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Woeful Tidings

At noon last Wednesday I had Christmas nailed. BAM! Presents bought in one massive spree down in Great Falls, our nearest town of WalMart-worthy size (although we bypassed the big stores for the downtown shops which was way cool). Everything on the kid’s list was stashed down in the old granary we use as a storage shed, waiting to magically appear under the tree that was already erected and hung with our hodge-podge of ornaments. The only gift I’d bought
online–my dad’s Kindle–had arrived, was charged and I spent my Hump Day lunch hour getting it set up and loading a couple of books on it. My potluck party contributions for Christmas Eve and Christmas day were planned, groceries acquired. I’d even managed to dig out my Christmas sweaters for the last three days of work before the holiday.

I’m telling you, I had Christmas’s butt kicked. Then, on Wednesday night, we had a chat with Santa.

It was, on the surface, a harmless little soiree. A sweet gesture by our school bus driver, who hauls the kids in our community forty miles every morning and every night and asked if we could have a party for his passengers at my cousin’s place. And the kicker–he would provide a Santa.

Yay. My son was thrilled. He hopped right up onto Santa’s lap and proceeded to describe in great detail exactly which Mario Wii game he absolutely had to have. It was adorable, except for one minor detail–HE HAD NOT ONCE UNTIL THAT VERY MOMENT MENTIONED THIS STUPID GAME.

It wasn’t on his list. It sure as heck wasn’t stashed down in the granary with the rest of the haul. And short of driving a hundred miles back to Great Falls, it wasn’t going to be added because there’s not a store in our town that sells Wii games.

Then I got home, prepared to wrap my dad’s gift so my parents could take it along when they left for Spokane the next morning and realized I had left the frigging Kindle on my desk. At the office. Fifty miles away. Then my sister called and in the course of the conversation said “Why, no, you don’t need to chip in for Mom’s present. Didn’t I tell you? We got it for half price so we just paid for the whole thing.” Which meant I also had no gift for my mother.

Argh.

Thus began a mad scramble. I unearthed a pair of earrings I bought for my older sister in September and forgot to give her for her birthday in October and wrapped those up for Mom. Told my younger sister to tell Dad whoops, you’ll have to wait until you get home to get the Kindle that goes in that lighted case Mom got you.

Then I launched a four day campaign to prepare the boy for disappointment. Sorry, kid, but you put in your order too late. Well, yes, Santa does have a toy machine, and yes, those elves are pretty handy, but…

Well, yes, honey, I know Santa told you he’d bring it, but Santa was confused. He has a lot of kids to keep track of and you can’t expect him to remember it all off the top of his head. Well, yes, I know he’s magic, but IT WASN’T ON YOUR DAMN LIST!

Ahem.

So, Christmas morning came and went. The boy was thrilled with his toboggan, his popcorn popper, his new Wall-E Leapster game and his Lightning McQueen jammies. We went out to the pasture and sledded off the biggest hills we could without inflicting permanent damage. Not a word about the missing Mario game.

We cleaned up and drove down to my aunt’s house for Christmas dinner. The boy fought happily with his cousins over toys and tried to eat his body weight in caramel corn. I breathed a sigh of relief. By some miracle, we had dodged sure disaster. I had just kicked back to enjoy a glass of wine when I heard a sound that chilled my blood.

Sleigh bells.

Oh, hell. I’d forgotten. My aunt always wrangles Dutch into playing Santa at her party. As he came tramping down the stairs, my kid’s eyes lit up.

“Mommy! Now I can ask him why he gave me Wall-E instead of Mario.”

Hoo boy. What the heck did we do now? This could get ugly. If Dutch blew it, we could be looking at the end of Santa Claus at the tender age of six. We’re talking parental nightmare here.

For the record, I want you all to know I did NOT pay cousin Beau to jump on Santa’s lap and knock him ass over teakettle into the Christmas tree, thereby distracting everyone to the point that all questions were forgotten.

But I would have if I’d thought of it.

Kari Lynn Dell – Montana for Real

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13 Responses

  1. See? I TOLD you that you’d forgotten something when you were bragging how you had everything done! 🙂

    Have you gotten the Kindle into your dad’s hands yet? What did he think about it?

