Project Emily Advent: Day 9

Project Emily Advent: Day 9

In what ways are you like your father?

Today I attended a charming holiday party at my friend’s home. There was a beautiful hot chocolate bar, where I loaded up my mug with whipped cream, caramel sauce, and nutmeg. I sat with a few other guests around their dining table, where we colored pages of various Christmas symbols. I was quite dedicated to my image of a stained glass Christmas tree, and didn’t leave my chair for nearly two hours. The activity lended to easy conversation, giving our hands a way to stay busy and our eyes a rest from unrelenting eye contact. We started talking about movies, and I shared that while I’d only seen a handful of movies in theaters this year, my husband and I went to the movies once or twice a week before our daughter was born. Another party guest inquired if I actually liked the movies I saw or if I just liked the pastime of going to the movies.

My dad is a movie guy. He loves going to the movies. When my family lived in New Zealand during my middle school years, we went to the movies often. It was the perfect family activity for a rainy day (in Auckland, where there are a lot of rainy days), but we also did it because my dad loved it. So we loved it, too. During my teen years, my dad drove my sister and me at least 30 minutes one way to see a movie, which we did with regularity. Almost as much as the movie itself, he relished the time spent in the car afterward, regaling us with the best scenes, asking our thoughts on the characters, and discussing the weak plot points. When my sister and I begged to be allowed to watch the Twilight movies, my dad watched the first four films at home with us, before taking us to see the final installment in theaters. I can’t imagine they were very entertaining for him, but he stayed engaged enough to be able to converse with us about our thoughts and opinions about them, and at the very least make a lot of jokes about vampires and their bodily functions.

December in my parents’ home meant night after night of holiday movies leading up to Christmas Day. This is what I miss most about living at home. Even though I still spend Christmas Day with my parents every other year, I love the build up to Christmas with my family even more than the day itself. The nightly movies, the Advent readings, my dad appreciates anticipation.

My dad takes so much joy in anticipation. Anticipating a milestone, a special family get together, or trip is an integral part of the experience for him. My dad will never miss an opportunity to bring up an upcoming event, parsing out all of the delicious details of what we’ll do, what we’ll love, how great it will be to all be together. We’ve been talking about how exciting this Christmas will be with my one year old daughter since last Christmas when she was just a newborn. My husband Peet often teases that my family will enjoy the planning of a trip more than the trip itself. My parents are planning on taking our entire family on an international trip more than a year from now. People in my life have laughed at my excitement and discussion of something that is seemingly so far away. But that’s a huge part of the enjoyment. Why enjoy only what a single day or single journey has to offer when you could be thinking, dreaming, discussing it long before it arrives? It’s the thrill of hope.

I love that about my dad. I love it about me.

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