Just What I Wanted
Just What I Wanted?
At 7 AM Christmas morning Henry twin yelled through our closed bedroom door that it was time to get up. He had even less sleep than us; yet while I was wiping the seeds from my eyes, he was bounding down the stairs to the tree beneath which were the prizes for which he gladly suffered insomnia.
Another year, maybe, when his voice deepens he'll be later in waking his grandparents on Christmas Day.
This year, as last and the one before, the bows for the boys decorated electronic goodies. A couple of laptops, long since put to use in instant messaging and downloading songs for IPods, had been slightly repackaged by Santa, to remind the fourteen year-olds, as one of them put it, they had Christmas in July. A new electronic game with excellent graphics and an adult rating (for violence) was quickly inserted into DVD player. Santa also brought them the Simpson's 7th Season, four CD's of the toons worth three hours of silence on long car trips.
Sartorial needs were not neglected. A bright red polo shirt for Robert, a black AC/DC shirt for Henry.
Robert, the twin with excess energy to burn, found a 70 pound punching bag waiting for him beneath the tree.
The other Robert in the house, the septuagenarian, was gifted with presents for the fellow who already has everything: pepperoni stick, classical music CD's, and flannel pajamas. My life's partner gave me a couple of other gifts, although she blamed them on Santa.
Dishtowels, would you believe? Russets and other earth-tones, six in all, from Lord and Taylor, uxorial recognition of my regular postprandial chores. That is, I wash and dry the pots and pans and plastics every night after supper.
It's the other gift from the helpmate that prompts me to speculations even she cannot clarify. A shredder. You know, like those machines so unsuccessfully utilized by Enron executives. Mine comes with its own trash collector. Feed paper into it and out comes excelsior. It even chops up credit cards. Wonderful, now I'll no longer need to scout the neighborhood for a tree branch chipper when my MasterCard runs out.
True, we never seem to have enough packing for gifts or forgotten underwear that we occasionally ship via USPS to family and friends. A ready supply of excelsior would be useful.
In the back of my guilt-ridden mind there rises another explanation for the shredder, that it's payback for the upright carpet sweeper I presented to my bride on our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Not a diamond, mind you. No mink. No Caribbean sail. For our 25th I got Barbara a Hoover.
More likely, my dear wife, the artist, who has little patience for linear thinking, mystified as she is with the plethora of electronic equipment atop my computer station, decided one more device would provide me with unrivaled Christmas cheer.
They say about gifts that it is the thought that counts. But I'm still trying to figure out what the thought is.