Making a list and checking it once – check!
Here’s me, settling down in front of a roaring fire, the Christmas tree alight, carols playing on the stereo, just one more week of school before vacation, and a teensy bit of eggnog in my Jack Daniels ... um ... I mean a teensy bit of Jack Daniels in my eggnog, of course ... just going over my Christmas list:
First, the kids. My daughter says she wants a good vacuum cleaner and a new crock pot, but what she really needs is some sleep. Both boys have been sick, taking turns staying home from school, and now Gracie’s been up all night hurling everything she’s ever eaten in her lifetime, evidently, and naturally, the doctor is no help, says there’s no cure, just hang in there, and fork over your co-pay when you check out. So, for Louise: a teenager who comes in every day to lasso the children while Louise takes a nap. Check. Sip.
My son-in-law wants a new sport coat and would love Panthers tickets (I know, but they have potential!) but what he really needs is some peace and quiet. Coming home every night to the stories, shrieks and jubilations of three little ones – not to mention a sometimes-shrieking wife – must be, while joyful, still a bit like entering a blasting zone. Chuck gets a good pair of earplugs and a book on meditation. Check. Sipping.
Robby says he wants a set of wine glasses and this great leather jacket. No dice. First, Mommy can’t afford a leather jacket, and secondly, what Rob needs is the right woman, who can share the wine with him and tells him she loves him even in a ski jacket. (Gracie just turned 3, and I’m ready for the next grandbaby, and Louise says it’s his turn, plus I don’t think he’s eating right and someone needs to get a handle on that, and it won’t be the typical giggling coed!) Rob gets a subscription to Match.com. Check. Two sips.
Eight-year-old Charlie wants a CD player of his own and some CDs, but Gaga already went broke on this Skylanders game for his birthday, so I’ve warned him that does it for Christmas, too, which he was so sweet about, and which of course won’t be the case, so I’ll get him a few little things like one of those popcorn tins, a puzzle ... maybe a CD player ...
Six-year-old Georgie wants a Nintendo DS. Forget it. Besides the fact that Gaga has no idea what that is, I also have no doubt that, whatever it is, it will cost more than my recent brake job, and Gaga’s about tapped out, folks! Georgie’s reading better every day, so maybe if I write him a nice Christmas letter about Gaga being tapped out ... No, I’m serious, though. Really. No means no! ... Okay, what the hell is a Nintendo DS?
Gracie just wants Wiggles and Barney and Baby Einstein DVDs. Easy and cheap. That’s my girl! The diamonds will come later. Check. More eggnog.
On to the parents. Dad always says he doesn’t want anything; mom always says she doesn’t need anything. Really helpful. What mom should have is a cook. She says she’s been preparing meals for 64 years and she’s over it like the flu! So, what if all of us children pitched in and hired a cook until the money runs out? We could certainly afford one for a couple of mo— ... wee— ... days ... Maybe a nice cookbook.
Dad did say he needed a new chainsaw, which I guess we could all pitch in and get him – if we were IMBECILES! Dad has been to the emergency room more times than Dr. Oz, and chainsaws are only one more vehicle for getting him there. He’s employed regular saws, log splitters, tractor blades, electric lines, hammers, staple guns, ladders, lawn mowers and yes, even a mousetrap, to do the job. (For a while, Mom was worried he was purposely devising ways to see cute nurses.)
Then again, when dinner time is approaching, Dad does have to deal with the occasional shrieking-wife thing, just like Chuck, so ... same gift! Check. Still sipping. Sleepy.
That’s all, except a few books. For my siblings and siblings-in-law, all of whom are endeavoring to raise, support, rescue, encourage and heave their children into adulthood: “Proof of Heaven,” by Eben Alexander.
And, for those 15 nieces and nephews (and definitely my own kids ... and, uh, maybe me): Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover.”
Now, that’s it, except for our neighbors, Bryan and Michelle, who’ve taken care of the house, and the yard, and sent the mail to me in the mountains for months on end, not to mention mailing all the stuff I forgot to bring but desperately need immediately ... forget it, I’ll have to send them to Europe. (Snnzzzzz)
Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker. Readers may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website, www.vickiwentz.com.