My Christmas Summed up in Four Syllables 

“Dad, what’s your favorite Christmas song?”

Last Christmas it might have been “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

One year ago today, yours truly played my most important role to that point – Daddy Santa. I’m not even kidding. My daughters’ main Christmas wish was for their father to dress up as Santa and deliver toys to his eagerly waiting daughters.

A lot has changed since then.

Instead of snowy Seoul, I’m in sunny Doha – it’s 80 degrees if you needed a more specific definition of “sunny.”

Instead of Daddy Santa dressing up in full holiday garb, I’m sporting a matching adidas tennis outfit that I bought yesterday at the mall. (explanation to come)

Instead of bearing gifts to two little girls in their brand new Christmas jammies, I showed up empty handed with nothing to give them but a hug. Well and juice. (My contribution to breakfast)


To keep a really long story as short as possible, my bag still has not made the trip to Qatar. My bag has all of their gifts.

To preface this situation, I have a deep seated fear that anything valuable in my travel bags will be damaged, lost or stolen. I travel carry-on as frequently as possible. So when I check a 50lb. bag full of a few hundred dollars worth of Christmas gifts – I am just a little nervous. So yeah this was like my worst dream come true.

On the 22nd it finally happened.


Rage started to surface, so I prayed. Fear began to strangle my spirit, so I reached out to other addicts. Sadness and disappointment stuck me in the chest like sharp heartburn. I felt it. It did not feel good but I knew I couldn’t ignore it. Nor could I ignore God calling my heart to respond in a better way to crisis than I have in the past.

So instead of snapping on the airline agent on the phone – I had grace and patience. Instead of being consumed with negativity, I was able to still find things to be grateful for. Instead of blaming others or playing the victim role, I was able to have a sense of humor and trust that God is still in control. Instead of isolating or trying to control the situation myself, I allowed family members to help me by making calls to the airlines so no stone would be left unturned. Instead of just expecting or demanding help from others I was able to show gratitude to them.

So 2016 marks a Christmas Miracle:

No my bag did not come.

No I’m not getting back with my ex-wife.

No my lust addiction hasn’t vanished forever.

No I am not immune to the stirring of emotions when I spend Christmas with my daughters and their mother.

The Christmas Miracle is that, thanks to my program, I have tools to deal with what life throws at me. The miracle is that I am getting better and it’s definitely progress not perfection. The miracle is that one year from playing the hero of Christmas morning, I can humbly play the little drummer boy – and not even miss a beat! (see what I did there?)

The truth is I do have gifts to bring. My gifts are inside my heart and are far more valuable than princess dresses, puzzles, and coloring books. The gift will last generations and the ripple effect will eventually be far greater than the one caused by my disease.

So Merry Christmas to all who also have such complicated Christmas experiences.

May you all remember the mantra: “Pa-rumpa-pum-pum”


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