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Home > Christmas > Story

Christmas Dads: The Things We Do for the Kids

by Michael Childers

Christmas lights
© Natalia Bratslavsky - Fotolia.com All rights reserved.

My back hurts, I'm cold and hungry, my knees hurt, my jeans might be ruined due to the mud and grass stains... and yet, I continue. Why? I'm not getting paid. It's not part of my job. My wife doesn't care if I do it. And yet, I continue.

Today I spent the entire afternoon and evening putting lights on and around my house. I live in a modest, two story home. I am petrified of heights, and yet I found myself today about 30 feet off of terra firma, attaching Christmas lights to the gutters and shingles up to the highest point on my roof. I spent hours outside in the cold, untangling strings of lights, diagnosing and fixing unlit strings, and until I ached throughout my body.

Of course, I likely sound like a curmudgeon at this point in the story. But, as I worked and toiled with thousands of lights for roughly seven hours, I found that I was as happy as a lark. In fact, I would do it all again tomorrow if needed. Again, I must ask why.

Before I tell you the obvious answer (see the title of this article for a clue), I need to put a little perspective on the story. I've been very stressed and busy lately. In fact, I would say that I've been downright depressed. Money is tight, I'm wondering where the extra money for Christmas presents will come from, I'm exceptionally busy at work, and my wife is working two jobs which gives me a greater burden of responsibility at home. To be quite frank, I had absolutely no motivation for putting up Christmas decorations of any kind.

I even entertained the idea with my wife that maybe I wouldn't put up the lights this year. Maybe we could just get a Christmas tree in a couple of weeks and let that be our only decorating for the season. But, alas, my children saw things a bit differently. This is how it went when I brought up the idea of forgoing the outside Christmas lights with my kids.

Me: "Hey kids. I'm thinking about not putting up any Christmas lights on the house this year."

The kids: "Oh. Uh, ok. Are you sure?" -- My kids are very understanding, which just makes this whole conversation that much more difficult.

Me: "Well, I guess I could put them up."

The kids: "Yay!!! We love you, Daddy. You're the best Dad, ever!"

Case closed. I'm putting up the lights.

So, as soon as I ate lunch after church, the rest of Sunday found me outside as explained above. Now I'm inside the cozy confines of my house, the kids are in bed, and I couldn't be more in the mood for Christmas if I was jolly ol' Saint Nick, myself.

Christmas boy
© Joanna Zielinska - Fotolia.com All rights reserved.

Feeling a little "out of the mood" for Christmas? I stumbled upon the remedy today. Just look in your kids' eyes and see their unadulterated joy when speaking of Christmas.

I got unsolicited hugs and kisses along with "atta boy's" like only my kids can give. Even my wife caught the Christmas bug. She fixed a marvelous turkey dinner (no, Thanksgiving wasn't enough). We had a great dinner and then we went outside to savor Daddy's handiwork, where I enjoyed more thanks and hugs and exclamations about being the best Daddy in the whole wide world.

Yep. I would do it tomorrow in a heart beat.

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