The struggle of the first time father trying to make sense of it all in the madness of everyday life, liberty and the never-ending pursuit of avoiding a diaper blowout is all too real.

And when the holiday season comes around, it’s far too easy for new dads to fall into the trap of hoping everything comes out just perfectly to make sure both mommy and baby are experiencing the best first holiday season a family could ask for.

There’s pictures and holiday parties and awkward exchanges with the in-laws.

All it takes is for a misplaced recipe to wind up with some meat in the trifle, a screwed up holiday dessert and a ruined first [insert celebrated holiday of choice … because we’re equal opportunity like that].

Our resident comic strip extraordinaire and longtime friend from way back in the day, Dallas Busha, recently stepped feet-first into his first holiday as a new Dad.

You know Dallas from his ridiculous artwork. He’s the boss behind the amazing comic series DaddyUP, featured exclusively here on

For this post, he’s breaking out, stepping up and into the role of writing to share his experiences this holiday season, his first as a first-time dad.

The Holidays, Year One as a First Time Father
by Dallas Busha

A little known fact about my wife and me: we’re nuts for the holidays.

It’s nothing specific, just that combination of the scary movies and costumes of Halloween, and the bright lights and general magic of Christmas.

Our focus, however, has recently shifted. I know you’re at the edge of your seat by now, so please, read on to find out why.

My daughter Emily was born in April and this marks the first year my wife and I will be celebrating the holidays as parents. It’s a simultaneously exciting and scary time for us.

The pressure has never been greater.

And yet – how amazing is it to experience this season with our daughter for her very first time?

Our excitement was at an all-time high at this point. We didn’t know how my daughter would react to the general craziness of the holidays.

My wife was planning event after event, and I was more than excited to see everything through Emily’s little eyes.


So let’s get into the real test. First up was Halloween. My wife and I went crazy trying to find that “perfect” costume for our little girl, while she sat there sucking her thumb looking at us as if we were crazy. I mean, who could blame her?

Anyway, I thought she would make a great donut. My wife didn’t agree. Can’t imagine why. We finally agreed upon a little lamb.


I had these big dreams of trick or treating with her all night, hitting every house in the neighborhood. So naturally we ended up going to about five houses on our street, which turned out to be just enough, really.

It was a great experience, and even though our daughter didn’t realize its significance, my wife and I loved it. So Halloween was a win.

Genius baby

Thanksgiving is a unique holiday. For us, like most, it’s all about family. An opportunity to take a step back and appreciate each other’s company. My daughter appreciates everyone’s company, and she was a miniature celebrity on Thanksgiving.

Just her presence brought up everyone’s mood and made it feel more like a “holiday.” The only thing that she wasn’t involved in was the annual backyard football tussle. Oh, and I didn’t have to share my turkey because she’s a baby. So, yeah. Thanksgiving was a win too.

Up next will be the big test: Christmas. My daughter is already mesmerized by the sparkling Christmas lights she sees at every department store we shop at. It will be interesting to see her reaction to Santa Claus.

And she’s just old enough to enjoy ripping presents open, even if she doesn’t understand why she gets to engage in such sport.

I can see it now. We wake up on Christmas morning (mom and dad much more excited than baby) and place our daughter in front of the tree and her glorious menagerie of presents.

My hope, of course, is that she goes to town on those presents and rips them to shreds like she’s Godzilla terrorizing Tokyo.


Next year, though, is where the fun will really begin. When she’s old enough to be excited for the holidays. If you’re a new father, my only advice to you would be enjoy this. 

For 14 years my wife and I experienced the holidays as a couple. And then, suddenly, there were three. Just the fact that we had a third member of our little family changed the entire experience.

The holidays are about her now, and I wouldn’t change any of it. I’m sure it will get harder every year, but when we’re all old and incontinent we’ll be daydreaming about these golden days.