Hey, big guy! The last time I wrote you was probably around 1983. Although I cannot remember the exact content of that letter, I’m guessing that it sounded a lot like Slim’s from this year: I’ve been especially good so extra helpings of anything Star Wars, please. (Coincidentally, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was released in 1983, as well as A Christmas Story, undoubtedly one of your favorites, which should be looping on TBS right…about…now.)
So it’s been a while, and, like that diaper filled with holiday cheer, things have changed. I’m 36 now. Sugar-plums dancing in my head have been replaced by visions of that one missing piece of trim in our bathroom that has been leaning in the corner behind the stool for three years. I have a job and a mortgage and ear hair. Yes, ear hair.
Speaking of hair, remember that rad bowl cut I sported back when I was a kid? Now, not so much. There isn’t a whole lot to go bowling with up there. And these days I buy my own underwear instead of waiting for you fill my stocking each year with the newest Underoos.
But by far the biggest change is that I’m a husband to a Kick Ass Wife and a father to a pack of four little reinderlets who have been straining-at-their-harnesses-excited about your impending visit for the past month. With the help of your secret operative, Willie, we’ve been able to keep their sleighs somewhat tethered, but I’m telling you, they are ready to take flight.
Truly, seeing that Christmas spirit shine in the eyes of my children, to feel the palpable joy that is ready to burst forth from them, is really all I need for Christmas.
But I’m going to ask for a few more things anyway. Here’s my list.
1. A lump of coal. Well, stoker coal, actually. Seriously. Coal in the stocking is the universal go-to threat by parents to squelch undesirable behavior, but guess what? As an adult, I own a home with a coal furnace. If you could just have the reindeer back the sleigh up to the bin out back and auger in a couple of tons, that would be sweet.
2. A day-long hot shower for Kick Ass Wife, followed by a full body massage, capped with an uninterrupted 10-12 hours of sleep. She deserves to have that type of treatment once a week, but I know that she’d be grateful for just once.
3. No more allergies for Slim. That poor kid hasn’t ever known what it’s like to feel healthy and not itch. Oh, and a real lightsaber. What’s the worst that could happen?
4. Good health for family and friends, and comfort and peace-of-mind for those who have lost loved ones.
5. One butterfly for Perpetual Motion to catch every day, year-round. That kid is crazy about insects, and watching him in hot pursuit is one of life’s simple pleasures.
6. A wolf. I know that this isn’t especially Christmas-like, Santa, but we have this rabbit, Hopper, and, well… he needs to conveniently disappear. Between his continual pooping and wetting and spilling his water out seconds after I’ve refilled it and then dumping his food out which in turn soaks up the spilled water, turns to mush, and makes an even bigger mess, I’m done. I’ve considered simply not feeding Hopper, but that seems cruel. Instead, I thought that you could release a natural predator of rabbits into our downstairs, such as a wolf or Elmer Fudd, and let nature run its course. If the wolf devours Hopper, problem solved: Perpetual Motion and I watch The Lion King, discuss the “Circle of Life,” and move on. If Hopper evades the wolf, that’s just the way it was meant to be. Then I’ll stop feeding him.
7. The world’s tallest dining table chair for Tax Credit #4 to climb. Sir Edmund Hillary had nothing on this kid.
8. A sink full of unbreakable dirty dishes for The Hellcat to wash. Nothing makes her happier than being able to “help.”
9. Some Underoos. You know, just for old times sake.
10. Patience. Santa, I love my four children, I really do, but I can be so incredibly impatient with them. I find myself wishing away time, and I don’t want to do that, because I know at some point in the not-so-distant future I’ll long for the day when they wanted me to read just one more chapter and lay with them for just one more minute and give them just one more hug. These days won’t come by again. They’re to be treasured.
Still, if you could keep them from climbing on the counters, that would be huge.
11. A one-year membership in the Jelly of the Month Club. It truely is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year through.
Well, that about does it. And as always, world peace and all that stuff.
Per the usual, milk and cookies will be on the counter, but you know that the good stuff is downstairs in the fridge. Help yourself.
P.S. – Probably a large in the Underoos.
(What are you hoping Santa brings you this year? A rabbit? I know where you can get one cheap…)
**My Tweets are even less insightful than the posts on this blog. Check ‘em out at Twitter: @Chase_McFadden.