Good Intentions

December 24, 2002 – 11:15 am by Aaron

Every Christmas season I have such good intentions of getting cards out the day after Thanksgiving and getting every person I know the most thoughtful gift imaginable. Every Christmas season I disappoint myself. Tomorrow is Christmas and nary a card has gone out. We’re pretty broke this year and the thoughtful gifts are going to remain mostly just thoughts. When does it get easier? When will I learn how to manage my time. When will I be financially independent and able to do the things I dream of doing? Christmas is so darn hectic: get up early to drive to Jen’s sister’s in Diamond Springs and watch her nephews open gifts (they’re young boys), then try to leave there in the late morning to drive to my mom’s for gift opening and Christmas Dinner. There’s always someone who wants you at their house and you have to tell them you’re sorry, that you’re not going to be able to make it to their house this year. Next year, Liam will be a year and a half old and I think my days of having to travel for Christmas are going to be over.

After re-reading this post, it sounds a bit scroogish and that’s not the feel I was going for, nor do I dread the holidays. I enjoy getting up early and going to see the rest of our family. We have a great family and it’s a joy to spend holidays with them. I guess I just sometimes feel that we spend a lot of holiday time with Jen’s family and mine gets left behind a little bit. It’s probably not true, just a skewed perception I have because things are so different now than they were when I was young. It also makes me sad that my brother Wes, who is 17 now, didn’t get the full family Christmas experience that I always got, because our dad left when Wes was 10 – I was 26. Sometimes I feel responsible, well guilty really, that I didn’t do more, or wasn’t more of a presense in his life after our dad left and I think some of that guilt still carries over into Christmas when I’m spending the morning with Jen’s family instead of mine.

Wow, I didn’t want this to turn into a post about broken families or guilt or blame or any of that. All I wanted to do was point out that I always have good intentions for the holidays but then run out of time or don’t manage my time well.

Have a great, safe, exciting and blessed day tomorrow. Merry Christmas.

  1. 2 Responses to “Good Intentions”

  2. We all get caught up in the should haves, wish I could haves etc. at Christmas. Please don’t feel guilty about not spending Christmas morning at my house though. Christmas is about taking our guilt away!!! I love having little children around on Christmas morning, so don’t get me wrong, I would love it if you and Jen and Liam were there first thing, but one of the sure things in life is that things will change. Some things change gradually and we make new traditions and some things change suddenly and unexpectedly, but they always change. The best thing we can do is just go with it!! I know I preach that better than I do it (I realize I can be pretty intense, but I am working on it). You and Jenna, and now Liam, coming in the afternoon and being there for dinner and maybe playing some games, is something to look forward to after the frenzy of Christmas morning gift opening. And next year I expect you will want to be in your own home for Christmas morning—-then how do I choose between your house and Melanie’s?
    As for being a presence in your brother’s life since your dad left, you have done a good job. You can’t be a dad to Wes, you’re his brother and he needs that relationship. You can be a good example to him (and you are), you can encourage him but you can’t fill the role of a father. You spend time with him and do guy things with him and I am grateful for that. He sees you being a good daddy to Liam and nurturing him. He is learning how to be a good dad from seeing you with your son. He sees you pray and try to lead your family in ways pleasing to God. You have him do jobs at your house that teach him about taking care of things and helping others. You can share your feelings with him about your dad leaving, and that helps him to share his with you as well. You are a good brother to Wes and that is important. No one, least of all me, expects you to be a dad to him. Just continue to spend time with him as a brother. And, thank you. I love you!!!

    By Mom on Dec 26, 2002

  3. Kinda cool that you posted all that, I was thinking a couple weeks back about how much you have done for me since dad left. Just know that I appreciate it all. I love you bro

    By Wes on Dec 27, 2002

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