There are so many stories about Christmas that I could tell you the mind blurs.
Most of them involve putting together some toy an architect couldn’t suss out. The box it came in was little help as it offered help in both German AND Japanese.
One year we were late for church. Now, in my family the General is my wife, barking orders ala Patton and you better get the lead out buster because she does ALL the stuff that matters at Christmas.
I was pulling up the rear and taking on some pretty blistering verbal as I put on a suit and tie. The kids (amazingly) were dressed, ready and heading for the car by the time I emerged from our bedroom looking for my shoes.
I should have known trouble was ahead.
As I stepped into the garage I saw my angel daughter (probably 6 at the time) sitting in the truck on my son’s usual side. He’s older so has the edge in these things, but for some reason this night he opened the door and that little angel face said “back off! other side” and slammed the door with my son’s hand in it.
So, off to the hospital, me in shock because my little girl did something out of the ordinary (and not in a good way), my son in pain because the sister he would soon demolish in one way or another had inflicted pain, my daughter wondering when we got to eat and my wife in the front seat saying she should have married someone named Barron Oldenberg.
So we waited in the hospital for hours (the boy was a regular in those years, that’s what happens when you ride cardboard down stairs) and everyone was in a bad mood. Meanwhile back at the ranch the beer was aging and I had 10 hours of toys to put together.
We got home 10-ish, kids gobbled food and I found the booze. Wife puts together the best evening possible (love that girl, fell ass over tea kettle into a good woman–THAT’S a key element in life) and they’re in bed by 11:30PM.
I have two things to put together, a dozen beer and Jimmy Stewart wandering around Pottersville. My wife says “I think the kitchen set is harder, you should do it first” which sealed the deal that I’d put the train set together first. Men: advice. Stubborn is a bad thing and she’s right a lot so go with the damn percentages whenever possible.
It’s 3AM. I’m alone with a Japanese instruction manual, a 4,000 piece kitchen set (with fake fruit, no less) Jimmy Stewart is long gone (replaced by Ron Popiel–man that guy has staying power, like Dick Clark) and a wife who patiently makes suggestions while the numbskull husband (who has had too much beer) tries to save Christmas for his daughter.
And that’s when she decides she’s better off here than in the arms of Barron Oldenberg.
Merry Christmas, everyone!