Who am I to deprive the people of what they want? Just for the record, I need no prompting to write anything about Abby.
The first lesson that my wife Kate and I learned as we entered our first Christmas season as parents was that in the future, we need to be a united front and buy gifts together. As it was, we mostly bought gifts separately for Abby this year so that we would surprise each other since, our baby girl was only a little over three-weeks-old when Christmas Day rolled around. Going forward, buying two sets of presents will likely get very expensive.
And why will it get so expensive? Because her daddy is a lunatic, who loves nothing more than to spoil his baby girl. Kate did plenty of spoiling too, but it definitely seemed like I was the one who went way too far overboard, instead of only slightly overboard like my better half.
The real problem with all of this was that, incredibly, I felt as though I had actually exercised some self control when out shopping for Abby’s presents. I saw skates on sale, and laboured over just which size and model I should get for her for close to half an hour before deciding that, they will probably be on sale again at some point, and this can wait until next Christmas, or maybe her birthday.
But, it’s not like I really learned any sort of lesson about age-appropriate gifts for a newborn from the whole to-buy-skates or not-to-buy-skates ordeal. As Kate discovered on Christmas morning, the giant box taking up all of the real estate in our living room contained a soccer/lacrosse/hockey net complete with all of the necessary equipment, which would lead to this exchange with my wife.
“Did you happen to see where it says ages two to six right here on the front of the box?”
“Well, she will be that age eventually. And besides, isn’t that just a recommendation?”
As you can see, I am lucky enough to have the most patient and understanding wife imaginable.
But, I’m happy to report that it wasn’t just Kate and I that went just slightly crazy with presents for our baby girl at Christmas, this case of gift giving fever seemed to sweep up our entire family, as again and again, Abby had almost as many presents as Kate and I combined.
Everyone told us that having a newborn baby around at Christmas would make the occasion that much more magical, but like almost everything else I had heard leading up to Abby being born - just like how you almost immediately adapt to whatever surprise should await you when you peel back a dirty diaper to ‘just because she’s a girl, you’ll still probably get peed on’ (five times and counting, by the way) - I couldn’t really appreciate it until it was actually happening to us.
The whole experience of our baby’s first Christmas was magical, in particular, the lack of driving as compared to, well every other year of my life. As children of divorced parents and those with in-laws can attest, most Christmases can become a marathon of family gatherings. I’m happy to report that it finally does slow down slightly once you have kids of your own.
It lead to some great moments, like seeing my brother Brandon hold a baby for the very first time, changing Abby into all four of her Christmas-themed sleepers over the course of the day, Abby sitting with Santa, the shock expressed by my Mom when we didn’t invite her to change Abby with us and having that extra place setting at the breakfast table with Kate’s Mom and Dad. Abby managed to make Christmas even more special for everyone just by being there.
Seeing the joy in everyone around us, having this amazing new addition to our family was present enough for both Kate and I this year. We really are the luckiest parents, and I have a hard time remembering most of what I got for Christmas, because the best gift we could ever dream of was delivered on Nov. 30, our baby girl.