Tuesday, December 1, 2009


This may come a week or so late, but in this time of giving, and giving thanks, I wanted to list some things I am thankful for this holiday season.
  1. Being surrounded by family and friends who genuinely love our now 10-month-old son. As great as it has been to watch our son develop every day, it's been equally amazing at how much our family and friends have taken to him. Through holidays, family events, and now "play dates," so many of you have allowed our son into your lives, and for that I am thankful.
  2. Having a wife who allows me to be me, even when parts of me act out in a manner unbecoming of my best self. I get easily frustrated when things don't go "accordingly" with our son, like him not sleeping through the night or seeming to be sick every other day of his short life. Somehow my wife has stuck by me, understanding my venting process (for better or worse -- mostly worse), and helping me realize not everything will go perfectly. I've learned a lot about myself during this process of being a father, and I admit I don't like all of it. I'm trying to use what I learn as motivation to change certain behaviors, and I think my wife realizes this process is sometimes a slow one...
  3. Living in a country where I can speak my mind, at least virtually. Much to the chagrin of many of my "friends" I often use Facebook as a soapbox to air many grievances, mostly regarding religion and/or our government/politicians. I doubt I can change anyone's mind but at least I try to point out the other side of issues, or show that you can't always believe what you see at first glance. I don't like seeming like a snob, but I do feel people act in knee-jerk reactions, so pointing out what may not be obvious to someone at least makes me feel like I'm giving them the whole picture on an issue.
  4. Traditions. I have been called a Scrooge in the past during this time of year, believe it or not. I do, however, enjoy Christmas, just maybe not the way it is "celebrated" nowadays. I am a purist when it comes to Christmas decorations, songs, and any meaning to be gleaned from it all. I love classical imagery, original versions of classic Christmastime music, and the stories that framed how the holiday came about (there's no mention of "Christmas" in the Bible, of course). I don't enjoy the crass over-marketing of the holiday by retail shops, the hijacking of right-wing religious fundamentalists who argue that atheists or the ACLU are trying to "take Christ out of Christmas," or ridiculous versions of holiday music (yes, I'm talking about your reggae Christmas CD).
  5. Giving back. As many of you know, for the month of November I (and men all over the world) grew a moustache to help raise awareness and funds for prostate and testicular cancer. It was an organization called "Movember" and it was a pretty fun time. I had never really gotten involved in something like this, and I was really pleased to have stuck with it the entire month. It's nice to have my face back, but with the donations of so many friends and family members, it made it all worth it. I was able to raise over $1,000 for the cause, which was well more than I had ever imagined.
I'm sure there are more items to be added, but I don't want to get too sappy or too self-righteous, anymore than I already have. I look forward to celebrating the upcoming holidays with our son, creating new memories and holiday traditions of our own. It will be unlike anything else in my life, seeing the holidays through the eyes of my own child.

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