Christmas picA thousand years ago ~ or so it seems ~ I was anticipating The Best Christmas Ever, the first one with our first-born daughter.  Though she was only four months old, Christmas was magical again, something that was missing without children around.  

I re-imagined Jesus as a swaddled, manger babe, angelic choruses and Bethlehem star, men wise and bearing gifts or shepherds humbled and astonished.  

Intertwined with such romantic notions were Santa pics and miles of traveling, first to my in-laws for a night and then to my father's house for the same.  I couldn't wait!

Days before we were set to travel, Rachel got a cold.  I didn't think much of it–December is the Season for cold and flu, afterall–so we packed up our car and went over the river and through the woods to Noni's house.  

Just like every other new parent, we quickly learned that a baby worsens as night unfolds, the darker the hour, the meaner the symptoms. 

At bedtime, family scattered throughout my in-laws' home; Rachel's pack-&-play was set up in the dining room…where both of us would eventually spend the longest Christmas Eve of All Time.  Me, trying to console (and keep quiet) a pitiful child, her, in obvious pain and distress, unable to breathe, sleep or settle down. 

It was miserable.

The next day included a wonderful Christmas feast, presents to the overflow…and a three-hour drive to my father's house.  I was the Grinch before his heart grew three sizes.

After another sleepless night, we realized we couldn't wait until we got home to see our pediatrician, so we set about to find one in my hometown.  My childhood physician had long since retired, but we were able to locate a doctor willing to see us the day after Christmas.  We would've paid anything to find relief for our baby girl (and we likely did).

Long story short, ear + upper respiratory infection = prescription + baby Tylenol.  Bet most of y'all saw that coming.

Through all the inconvenience, frustration, and empathy for my sick baby girl, I learned something of value that first Christmas; something that would serve me throughout my children's infant-elementary years:

Always travel with my medicine cabinet in a Zip-loc bag.

What did I include?

  • Age-appropriate Tylenol.  Acetaminophen can be used for children as young as six months (maybe younger under a doctor's care) so that's why I chose it over Ibuprofen.
  • Nasal aspirator (aka snot sucker).  I always felt like I was sucking out their brains when we used it, but it was the lesser evil of a child who obviously needed help.  This is probably when I discovered the truth of "This hurts me as much or more than it hurts you!"
  • Medicine dropper.  For littles, it's necessary (and the grandparents didn't keep one on hand).
  • Age-appropriate decongestant.  Funny, but I never stuck with one thing; whatever a doctor or friend referred.

and when they got a little older (two-ish),

  • Vicks VapoRub.  I was likely conditioned from childhood that Vicks VapoRub was a NECESSARY remedy for cold symptom relief; there is no other scent on the planet that better reminds me of TLC. 

And I'm not alone in that; if you look at the Vicks VapoRub Facebook page (and I hope you'll LIKE it while you're there!!), fans frequently reference its feel-good scent and nostalgic appeal.

Which, in turn, makes me think about the scents of this season.  My favorites?  Freshly cut Christmas trees, soup simmering on stovetop, cookies fresh out of the oven and savory turkey and dressing.  Mmmmmm, all

VicksVaporRubYour turn:  What are your favorite scents of the Season?  The aroma that spells comfort, home, peace, holidays?  DO chime in with what and why!  For fun, I'll choose ONE commentor to receive their favorite DaySpring product, $50 or under. 

UPDATED:  Congratulations to Tiffany and Christina who will BOTH receive their DaySpring wishes!!

(From me, not sponsored by DaySpring.  Click the DS Christmas logo in my right sidebar and let me know what you'd like if you win.  Entry deadline for giveaway is 11:59 EST 12/30).

 (Thanks to Vicks VapoRub for inviting me to share my thoughts through the Cough and Cold Season!  I'm actually having a LOT of fun telling stories and sharing memories through their Winter blogging campaign!!)

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