“A Different Kind Of Christmas” Single Now AvailableNovember 3, 2014 4:20 pm 10 Comments
Two years ago, my wife Kate’s wonderful father passed away from cancer. It was August 2012, and our first born son, his only grandchild, was just six months old. A few months later we found ourselves in the garage, unpacking Christmas decorations, and as I handed Kate a box of ornaments, I noticed she had tears in her eyes.
“What’s the matter?”
She looked up at me and tried to smile and said, “It’s just a different kind of Christmas this year.” We both knew what she meant.
Her dad had been such an important part of our Christmas celebrations over the years. Cooking delicious Christmas dinners, taking all of us to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church, making us watch the original Babes in Toyland with Laurel and Hardy. And, ever since Kate was a small child, he had written her a note (left-handed) from Santa and left it with the partially eaten milk and cookies on Christmas morning. It was one of his ways of telling her how much he really loved her. He’d write stuff like,
“Your parents tell me you’ve been a really great little girl this year.”
Kate always cherished those Christmas letters. Then, once we got married, the Christmas letters started to include things about me too.
“Kate, you’re doing really well at your doctor work. Mark, you need to learn to fix things around the house.”
With Kate’s Dad absent from our Christmas festivities nothing was quite the same, and I wanted to write what that felt like and put it in a song as a tribute to his life and legacy. But I also wanted to remind us of the hope we have when we know a loved one has gone on to be with our Creator in heaven.
Since I finished “Different Kind of Christmas”, I’ve played it for several close friends, and I’m surprised at how many people have been impacted by the loss of a loved one around Christmas. Something about the season makes us miss them even more.
The great thing about this song, though, and about my father-in-law’s life, is that it has a hopeful ending. It’s one of the most special and personal songs I’ve ever written, and I cannot wait for you to hear it. I hope you’ll share it with someone else that may need to hear it this Christmas too.
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