Today I say goodbye to the kids for a week, after a wonderful Christmas with them. I come from a family that vaunts the holidays, particularly those that have occurred recently. So, as a single dad, I have to battle inner voices that say, “This holiday is more important than that holiday.” Of course, every day with the kids is a gift, thus my struggle with thoughts that one day on the calendar is more important than another.
Do I get them enough on Thanksgiving weekend? When should we eat on Christmas Day, based on when I pick them up? How important is New Year’s Eve, really? These are some of the inner conversations that I have — and have to battle — during this time of year.
It’s funny, because I know some families that don’t really care if they celebrate Christmas on December 25. They’re happy to have their kids and celebrate on the day that’s most convenient — whether that be when they’ve got the the kids, or when other relatives can make it into town, or when their work schedule permits. But for me, that date on the calendar still plays a big role in my emotions of when I’m with the kids this time of year.
So I was happy to have them for a few days before Christmas, and I took them to a waterpark in Brainerd. And it was a joy to pick them up on Christmas Day and spend the past few days building Lego sets and Matchbox Car tracks.
But today is a farewell, and I won’t see them for a week. And, as a single dad, I’m once again confronted with the bittersweet emotions: Joyous for the time I’ve had with them, and sad for the New Year’s Eve I’ll miss.
On the other hand, I’ve got some great adult New Year’s Eve plans — going to my cousin’s wedding — and I’ll be happy to say goodbye to 2009 and ring in 2010 with people I love (one in particular).
And I suppose I’ll celebrate the New Year with my kids, on January 5. Hey, that’s the 12th Day of Christmas! Maybe it’s time for a new holiday tradition…