If you managed to get through the holiday without losing power, you’ve been more fortunate than thousands of others across Michigan, including the Siarto family. Our power went out at 2:00 AM on the Sunday before Christmas. I was so worried about Zelda as the temperature in the house slowly started to drop overnight—she was only three weeks old at the time.
Our power stayed out for a full week, right on through Christmas, but it ended up being an amazing experience. It actually seemed like a reminder about what Christmas should be about. We had generous offers from family and friends who were willing to take us in for the week, and I’m truly grateful to be reminded of how lucky we are to have them in our lives.
We spent the first full night without power at my parents’ house. They lost power too, but they have a generator, so we had heat, hot water and a few lights. My sister’s family lost power and was there too, so we all played games by lantern light.
It got cold in the house that night, and once again, this paranoid new mother was worried about Zelda being too cold without full power, so we drove down to stay with Jeff’s Nana in West Bloomfield for the next few nights, right on through Christmas morning. This was also our chance to do some laundry (oh glorious laundry—there’s nothing like not having the ability to do laundry to make you realize just how much laundry a newborn generates, especially with cloth diapers).
I was really looking forward to our first Christmas morning in our house, but in a lot of ways, this ended up being better. We got to spend some extra time with both of our families. Power came back on at my parents’ house on Christmas Eve, so we ended up with 13 people staying overnight there on Christmas (my brother was in town from Florida with my niece, my sister was still out of power with her husband and two boys, Jeff, Zelda, me, my younger brother, my Grandma, who was in town from Northport, Michigan and my parents). It was probably the first time in a decade that all of my siblings slept under the same roof, and although it was a bit chaotic at times, I totally loved it (and my mom did too—she’s already plotting to make it happen again “on purpose” for next time).
It was also nice to have a little extra help with Zelda throughout the week. There was no lack of helpers willing to watch her or hold her for a few minutes while I showered or got a few things done. And although I was ready to get home after a week away, I’ll always have particularly fond memories from the Christmas of 2013. Baby’s first Christmas was a bit of a wild one, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.