A Christmas Catastrophe averted

Well, that could have gone worse.  Much, much worse.  Here is the latest in a long series of tales of Christmas woe.

As you may recall, Tom left for Chicago last Sunday riding shotgun in a cargo van full of stuff for his Chicago apartment and all the Christmas presents, including the presents from Santa.  I pointed out to Tom* what bags and boxes needed to go all the way to Michigan and then foolishly assumed it would happen.

Well, last night at around midnight after watching that traditional Christmas classic Field of Dreams we went downstairs to bring up the presents and they weren’t there.  Do you want to know where they were?  Back in Chicago that’s where.  OMFG.  Sorry, I know I shouldn’t swear on a holiday but this definitely warrants it.

So there we were in Michigan in the middle of an ice storm and all the presents from Santa are still in Chicago.  And we have absolutely no way of getting them.  If we had not been having an ice storm we could have jumped into the car and pulled an all-nighter driving to and from the city, but this was not possible.  Now what?

The first thing on the agenda was a full-bore full-body freak out.  And can you blame me?  There was a lot of crying.  Tom suggested we just give them the presents from us and say they were from Santa.  That would have been fine, if we hadn’t already given them our presents from us on Christmas Eve morning.  Gahhhh!  Tom suggested just explaining things to them in the morning.  But that would never work, they always get up way before us and sneak downstairs to inspect things, and there was no way I could have them come downstairs to a big fat nothing.  After a few more minutes levitating near the ceiling Tom said we could wrap up the Borders gift cards he had bought the children and those could be from Santa.

Okay, fine, let’s do that.  I run (quietly) around the house looking for things like gift boxes and wrapping paper and tape.  After finding all those we do some quick and crazy wrapping that was pathetic even by my standards.  We also wrap up two stacks of 10 one-dollar bills.  Now each child has two presents.  The next hurdle was the stockings.  Oh, what are we going to put in the stockings?  I (quietly) ransacked the kitchen looking for goodies.  Oh look!  I found a package of Hershey bars.  Perfect.  That’s three for each kid.  I also put an apple in the toe of each stocking and threw in a can of Coke to fill things out.  Whew!  Tom wrote a note from Santa explaining that Santa had gotten confused and had left most of the presents in Chicago where they would be waiting for them.

We decided that I would sleep downstairs to intercept the children.  I was a wreck all night.  When my dad got up at 3AM I told him our tale of woe and he volunteered to drive to Chicago – at 3AM – to retrieve the gifties.  I love my dad so much.  So much, in fact, that I couldn’t let him drive around like that in the middle of the night.  So I said no.  We agreed that we would see how things went in the morning and that if the children really had a nervous breakdown about the presents he would go then.

Let me just say I have the best children ever.  They are excited about the prospect of a second round of Santa presents when we get back to the city.  They are excited about their Borders gift cards, and the C-man has been asking to go onto Borders.com all day.

The C-man also gets the quote of the day.  When he unwrapped is $10 in one dollar bills he looked at them and said “Ten one dollar bills?  Why couldn’t they be hundreds?”

So a Merry Christmas to you all.  I hope yours is more like Norman Rockwell, and less like National Lampoon.

*perhaps a bit briefly

And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

Dr. Seuss


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