    • We had Kindle lessons last night. Hard to tell with my dad how he likes things, but my sister and I are determined to keep our parents at least somewhat abreast of technology. I also gave him a quick tutorial of the local library’s electronic lending site, where he can ‘check out’ ebooks to his Kindle. It was a long evening.

  2. LOL. I think we have that three days before Christmas toy request every year. This year it was the 12 yr old who brought me into his room, pointed at a 300.00 baseball bat online and said he needed to add that to his list. Mm-Hmm. Yeah. Not going to happen. I said that right to his face.

    Cause he should know better.

    My kids were happy because we basically went down their list this year. The big gift was the iphones. That’s all they wanted, all we heard about for three months. So Christmas morning was a happy time, especially for my youngest who got so overcome with emotion, he started crying. 🙂

    I appreciate how close I am to everything when I read your posts. It’s amazing how difficult it is to get things like that kindle when you leave them behind…but I’m thinking that beautiful scenery makes the miles fly by. Glad your son had a good Christmas…and now I’m hungry for caramel corn.

    • Yeah, at twelve my kid will be out of luck with the last minute stuff. Well, I guess he was out of luck at six, too, we were just slightly more tactful about it.

  3. We are still lucky because Lilly is only 3. She stayed very consistent on what she wanted Santa to bring her – Lots of Presents oh and a Princess Celestea in a big box (my little pony toy). She had been asking for it for 3 or 4 months.

    She had so much to play with and do Christmas morning she didn’t know what to play with first. She got her own Dr’s kit since she likes to take care of you when you are sick, a fisher price computer and an IXL gaming system, her princess celesta unicorn, new baby dolls, the list goes on and on.

    Did you get dad the Kindle Fire or the regular kindle? Hubby got me the Fire and I love it.

    Glad everyone had a nice Christmas.

    • The cheapest Kindle. He wouldn’t use many of the features of the Fire, but I sort of wished we’d gone up one and gone with the touch screen. And yes, Christmas was much simpler when the kid didn’t pay much attention. They get harder and harder to con as they get older.

  4. You poor thing, but you’ll remember it and smile. Okay, maybe in a few years. ; )

  5. lol that’s awesome. My kid had houseshoes on his Santa List since November. HOUSE SHOES. consistantly. only problem? he wanted Finn Mcmissile houseshoes. The very cool, very *British* spy from the very American movie, Cars 2. No idea how he came up with these, but he decided Santa was oh so powerful and could just make them. he was very serious about Santa powers here.

    Which we were cool about. I mean, how hard is it to find those slippers? Hard. In fact, they don’t even sell them in the U.S. but low and behold they were in the Disney UK store (not even lying. American movie sold merchandise only to the UK. we’re still scracthing our head). but if you live in the US, you can’t order from the UK. thank god for a friend over the pond. I paypal’d her some money, she ordered the slippers and then mailed them to me. in the end, a $20 gift was about $40 but he was so freaking excited and has shown everyone those houseshoes.

  6. One of my favorite family stories is from my beloved great-aunt (long gone to her heavenly rest) who, for Christmas, was asked if she’d rather have a baby sister or a bicycle.

    80 odd years later, she’d laugh ruefully and say “I was so uninformed about How Things Worked that I picked the sister.”

  7. And once again you crack me up. Why on earth would you brag about being done? LOL You totally jinxed yourself.

    My MIL bought my FIL a Kindle Touch, against his vehement wishes. I spent a lot of Christmas day getting it up and running for him and showing him how to get books. I think he’s pretty happy with it, but I like my 2nd Gen keyboard Kindle MUCH better than the Touch. It’s more responsive and has a lighter screen.

    Keri, you are fantastic parents for going to so much trouble to get those house shoes!

    Liz, I feel the same way about being close to everything. It’s a tradeoff, of course, but it makes me tired thinking about it. 🙂

    Janet, LOL about the sister. I’d have chosen the bike! 🙂

    • Now that I’ve played with Dad’s Kindle more I realized the touch isn’t such a big deal. You just buy your books online via your PC and Poof!, they appear on the Kindle. Much easier browsing on the computer than the smaller ereader screen. And my Dad thinks it’s really awesome because he’s plugged into my Amazon account and when he does one click purchases they go on MY credit card. Hell of deal.

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