The other day my wife Wendi asked me if I was going to do my usual make-fun-of-Christmas-by-applying-it-to-some-current-issue-in-the news cartoon. "But of course", I replied thinking of some of the fun I could have at the expense of, say, Ukranians going to the polls on December 26. She didn't really need to remind me of what we as a family have experienced this year wondering out loud if I could consider some deeper and more personal commentary to make this Christmas.
On November 6 we faced the tragedy of having our second child die only 5 days before she was due to be born. It's an awful experience and it's something that'll we'll never get over. We'll never arrive at that place commonly referred to in modern day psychology as 'closure'.
So in a rare move, I'm showing a bit of my sentimental side this year with my Christmas editorial cartoon. That's my almost 3 year old daughter Gillian in the above cartoon. (The reflection of her in the ornament looks a lot more like her in real life. My drawing of her looks a bit cartooney, almost like she resembles her beloved Dora the Explorer.) In the Hamilton Spectator it appears twice the size of my usual allotted space and is printed in brilliant colour. My family will get a big kick out of it and I'll bet Gillian will be pretty impressed by it as well. We're blessed with our little girl and while it's a bit of a cliche to depict the happiness at Christmas time through the joy expressed in a child's face then...oh well. While there'll always be sadness for the loss of our baby Kate, there'll still be the happiness and comfort Wendi and I have for Gillian.
It may be that I'm just getting older, but those old pictures of cheery kid's faces at Christmas just aren't cheesy to me anymore. Merry Christmas everyone...