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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How I bottled up that Christmas morning feeling in the month of April.


Christmas as a child was the most magical thing in the world. The most magical thing I can remember, anyway. I grew up in a middle class family but my parents always found a way to make sure we had more than what we wanted and way more than what we needed for Christmas. They had a close personal friendship with Santa Claus. I'm sure that probably had something to do with it.

I always loved the lights and the tree and all the Christmas traditions we had but let's face it, I was a kid and kids love presents. PRESENTS!!!! I'll never forget the feeling of waking up on Christmas morning; the excitement and anticipation of what was waiting for me under that tree. If you celebrate Christmas I'm sure you remember what it was like.

"What could it possibly be?"
 "Did Santa bring me what I asked for?"
"Come on Mom and Dad! Wake up! Let's do this!"

...and then I opened the presents. I don't ever remember being disappointed. There may have been slight disappointment here or there when I opened new socks but I was pretty easy to please and I don't THINK I EVER asked for too much. (I probably asked for too much every year.)

The most memorable gift my brother and I ever got was probably this giant G.I. JOE aircraft carrier that seemed to take up half of the living room. We played with that thing non stop and let our imaginations run wild. Oh man! It was great! Always great!

However, every Christmas toy I ever received inevitably got old and I got tired of playing with them. 

Every single one. 

Even the G.I. JOE aircraft carrier.

 I know. Sounds crazy; hard to believe. I bet you're telling yourself now as an adult that if you had a giant toy aircraft carrier that took up half your living room you would play with it every day and you would never get sick of it but I'm here to tell you that's simply not true. I understand. To be honest, as I'm sitting here typing this I've halfway convinced myself that if I had another G.I. JOE aircraft carrier that things would be different this time but experience tells me otherwise. I'd end up selling it again to make space. Hopefully for a lot more money this time.

Even the new bike gets old. The new football gets old. The My Buddy doll (please tell me you remember this). The new Nintendo, Sega Genesis or Play Station... 

you guessed it: 

GETS OLD. They ALL do.

There's always next year right?

If only there was a way to bottle that magical feeling of Christmas morning. 

What if I could dip my toys in the fountain of youth? What if a toy manufacturer finally came along and discovered a way to make a toy that never lost its luster? Is it possible? Could I wake up one morning and experience that magical Christmas morning feeling every day for the rest of my life?

Unfortunately, I never found a way to bottle up and experience that feeling every day as a child. Nope. Once a year and that was it. I had to wait 364 days for that feeling again. 

That's the bad news.

The good news is, now that I am an adult, I finally figured it out. Yep. After years and years of ideas, research, failed inventions and disappointment, I figured it out. Like a mad scientist I finally found the proper combination of ingredients to yield that good old fashioned Christmas morning feeling year round. My very own Frankenstein. Scratch that. That is a horrible comparison and it's not really true.

 I gave up on figuring it out long ago and then I finally stumbled upon it on April 3rd, 2011 with the help of my wife. We were able to repeat it on April 27, 2013. What can I say? April is a good month for us. We thought about moving our Christmas celebration to April but decided against it. That would just be unorthodox overkill.

By now you've probably figured out what this perfect gift that captures that Christmas morning feeling is

or

If you have children, you figured it out a long time ago.

MY BOYS.


How come on one ever told me?


People always told me I could never understand what a parents love for a child was like until I experienced it for myself but no one ever told me that it made every single day feel like Christmas morning and that I was going to wake up excited and full of anticipation for what each and every day with them held (and it would never wear off). It's a good thing no one ever put it to me like that or I probably would have gone out and knocked up the first broad I saw so I could get my hands on one of these real life "My Buddy" dolls...and that surely would have ended badly. ;)

 I just want to wake up and play with these perfect evergreen Christmas toys all day. Okay, truth be told, I wake up and tip toe around the house trying with all my might NOT to wake them up. That part is much different than Christmas morning. However, the second they do wake up or the second I walk in the door from work, we get down like it's Christmas morning, minus the turkey and stockings. I don't know what else to compare it to. It's the best feeling in the world.

Sure, they get older by the day but not in the way a toy does or any other feeling I've experienced in life. Their luster shines brighter by the day as you mold their malleable brain into the beginning of what you hope turns out to be a masterpiece. Four years into parenthood and I'd say they age more like a fine wine getting better by the year. Plus, I get a better buzz off of spending time with these little trouble makers than I could get from any wine.

I understand that not all parents feel this way about their children and that breaks my heart. I truly hope that as you read this you nod your head in agreement if you are a parent. If you didn't, I hope you can figure out why not and make a change to help get you there because they deserve to be loved like a child loves his favorite new toy on Christmas morning and you deserve to be able to share that love with them for as long as you both live. I have not experienced anything in this world that compares to pouring your whole self into a child. That quality time is irreplaceable.

If you do not have a child and you are reading this please do not go out and make one with the first person you meet because of what you read here. Trust me. It's worth the wait and you will be more equipped to handle these amazing gifts with a little age on you. I'll warn you, they are not exactly "better" than Christmas gifts in every way. I'd guess that it's safe to assume you never had a Christmas gift that:

  • actually cost YOU thousands of dollars just to bring home
  •  woke you up 5 times in the night by screaming (night after night.)
  • spit up a terribly stinky substance on you 37 times in the first 6 months you had it
  • pooped or peed on you
  • demanded your attention at all times that it wasn't sleeping 
...and that's just to name a few and you still got tired of these toys. Yet somehow these babies that become a full time job just make every day better and better.

Just a few hours ago at bedtime I told my 4 year old that I loved him and he replied:

"I love you too Daddy and don't forget, your ideas change the world."

