Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Keep the 'X' in Xmas!

Listening to: A Reggae Christmas

First of all, in a rare political comment on this blog (ya'll know where I run my mouth on that), I'm not buying the hype that we secular humanists are out to destroy Christmas. I have no problem saying "Merry Christmas", I don't shudder at the site of a creche (in fact, I set one up a couple weeks back at my parent's house) and my kids know all about "Baby Jesus". Christmas Eve, at the dinner table, I'll bow my head and keep my trap shut while someone says a prayer; for those of you whining that secularists, Jews, observers of Kwanza or Winter's Solstice or celebration of Saturn are ruining Christmas, you may likewise bow your head and shut your pie-hole.

End rant.

For my part, I'm trying to keep the X in Xmas. Last year I bought her a nice pair of diamond earrings and although I'm not as financially well-off to get her anything nearly as nice as that this year, still, she'll get something from me and know that I still love her. We've had our differences, sure, and the other 364 days can be a test of creative compomise. Gift-wrapping my thoughts of, "We shared a life together, we share three beautiful children, and for all of that I am so grateful," is the very least I can do.

By and large, Christmas is for kids and, as such, my kids need to know that their mom and dad respect one another. My kids need to know that that Christmas is not just about Santa Clause or carols or lights or even Baby Jesus but about giving, and giving from the heart. They need to know that the number of presents under the tree isn't what's important, it's the love within those presents that matters. Oh, I know that on Christmas Day they'll be insane with excitement, they're not going to take time for abstractions. It's the payoff of the rest of the year that makes it all worthwhile.

So it goes with X. "You matter, today," isn't the message, "You matter ALWAYS" is what I want to say. Not because it helps us navigate calm waters in the gulf of divorce (although every little bit helps) but because it needs to be said. I'm grateful that we're not consumed with resentment or game-playing or character assissination, I appreciate the care and respect and love we share. We could be a lot worse off. As I said, keeping the X in Xmas is the least I can do.


Laura said...

You have a good heart, Jim! and a good father!

Wish you and Lilly, Marnie & Zeke a Merry Christmas!

JenL said...

When my X and I first split, that was my goal: mutual respect, a dignity in our behavior toward one another, learning to tread the waters of co-parenting though not co-habitating.

Little did I know how rare it is for a couple to pull that off. Little did I realize the emotional damage that can be done when one of the parents decides to stop playing nice anymore, and the other is left explaining what the hell is happening.

Keep up the good work, my friend. Your kids deserve it, yes, but it's good for both you and the X as well.

GraceD said...

Excellent, excellent post. This should be published in a parenting magazine.

Glitzy said...

Very well said! Catching up on your blog today...hope you have a great New Year's!