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James Otto Excited About First Christmas as a Dad

Rick Diamond,

With his baby girl, Ava Katherine, turning four months old on Christmas Eve, James Otto has a lot of be thankful for this holiday season. “It’s the most amazing thing that I’ve ever been through,” he tells The Boot. “I was terrified to have kids before we had one, but now I can’t imagine being without her.”

He admits fatherhood has been a learning curve, but an enjoyable one. “All of it is a surprise, just all of the emotion that’s involved,” James says. “It’s such a huge thing and you can’t believe how attached that you get. There’s just a lot involved about being a dad that you just can’t imagine before you really are.

“My favorite part about being a dad is the early mornings with her,” he continues. “She’s always in a good mood and always happy and really smiley. Getting up early and spending those couple hours with her is always my favorite part.”

As for Christmas gifts for Ava, “there’s a lot of clothes that need to be bought,” he says with a smile. “They go through so much stuff. She’s growing fast, so I think a lot of clothing and toys.”

The Otto family will be celebrating Christmas in multiple locales. “Christmas is all about travel for us because there’s a lot of family to see,” James says. “We’ve got [my wife’s] family and then my folks divorced when I was young, so I have family on both sides of the country. My grandfather lives in North Dakota now, so we try to see everyone. It’s kind of like that movie ‘Four Christmases’ for us.”

Though his family listens to Christmas music, he says they aren’t the type of clan to sit around and sing their favorite carols. “No, we don’t do any of that,” he says. “We’ll listen to music, but I don’t pick up a guitar or do any of that stuff. I’ve never learned a Christmas song ever. I don’t know how to play any of them.”

He confesses he’s not particularly a fan of Christmas music. “I know I’m the Grinch, but there aren’t a lot of Christmas songs that I really yearn to hear year after year,” he says. “My wife hates it. She always wants me to learn some Christmas songs. I’ve heard them since I was a kid and it’s a tradition and I know I’m going to sound like a big jerk, but it’s not the part of Christmas that I look forward to. It’s the family part of Christmas that I love the most, being with family.”

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