I'm sure he got it from some movie or TV show and he probably doesn't even know what it means but it melted my heart and inspired me to write this blog post. I had him repeat it so I could have it on video to watch if I was ever having a bad day.


Truth is, in the grand scheme of things, I haven't had a "bad day" since he was born. Every day has been like Christmas. At one point before he was born he was nothing more than a possibility... an IDEA in my head. I guess my ideas do change the world... and for the better. They've changed my world anyway.













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32 comments:

  1. This is brilliant - couldn't agree more! A super post #brilliantblogposts @MummyFever

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    1. Thanks Charlotte. Glad you enjoyed it. #brilliantblogposts

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  2. Just what I needed to read with a newborn and a toddler and sleep deprivation! I just needed the reminder! #brilliantblogposts

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    1. Glad I could be your reminder. Thanks for reading Laura!! #brilliantblogposts

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  3. What a touching post dude! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

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    1. Thanks for reading and hosting as always. #brilliantblogposts

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    1. Thanks Gary and thanks for reading and commenting.

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  5. This is such a great post and of course I agree with you! It's always the magic and your imagination...it's the most wonderful thing!

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    1. Thanks so much. Glad we agree. Thanks for taking the time to give it a read.

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  6. I must reiterate how wonderful the magic of Christmas is too ;)

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  7. Great post! My daughter and husband are helping me to build up the ceremony of xmas as I never really celebrated it as a child. Gorgeous children btw!

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    1. Thank you so much Patfola. Good luck in your Christmas endeavors.

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  8. Hi Casey,

    This is the MOST touching blog post I have EVER read! Thank you so much for sharing this with us and for linking up to the #BigTopBlogParty!

    Wishing you a FABULOUS week ahead and a Happy Cinco de Mayo! ;-)

    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Welcome to My Circus

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    1. Oh, and that video totally melted my heart! What a precious son you have! Such a sweet little voice too! xx

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    2. Lysa, thank you so much. It means the world to me that my post was that touching to you. We had a great Cinco do Mayo. Hope you did too!!

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    4. You are more than welcome Casey. I just love the way you share your thoughts and feelings about being a father in such a real, passionate, and incredibly loving way! It always makes my heart happy to read those posts.

      My son, daughter-in-law, and I just had a discussion over lunch on Wednesday about how it is becoming more common for Dad's these days to openly express their love and feelings. You see, growing up all I ever saw were the old school Italian men who were too macho and proud, or something like that, to show those types of things. It is a generational thing for sure and only shows how old I am... HA! 😉 I think it's awesome the way you express your love for your boys and wish more Dad's realized how important that really is to a child.

      Sorry for the book... Hope you are having a great Friday and that you have an awesome weekend!

      Much love,
      Lysa xx

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    5. I just HAD to go watch that video clip again while I was here and had to tell you again that your son is so dang adorable! Makes me miss that age with my kiddos and makes my grandson even more! 😉 xx Lysa

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    6. Lysa, thanks again on the compliment about Cooper. He truly is a unique kid and he melts my heart daily.

      I recently had a similar conversation with my dad about how cerain men father. My dad is very loving and active in all of our lives he's not overly expressive but he's more expressive than your average dad. I asked him if my grandpa was the same way (my grandpa died when I was very young). He said he was pretty much the exact opposite. Similar to the type of father you described, kinda of too many to eXpress himself.. My dad said he never heard "I love you" from him even though he was still a good dad, just not very communicative. Dad decided to do it differently and he really set an amazing example for me.

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    7. Lysa, thanks again on the compliment about Cooper. He truly is a unique kid and he melts my heart daily.

      I recently had a similar conversation with my dad about how cerain men father. My dad is very loving and active in all of our lives he's not overly expressive but he's more expressive than your average dad. I asked him if my grandpa was the same way (my grandpa died when I was very young). He said he was pretty much the exact opposite. Similar to the type of father you described, kinda of too many to eXpress himself.. My dad said he never heard "I love you" from him even though he was still a good dad, just not very communicative. Dad decided to do it differently and he really set an amazing example for me.

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  9. What a truly brilliant post and so completely true I throughly enjoyed the read

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  10. Aww, this is such a sweet post and your boys are adorable! #BigTopBlogParty

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    1. Thank you for reading and for the sweet compliment about my boys

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  11. Hi Casey, I excitedly read your post hoping you'd managed to bottle the magic of Christmas and I could purchase some to share with my family mid June and I've had the magic all along...Well for eighteen years at least!...Except my bundles of Christmas morning magic are all attitude and hormones...But you are right; given the choice of attitude and hormones or having the magic of Christmas in a bottle, I would choose the first every time.

    xx

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    1. Ha!!! Debbie, all attitude and hormones! Funny. I hope I didn't disappoint you too bad and I'm glad you would choose the attitude and hormones over the Christmas in a bottle. Thanks for reading.

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    3. No your post didn't disappoint, but it was a close call on what I'd choose!

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  12. Hey Casey,

    I just found this reply in my inbox... So sorry for the delayed response.

    Funny how it all works out. My grandfather was the same way raising his kids but the complete opposite with me, my sister, and my brother. As well as my younger cousins who are the same age as my kids. My Dad is the opposite with all 9 of God grandkids as well. My brother on the other hand is the opposite of both of them with his 4 kids.

    Your lucky to have had such a wonderful Dad! Not saying my Dad wasn't wonderful but you hopefully know what I meant. I think my son is such a great Dad because his Dad sounds a lot like your Dad in the role model department!

    xx
    Lysa

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