my love,
     at the end of 2016 i remember making a comment about how for such a terrible year, i'd actually had an amazing personal one. cut to 2017, a year that was easily even worse of a dumpster fire than 2016, and i can say without hesitation that my personal year was even better than last. while 2016 for us was filled with tension and learning and too many needless reconciliations, 2017 was filled with reassurance and support and comfort. that's not to say we aren't still learning, or that we don't have things to reconcile every so often, or that we weren't just as good to one another in 2016, but the contrast is damn near stark.

i don't think it can be said enough how much being with you has changed me and helped me to grow and just made me understand myself and the world a lot better in general. you walk through this world with such grace, compassion, and self-assuredness that i find myself wishing more than anything that i could emulate. as cliche as it is to tell you that you make me want to be better i can't deny the truth to it, but you go beyond that; you serve as the perfect example of how to be. it's not to say you're not a work in progress just like i am but looking at us is like -- when you're working on a project and you have to call it quits for the day, you're the one who cleans up his work space before going home and i'm the one who just leaves everything scattered around including the scissors half open hiding under a piece of construction paper.

christmas to me has always been a day of family and gift giving but not so much a joyous spirit filled holiday season. i don't feel any holiday magic and i don't care about christmas cheer, but when you run around the house with your christmas music and movies it's infectious. it's impossible not to feel...fuzzier. i'm not not joyous even on my worst day, but i'm not cindy lou who holiday spirit joyous either and sometimes you make it really hard not to be. you just make this time of year mean more. you make everything mean more.

basically what i'm saying is i like what you've brought out in me. i love everything inside of you and it's nice to feel pushed by that to rise and meet you because i'm nothing if not incredibly proud of the person that you are. for my birthday you said your goal was to remind me how loved i am and for christmas that's all i want to be able to do right back.