For his day job, Nate works as a first responder in the field of public health and safety.
Basically, this means he's the guy who's there when everything hits the fan. During the holiday season – as you might imagine – his work amounts to a TON of overtime. People are extra-busy this time of year, which means that things have a tendency to go extra-wrong. And he's not one to bail on a situation just because the clock ticks to a certain number. Nope! Helping people through difficult times is a start-to-finish job, so the hours are long and the days are plentiful for this holiday hero.
While he's busy saving lives, I try my best to make his time with family as bright and merry as possible. Every year I inquire about what he wants for Christmas and every year, all he asks for are “memories with the kids.” He wants more than anything to see the faces on his children as they light up over everything from snow (Sidekick's favorite thing) to Santa Claus (Some Boy's newest obsession).
So I try to make those cherished moments possible, even when time is limited.
We had a couple hours to go take a gander at holiday lights the other night, so I decided to make it an extra-memorable occasion! I got a tote full of Nate's favorite drink, Coca-Cola, and filled it with goodies to make holiday light-watching even more special. He's a stickler for tradition, and the glass bottles are a must-have for him this season. I nabbed some of the classic Santa Coke bottles and filled the tote with a scarf and some popcorn for the ultimate snack-snuggle experience.
I was on van-driving duty as he and Some Boy scoped out the best holiday light spots, peering over our country cliffside while the sun went down. There aren't that many houses out here in the hills that go to the effort of decorating, so it was like a festive, fluorescent little scavenger hunt!
We set our sights on a glowing spot in the distance as the sun settled in for its slumber. When we pulled up, our chosen destination shone warmly and Nate and I glanced happily at each other over the tote between us.
We'd picked the right spot.
Dancing lights flashed to the tune of Let It Go, and Some Boy tapped his little feet to the familiar beat.
Coke made for the perfect refreshment, particularly out here on our not-so-chilly SoCal streets.
I watched the father-son duo share a couple bottles, and I smiled to myself knowing that I'd managed to play an important part for someone who's usually busy being so important to everyone else.
It's comforting to usher in the holidays with my own hero. The least I can do is provide a little comfort in return.
You can put together a holiday-light-watching tote like I did, with any assortment of goodies that you like! Just grab a tote of Coca-Cola bottles and add some festive snacks and scarves or a light flannel fabric for a cozy night on the town. The printable tags I used can be downloaded HERE. Even if you've already gone out to see holiday lights this season, those tags plus a few Cokes could make for a sweet drink setup at a holiday potluck!
Who's your family's holiday hero? Have you taken time to celebrate them this year?