The last couple of days I haven’t been able to get Christmas out of my head. Not (just) because every department store except Nordstrom’s is blasting the holiday music already, but because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year and it’s throwing my core belief system off-balance.
I’m a firm believer in attending church on Christmas when it lands on a Sunday. You stop opening presents, you change out of your Christmas Eve pjs and you get your butt in a pew. If you consider yourself a Christian and your church is having worship on Christmas Sunday, you go to church!
Here’s my dilemma: as of last summer, “Jake” now has “Em” from 2:00 PM Christmas day until the night before school starts again…
If Em flies to her dad’s house, she can take a 5:05 PM flight out of John Wayne airport and be at his house around 8:00 PM; there are no earlier flights on Christmas day after 2:00 PM. If Jake chooses to drive down and pick her up, then they’ll leave town at 2:00 PM and not reach his house until 8:00 AM the next day at the earliest if he drives safely.
My stress is this:
I haven’t heard from Jake on his pick-up plans for Christmas day. Lately he doesn’t talk to me or respond to anything unless it’s Em calling him in response to his text message to me asking her to call him. And every time they talk, Em and Jake talk about how much closer Christmas is, but never about how she’s going to get to his house. I don’t know if he’s already purchased her airline tickets yet; if he hasn’t, it’s gonna cost him a pretty penny to do so closer to Christmas (currently nothing less than $300 round-trip). If he pulls what he pulled last year, I won’t know for certain when she’s coming home and I’ll have to pay half of a very expensive last-minute return ticket because he didn’t plan (again) in advance. But, at least I’ll be able to spend Christmas morning with Em and my family and still attend church.
If Jake chooses to drive down to pick up Em, then do I still go to church in the morning? My Christmas morning with Em will either be shortened or we’ll have to get up a couple of hours earlier than usual. As it is, I don’t go to bed on Christmas Eve (or, rather, Christmas morning) until around 2:00 AM because I attend the 11:00 PM service at my church on Christmas Eve (non-negotiable in my mind), then have to wait for Em to fall asleep before Santa delivers her presents. Getting up an extra 2 hours (the average worship time including post-worship mingling) to guarantee that I get a decent Christmas with my daughter would probably mean I’d be functioning on half of my brain cells.
A part of me wants to talk with Jake about his travel ideas for Em, but knowing that he doesn’t like talking to me and has yet to discuss anything about Christmas with me, I kinda just want to wait until he starts the conversation. As a father of two in his 30s, one could expect that he would already have the round-trip plane tickets purchased (being that Christmas is just a little over a month away) and he’s just so busy with his infant son that he’s forgotten to send me the confirmation email.
Probably time to start saving money now to bail out his butt when he realizes that the plane tickets are so expensive and I’d rather pay half than get to deal with Em’s realization that her father has, once again, been late on the planning aspect of his time with her and her hopes of meeting her little brother are dashed.