Christmas – 2018 and Beyond – Part 1

For Janice


It’s the holiday season, and with that comes a bit of emotion.

I remember talking to a friend of mine a few years ago and asking him how he was feeling about the approaching holiday season.

“I’m not that into it this year.”

Neither was I.

But that was back in 2014 when he was struggling with his marriage and my ex-wife was hell-bent on suing me for 6 months of back child support from 2004.

But all of that is gone now.


Rittenhouse Park is beautiful. Lights hanging from the trees and the lovely Christmas tree at the center of it all.

All of that nonsense has been settled, but I find myself today trying to get into the Christmas spirit. The weather has been fair, and I see the Christmas lights in the Square  but it still doesn’t feel like Christmas.

I’m waiting for that surge. It should happen because for once I’m not suffering at the hands of some entity.

I spoke to another dear friend of mine and he was in the same state. He said that he and his girlfriend had begun decorating but he wasn’t quite there either.

I started watching Christmas shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime and listening to Christmas music, but still… not that spiritual pull that I was expecting.

I was wondering, what was up this year?

I don’t have any challenges and things seem good, so why can’t I get into it and feel the joy of the Christmas season this year?


I’ll tell you why.


Because for the first time in my life I realized I’m filled with the Christmas spirit every day of the year now.


The curse that has had its grip on me my entire life has been lifted.


All of the bad relationships, depression, anxiety, crazy girls, debt, stuff, dumb assets, shitty jobs and crappy people are all gone.


My life is simple and happy now.


There’s an elegance in that.


My daughter Lorelei has lived with me for the last 4 years. She did it to escape the clutches of her mother and has flourished here in Philly. She has a great job! She’s been in a healthy relationship with her boyfriend for nearly 4 years and he’s a great boy. I love that guy. He’s good to her and that works for me. As long as baby’s happy, I’m happy.

I like my job and all is well. I like my co-workers. I’ve been told we’re the best team they’ve ever had.

Words like that mean so much.

So I’ve been wondering about the whole Christmas spirit thing this year.


But it’s already been here, all year-long.


My friends, my wonderful family, my daughter, my work, just my life in general.

The reason I’m struggling to get into it is because I’ve been in it all year the whole time!

There’s no Christmas spirit I need to “get into.” It’s already present everyday!

That’s why I’ve been searching for it with Christmas carols and movies and twinkling lights.

There’s no need.

I live in Christmas now. The simplicity of my life is beautiful for the very first time. No more problems. No more challenging relationships or negativity to deal with anymore.

All of it…. is long gone.


But Someday…


I’ll be long gone.


But today, in this moment, I’m looking forward to seeing my sister Janice and the rest of my sisters and family at her annual holiday party.

It’s actually close to Christmas this year and that will make it even better.

That gathering IS my Christmas now.

It’s the only living relic of what Christmas is, or was in my family. Jan has done it perfectly for more years than I can remember. I love that I can always count on the consistency of that event and how it’s so perfect and fun every year.

I remember going to holiday events when I was a kid. There were your sisters and your cousins. There were your parents. There were your aunts, uncles, and your grandparents there.

A lot of old people. Kind of boring and you had to be on your best behavior.

But now I attend this event and I see how life has changed.


Life does what it does.


Everything that begins… ends.


But it’s not over yet and hopefully this tradition will be carried on somehow through the family.

I stand in my sister Janice’s kitchen and realize that now my sisters, cousins, I are now the senior members of this tribe.

We are surrounded by beautiful young people.


We, are now the elders.


My daughter, my nieces and nephews…. all beautiful young people looking forward in their lives. We, are now our parents, and at some point may become our grandparents.

Life rolls on and there’s no way to stop it. So you should think about that and think about how precious TIME is.

Embrace it.

My father used to say: “Befriend Time.”

I know what he meant: Time is something that should always be close to your heart. Because life is fleeting. What you’re enjoying today or even if you’re struggling it may be gone in a year from now. For no reason… other than time.

If you’re suffering from a break up or a lost friend, please know that the only thing beyond all of your friends and therapy that will fix you is TIME.

It fixes everything and you have no control over it. You simply have to live and keep going.

Go forward no matter what.

If you feel like you’re trapped in a relationship, or a marriage or a job, take a moment and think about your prison.


You can let go of the bars and watch as they fall away and you can walk right out of that prison.

You are the one holding onto those bars.


I can’t wait to see my family this holiday season. When I look into my cousin’s eyes I see my Uncle Jack and still miss him.


I miss you too, Mom and Dad so much!

You both gave us the most wonderful christmas’s that most children could only dream of. My sisters and I will carry those memories and cast them into our own children.

Thank you so much.

You were both so perfect in those moments.


Every Christmas morning was absolute magic.



But there’s more… (But it’s just stuff)

In addition to trying to get into the Christmas spirit I’ve been actively searching for Christmas music and new Christmas shows. I’ve seen and experienced everything Christmas in my 50 years on this planet. I watched the Christmas Chronicles, (Great. Love Kurt Russell.  Christmas with a View. Hot girl but clunky dialog and a predictable ending. The Princess Switch. LOVE. So fun, I adore Vanessa Hudgens and her world-class legs, but it’s a nice film and had my heart from start to finish.) Check ’em out. They’re all fun. (I’m becoming and old softy!)


Anyway… I’m really looking forward to seeing my family today.


Who knew I’d be trying to find out why I wasn’t in the Christmas spirit when it had been in me all along?


In this moment. This joyous fleeting day…


In a short amount of time…


This moment at my sister’s….


In a short amount of time….will all seem like a long time ago.



Merry Christmas to one and all!

Health and happiness to you and all of your families this holiday season.

Thank you for being a part of my life here on Phicklephillly.

It means the world to me.



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