Vol. 188 Number 122
Imagine, 100,000 presents under a big Hungarian pine tree (I suppose the tree could be Romanian or French). So many presents it sort of makes the tree bulge out, and 99% of the presents have kids' names on them. Now picture a herd of sugar-laden, off-the-wall excited kiddos racing toward that tree and its big bulge, being chased by parents who are sugar-laden as well (maybe with an added shot of Granny's whiskey) and, to put it right out there – exhausted.
But laughter and smiles and no one has any idea who gave what to whom, and piles of seriously dismantled Christmas presents and children still screaming and running around with a favorite toy, how about a light saber? And waving it around, trying to kill every storm trooper lurking in the house. Top it off with about 20 garbage bags stuffed with the once-pretty paper and unraveled ribbons and stacks and stacks of goodies hauled out by the parents, who are dazed and running on fumes by this time. I'm inclined to feel sorry for the parents –- how to get a kid asleep after such incredible overload?
To combat parent fatigue, a friend gave this solution: I once bought my kid a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying "Toys not included."
Wait, wait, pause for a second. This bothers me – so many of the little kids won't even remember all the great presents they received, and how fair is that? So why bother, I asked, and the answer was always a sad shake of the head and a resigned whisper, "They'll be controlling my health care when I'm old."
So my advice? Don't think about all those batteries, just break out another shot of Granny's whiskey and carry on and think about the difference between snowmen and snowladies. Yes, yes, a good belly laugh -- snowballs.
No matter where you are this Christmas, with family or friends or with your critters, recognize this as a very special night for all of us who run our tails off to get ready for it. When it's here, sit back and give a sleepy, sugar-filled nod, and enjoy all the laughter, the oohs and aahs, and the hugs and kisses from family, kiddos, and critters.
I leave you with a small joke that befits me, the author: What do you call Santa's helpers? Why, of course, they're all subordinate clauses.
Merry Christmas to all. And, don't forget the AAA batteries.