On Veterans Day, I begin pulling out the Christmas decorations and listening to Christmas music. I can’t wait to get started with the festivities. It is truly my favorite time of year. My friends roll their eyes and laugh. No one really gets why I don’t wait until after Thanksgiving to get into the spirit.
I have one simple answer, my Dad.
When I was a little girl, my Dad pulled out his Christmas tapes (those small square plastic things we use to put in something called a boom box) and we began listening to Christmas music weeks before Thanksgiving. Dad would pull out his VHS tape of White Christmas and we would sit and watch it together while drinking eggnog. His love of the holidays always had my mother getting the Christmas decorations up early.
This year, as I decorated my house too early and started listening to Christmas music before the rest of my family was ready, it was bitter sweet for me.
Of all the times of year for my dad to be facing something difficult it had to be Christmas, his favorite time of year. While I decorated my tree and drank hot chocolate with my kids, the fact my daddy will be having surgery eight days before Christmas weighed heavy on my heart. Knowing that there is a possibility that things might not go as planned makes celebrating this time of year, that he taught me to love, hard. Growing up isn’t easy. Getting older isn’t fun. Watching your parents age and face things such as cancer is scary as hell. I continue to keep a smile on my face, while I bake goodies with my kids and read them their favorite Christmas stories. Even though the little girl inside me who has always trusted her daddy to take care of all her problems, is really, really scared.
With each year that passes things change. Some things I miss terribly like sitting around my Mama Potts on Christmas Eve listening to my uncles play their guitars and sing or the Christmas days I spent with the Campbell Clan at my Granny and Grandad’s. I think about the three kids sleeping just down the hall and I realize that those past Christmas’s never really brought me the joy I get from watching my kids enjoy this holiday. So, I’ll continue being Mom because the scared little girl inside has three little kids who depend on her. No matter what happens, I’ll make sure this Christmas is still a magical time for them. Why? Because my Dad would have done it for me.