This Christmas

 

snowy card 002

With the many commercials and ads running, countless sales at stores, Black Friday turning into a week of crazy madness; everyone already knows: Christmas is coming soon. This year I am actually excited about Christmas. It has been quite a while since I’ve actually been excited about for a holiday. Especially Christmas. Being excited for the holidays again is a special feeling.

Generally there isn’t much to be excited about during holidays in prison. Holidays, even just the bank holidays that no one really celebrates, just means no mail. On the more major holidays the prison is usually locked down because too many staff members stay home. Lock downs are a form of punishment, yet thousands of inmates spend their holidays locked in their cells for no other reason than people didn’t show up to work. Which means we usually don’t get to use the phones to call our families. This is why I couldn’t call my family on Thanksgiving this year. Holidays in prison are bleak, often worse than the average day.

On four holidays a year, the prison system grants an extra day of visiting. Which is why I am excited about this Christmas, my amazing mom is giving Emelia and I the gift of a visit for Christmas. Now Emelia is going leave her home to drive nearly four hours and spend Christmas Eve in a hotel room  just so she can spend Christmas with me. All to make my Christmas special. I could never thank my mom or Em enough for this special gift. They are both amazing women and I am blessed to have their love.

While Emelia and I will be together on Christmas, our day won’t include the delicious smells of Mom’s cooking. We won’t see any decorations, no bright colorful lights, and I’m pretty sure there won’t be a Christmas tree. We will not be allowed to exchange or unwrap presents. There won’t be any homemade cookies, no joyful Christmas music…unless I can get Emelia to sing for me and believe me I will try!

What makes our Christmas special is simple. It is us spending time together, our gift to each other is just that: time.  Having the opportunity to be with family on Christmas to celebrate together is what truly matters, not a gift you can unwrap, but the love you share. Being together is the greatest gift I can ask for. For Emelia and I to get to spend Christmas together is special, making this the best Christmas I have had in many years.

I am once again excited for Christmas. I am counting down the days just like I did as a child. Only this time I am not waiting for Santa to come. I am eagerly counting down the days until I can spend time with the woman I love on Christmas as it is meant to be celebrated, with family.

So please enjoy your families this Christmas. Give an extra hug. Say I love you. Spend a little more time enjoying your holiday meal. Do not take a single moment for granted. Love your families and know how precious the time spent together truly is.

Merry Christmas everyone!

blog post and artwork by Sean O’Brien

About Sean & Emelia

In 2003 Sean O'Brien was wrongfully convicted in El Dorado County, CA and sentenced to Life Without Parole at the age of 16. We have been friends since grade school and are now married. Sean and I move forward together with the knowledge of his innocence, our faith in God, and hope that he will rightfully regain his freedom. Until then we embrace our journey wherever it may take us, cherishing each moment we have together and staying true to ourselves. This blog is about the past we share, our fight for freedom, life as it exists for us, and our path toward the future, whatever that may hold. Thank you for allowing us to be heard. God bless.
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3 Responses to This Christmas

  1. Cindy McMicken says:

    Merry Christmas Sean. You are amazing and your blog reminded me that Christmas is about love and family. Enjoy your time together.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel Skutley says:

    Merry Christmas Sean!!!! I hope your visit is amazing. I want you to know how much I love you and miss you and think about you often. This blog is awesome by the way!

    Like

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