Last year, we had this big, heavy-chested anticipation over Christmas morning. We were so excited, because we were staying home, and we didn’t have the hustle surrounding company; we decided we’d go a little present heavy. I even built a train set around the tree and had it running when David came out of his room.

The kids deserved it.

We didn’t see it coming; at first, the air of Christmas and hot cocoa and music all commingled while breakfast wafted through the house from the oven. David was excited by the train, and all the packages that weren’t there the night before when he went to bed.

We decided to open gifts in the traditional sense, with the kids seated amidst a pile of gifts as they shred paper and ribbon, giggling as they realized what each gift was…

At least that was our vision.

We completely failed our son.

We didn’t consider anything that he would experience in that process; the noise, the commotion, the lights, the surprise with each gift… the smells, the expectation, the pace…

Cue the epic meltdown, and two parents with good intentions, looking at each other dumbfounded – trying to figure out what happened.

We decided to slow down. We let David move about at his own pace. He came back around after a bit, and we realized we had based the day on our expectations – not his needs. We made a promise that we’d never let him down that way again.

So this year, we pivot.

Yes, we’re hunkered down. No, we’re not having company.

Yes, there’s a pile of presents. No, there won’t be a formalized opening.

Yes, we have hope.

No. We don’t have expectations.

We’re pivoting; letting our son decide for himself how much, how fast, and how long we’ll take to experience him enjoying Christmas in his own way.

Here’s to hoping.

Merry Christmas, everyone. We hope you, your family and friends all enjoy the warmth that comes from a spirit of togetherness.

With Love,
Hurricane Heffners

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