Finding Dad Time During the Holidays

I have to say: I’m looking forward to seeing a movie this week as much as I am looking forward to Christmas. I’m not a Grinch, mind you. I’m not out to steal your roast beast or shove your tree up the chimney and make off with all your little Who-gifts.

In fact, we’ve hit the Christmas sweet spot this year, with a five-year-old in the house who absolutely loves everything to do with the season and fervently believes a fat stranger will materialize in our chimney-less city pad to leave her gifts while reindeer wait jingling on the roof. It’s awesome. It’s fun. We are having a blast.

But man, I can’t wait for one thing.

I can’t wait to go see the latest Mission Impossible movie. It could be any movie, really — War Horse, Muppets, you name it. This one just seems like the most action-packed of the season, and I know my brother, in from China, will be thrilled to go see it with me. So we’re planning to sneak off for a couple hours one night this week.

Parents need these little breaks. From holiday crafts to cookie decorating parties to PTA meetings and end-of-year school parties to last-minute gift shopping, there’s a lot to do. My wife just took a day to have a massage and go to her favorite craft fair — a well-deserved break for a woman who busts her ass day in and day out to keep a roof over our heads. She rocks. And if she wants to go get a rub-down by some muscly dude with monster hands, I’m all for it.

I’m not into massages. It’s a little too cold for fishing right now. And I admit I’m a sucker for blow-em-up action movies, so I’m choosing a night to take two hours for myself. It’s not that difficult at night, because the kid is in bed and my wife is at home, either plugging away at the laptop or finishing up some craft or other. It’s easy to sneak out. And it’s relaxing and soul-protecting for me to slip into a movie seat and watch the trailers begin. It fully recharges my batteries and gets me ready for the big week ahead.

How about you: Do you manage to slip in a break over the holidays? Or is it all work work work? Also, and here’s the interesting question: Who gets the first break? Mom or dad?


Photo: Get the Big Picture

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