Thursday, December 23, 2010

You Never Forget the First Time

A few weeks ago, Linda said that she just didn't feel Christmas-y. She says this every year, and I remind her of that fact every year. I’m not sure what a Christmas-y feeling feels like. I have some idea, of course – something warm and fuzzy – the holiday equivalent of comfort food, but I don’t think it’s that simple. It might be a reference too far removed, but I'm going to equate it to what the writer Tim Cahill says about adventure: “…adventure is simply physical and emotional discomfort recollected in tranquility.” It’s all about the looking back, and it’s that way with Christmas, too. I have fond memories of every Christmas I’ve spent with Linda, but I probably didn’t feel anything special in the days leading up to those Christmases. The fondness for the holiday is rooted in remembering. So, when someone asked me today if I had special feelings about this Christmas – since it’s our first Christmas with Violet, my first Christmas as a father, I had to stop and think. Did I? I felt guilty when the only answer I could find was, “No.” I tried to backpedal a little, claiming that my lack of feeling was probably because of the fact that Violet has no idea what’s going on as far as Christmas is concerned. Sure, I got her a present or two, but I could’ve gotten her a Cadillac. Her reaction would be the same. I shouldn’t feel guilty, though, or try to explain it – I don’t feel anything because this Christmas hasn’t happened yet. Maybe other people aren't wired this way, but now that I have time to think about it, I have no doubt that next year, ten years from now, or fifty years from now, I’ll remember this Christmas fondly. It won’t be as elaborate as the ones to come – I won’t need to dress up as Santa or wonder aloud if I hear Santa’s sleigh or hide presents in a closet somewhere – but it will be the first one where Christmas ceased being mostly about me and Linda.

33 days old

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