Well, as I said above, you should have all this Christmas cleanup, if not completed, under control. Me, I'm just getting started with messing up. You see, somewhere along the way, several years back, my daughter decided our side of the family would get together on the day following Christmas. If memory serves me right it was the year she also decided to assume the role of my mother. (But that's another story.)
So, now on the day following Christmas we gather at my daughter's house, me, my two sons, their wives, their children. And, to tell the truth, it seems more like a party. Wait. Did I say party? Hold on. My daughter was born the day after Christmas. She grew up complaining that she never had a real party on her birthday. And now we have a party at her house on the day after Christmas. My goodness, did I raise a smart kid or what?
So, as you read this epistle I'll be celebrating Christmas and/or my daughter's birthday at her house. It will be a grand time. The grandchildren will be running here and there. They'll jump over sofas and bounce off bookcases. The ornaments on the Christmas tree will shake in time with the cadence of their little feet. After a while my daughter will come in and with a firm, if not loud, voice proclaim, “You kids stop that right now.” They will stare at her with a look of consternation on their face and reply, with fingers pointed in my direction, “He said we could.” My daughter will look my way with the proverbial daggers flying out of her eyes. I'll look at her with the practiced innocence of the one her kids refer to as the “fun grandparent.”
Following a wonderful meal, we'll gather chairs around the tree and the present opening will begin. I'l sit back and relish the entertainment of my children trying to get their kids to be courteous. “Now, let's take turns. You just wait until your cousin opens her present and then it will be your turn.” I think it's a hoot watching my children try to get their seven kids to “take turns” at a Christmas and/or birthday party. The most fun I get, however, is when each of those kids comes upon the present with the tag indicating its from me. As each “takes his or her turn” they pause before opening it to look at me. The eyebrows raise in a question. I nod. They smile knowing it's the thing their parents said they couldn't have.
This year my greatest pleasure will come from what I give my kids. The daughter gets two AAs. The oldest son gets four AAAs. And the youngest gets a 9 volt. With each battery is a note reading, “Toys not included.”