year, and a better 2009.

(Me? I'm hoping for a healthy, boring 2009, myself.)

#66 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 09:21 AM:

I posted this elsewhere, but it's one of my favorite cures. It comes from an earlier edition of Goodman and Gilman's Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics:"[H]ang one's hat on the bedpost, drink from a bottle of good whisky until two hats appear, and then get into bed and stay there."

#67 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 09:27 AM:

Abi @ 8 -
Beterschap*, Teresa
-----
* that does not mean "better sheep", just in case anyone was wondering

I thought you'd missed an 'n', and were telling Teresa that she'd probably feel better with the application of some Kirschwasser....

#68 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 09:33 AM:

and hopes for a swift recovery to Teresa, and a Merry Winter Holiday of your preference to all!

#69 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 09:38 AM:

I'll join the chorus of "Get Well Soon!"s and "Happy Holidays to All". (I'd like to say those in some interesting language, but the ones I know have already been taken.)

Best wishes,
Faren

#70 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 09:44 AM:

Abi @ 54... Schaap, of course, is sheep

...which is 'mouton' in French.

#71 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 09:59 AM:

Get well soon!

#72 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 10:33 AM:

Merry Christmas and get well soon!

#73 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 10:54 AM:

May the Evil Bug run its (not-too-Interesting) course and pass from you soon, leaving you refreshed in spirit and ready to rebuild your physical fabric.

With good luck (which so many of us wish you), this could happen in time for you to Celebrate some of the latter ten days of Christmas, or at least the Feast of The Epiphany.


#74 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 11:47 AM:

Teresa, best wishes for a warm and peaceful Christmas, and I hope you get well quickly.

#75 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 12:02 PM:

Oh, dear. Very best wishes for a speedy recovery, Teresa. And may your Christmas be as merry as possible, under the circumstances.

...I understand that hot buttered rum is quite therapeutic.

#76 ::: Schizohedron ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 12:35 PM:

'Tis the season, evidently, as I'm also down for the count with something that feels very much like flu. (Jim Macdonald's "Cold or Flu" post was of great comfort; my self-diagnosis will be verified in about an hour by my doc.) I wish you a speedy recovery, Teresa, and a safe and restful holiday season to the Making Light community.

#77 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 01:52 PM:

Feel better soon, and have as merry a Christmas as possible!

#78 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 02:01 PM:

What everyone else said.

May Santa bring you all the chicken soup you desire, and a quick recovery.

#79 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 02:09 PM:

Sending varieties of chicken soup, Hot and Sour soup, and a fine selection of teas your direction. Heal up and have a peaceful joyous holiday.

#80 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 02:34 PM:

Twelfth Night celebrations are part of a grand old tradition. Let them be encouraged! Unlike naughty viruses doing bad things; to be definitely discouraged.

So you have enough chicken soup already. (Is that possible, even?) Hot and sour is a good booster; ginger for your stomach's sake; but to get you strong and back on your feet, go the congee, with egg in if'n you want protein strength. And when you're cold and miserable, then eel will get heat into your bones (or hot toddy and mulled wine <g>).

'Veni O Sapientia', yes indeed. And much praise to Hagia Sophia, close to my heart.

Speedy healing to those ill, strength and comfort to them afflicted, and peace and joy to my fellow entities around the round globe as the day flows across it.

#81 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 02:35 PM:

Best wishes, and feel better!

#82 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 03:03 PM:

Teresa, I hope you're feeling better soon, and I'm glad the hamster arrived (Nancy saw the need for an emergency hamster, found the pattern, provided the thread, added the eyes, and mailed, I did the crocheting.)

I recommend Sweet and Sour Eggs, a recipe from the German half of my family. It has nice strong flavors that you can actually taste while congested, making it a lovely thing while sick. As my father says "It looks awful in its blackness, but is delicious."

Heat a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil in a deep nonstick frying pan. (Use a bland, generic oil that has no taste.) Add 1 cup of sliced onions, and 1 cup of sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until it is a deep brown - darker than peanut butter, but not as dark as dark chocolate. Say a good quality milk chocolate.

Add 1 cup of white vinegar. The sugar and onions will promptly solidify and turn black, stir until this dissolves. The vapors as this happens are wonderful for cleaning sinuses.

Add 1 cup of water, and simmer about 10 minutes.

Poach eggs in this, cooking until the yolks are well done. Serve with lots of boiled potatoes or rice.

I usually double the sauce, as it is quite easy to reheat and poach a couple more eggs as needed.

#83 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 03:14 PM:

Sympathies. Get well soon.

#84 ::: Ken MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 04:52 PM:

Happy Christmas, and Get Well Soon.

(The Hallmark card for flu years! Now in carbon-friendly electrons!)

#85 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 06:23 PM:

#54 is -schap equivalent to -ship ?

#86 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 07:23 PM:

TNH writes at #46:

Bill, just for science, did yours knock you down like you'd been poleaxed?

If you mean, did it leave me completely uninterested in climbing out of bed for about 24 hours?, yes. If you mean, was the onset sudden?, no, it stretched over many hours.

Saturday night we were visited by a family who had spent the previous week battling a stomach bug. They thought they were over it. Monday morning, Kelley and I came down with the same thing, nearly simultaneously.

No fever, I think.

#87 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 07:41 PM:

Feel better!

We've had our traditionally British Christmas dinner (roast beef, roasted potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding - but on the Eve) and are now watching Hogswatch. Someday, we'll have to be in England over Christmas to see if we do anything differently.

#88 ::: Janet K ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 07:43 PM:

Get well soon!!!

#89 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2008, 10:31 PM:

Laurie Mann @87: Someday, we'll have to be in England over Christmas to see if we do anything differently.

That reminds me; Dr Who Christmas special!

Teresa, get well. Hope I don't catch it (wash hands after posting).

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