Christmas is past us now, and we are embedded in a New Year. We now look ahead to new opportunities and growth. December was a tough month for me mentally, but I was able to find some quiet time and put some thoughts onto a page.
A Merry Christmas
Christmas. A wonderful time of year for so many people. Yet, an exhausting mental climb for many others. In the last several years, it has been incredibly hard for my mind, body, and soul to celebrate the winter festivities. My “Christmas Spirit” is tuned out by the internal hum of “Scrooge-ness”. Swamped by guilt, regret and grief, Christmas time has proven to be a tumultuous storm of emotions. As I progressed into adulthood, I was about ready to write Christmas off entirely to save my mine the torture.
However, the world threw me a curveball in the form of my Fiance, and her children. Our union is a well documented motivator for me. One of my biggest transformations is my newfound Christmas excitement. Amber, and her children taught me over the last two years just how much joy is left in the holidays. More importantly, they taught me that Christmas is not about me. It is not about “Making it through the holidays.” They have broken Christmas down to an atomic level, and I can clearly see everything that goes into it. Magic, Excitement, Love, Art, and Family.
The last two years have been absolutely magical for Christmas in our home. Yet, this year has a grandiose weight to it. Previously, I was getting my feet wet in this whole “Christmas as a Step-Dad” role. I was observing traditions, reminiscing about traditions I grew up with, as well as learning all of the “Holiday Parent Hacks” from Amber. Mom’s are wizards when it comes to this stuff. This year, my place in the family is solid stone. Their traditions have become mine. AND we have added one more child to the family for this Christmas.
Our oldest recognizes this as “Aubrey-Rose’s First Christmas”. Our 3 year old is at a new level of independence, reliability, and routine… This Christmas is going to really stick to these kids forever. Knowing that this Christmas will mean so much in the history of this Family we are building, I felt obligated to write this letter addressing each of them. To thank them for the magic in their hearts that they’ve been so generous to share.
Lost Without You
This year is so important to me. I know this isn’t our first Christmas together, but the last 2 years were really about me getting my feet beneath me when it comes to this whole Christmas gig. This year, me and your mother have had a BLAST getting things ready. Even when it wasn’t easy, we were filled with joy and what we have been able to put together for you. Parental guilt has a way of making you feel bad no matter what when it comes to your children’s holidays, but the smiles on your faces makes that go away immediately.
Serena and Logan, thank you from the bottom of my heart for welcoming Aubrey-Rose as your sister this year, and looking forward to helping her celebrate her very first Christmas. She is so lucky to have two siblings like you lighting her way in this world. Serena you are sure to teach her how important it is to have an open heart, with enough room for the world. Logan, you will teach her just how important it is to march to your own drum, and how to have the fighting spirit it takes to strive in the world.
Aubrey-Rose, you will probably never remember this Christmas. Therefore you’ve gotten an inside look at the mechanics behind the magic. Meaning everything from us was wrapped in front of you. That freedom will be gone next year, and the true mysteries and magic of Christmas will unfold for you. I cannot wait to be met with one great big Christmas Morning Smile from my dimple faced girl.
Amber… You are a super mom. Watching you engulf these kids’ dreams, and manifest them into a reality underneath our tree has been a pleasure to watch. Where other parents would have dwindled, made substitutions, your heart was set and you did not take “Out of Stock” for an answer.
You have your very own, very real struggles with Christmas. Watching you struggle the whole month, yet still take every single action to ensure your kids’ don’t have the same emotional baggage under the tree is a superhuman ability.
Thank you all for re-igniting my Holiday flame. Thank you all for being the best Christmas gifts a father could ask for. Now let’s top this one next year shall we?