There’s No “E” in Christmas

There are days when I wonder whether my marriage is ever going to survive. Then there are days like today when I realize I am one of the luckiest men on the planet. I woke up this morning with the realization that I am off work now until the end of the year. No more getting up early and rushing out the door to the office before dawn or coming home after dark. Instead I have a whole week of being home with my family to look forward to. That doesn’t mean I plan on being lazy and not doing anything. Quite the contrary, I have a list a mile long of things I want or need to do before going back to work. Somewhere near the top of that list is to go Christmas shopping for Trina’s gift. It is near the top of my list because I am reminded by her and the kids how important it is to make sure that I have a gift for her wrapped under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. Trina is much more subtle than the kids when she hints that a gift would be nice. The kids tend to be more direct in letting me know that there is nothing more frightening than the wrath of mom and that I would be best served by not tempting fate. So when Trina offered to assist with the shopping I thought perhaps it would be in my best interest to get it done.


When my wife suggests I go Christmas shopping, it usually means this is going to cost me. If I were lucky it would be a trip to the jewelry store but more than likely it meant I was in for a whole day of craft supply shopping while is one step above fabric shopping and one step below being a prisoner of war. I quietly got into the car with all the dignity of a man being led to death row. Trina said nothing and drove. I looked out the window but didn’t say a word afraid to ask where we might be going. Imagine my surprise when the car stopped and we were outside Chase Field. I must have looked absolutely dumbfounded. She said, “I talked to Santa and he said he was thinking of getting us matching jerseys if that was ok with you.” If it was ok with me? At that moment I wasn’t sure who I loved more, my wife or Santa. Not only were we going to get matching jerseys but personalized matching jerseys.

I have heard many of the sports talk show pundits who proclaim that no one in their right mind gets a jersey with their name on it, it just is not done. At one point I tended to agree but as I have grown older I’ve changed my stance. I feel I have earned the right to wear a jersey with my name embroidered across the back. I put in just as much work and sacrifice nearly as much as they do. They leave their families in February for Spring Training and many of them see there wives and children again until the season ends. If you ask my wife it is the same in our house. When the Diamondbacks are at home, I am away. When the Diamondbacks are away, I am either finding ways to join the team out of town or I am glued to a television or radio following every pitch. When the team falters or struggles, I am bombarded by friends and family wanting to dissect each mistake and make recommendations of how the team can change. I have to justify each personnel move that is made on and off the field just as though I am the one making it. I live and breathe with this team so why shouldn’t I have a jersey with my name on it? So as we entered the team shop I got to select which of the four new jerseys I wanted. After much deliberation I chose the home white jersey. We paid for it and requested personalization. I wanted “Summers” across the back and the number “9”. The “9” was no problem but my name could not be added. It seemed the Diamondbacks had run out of the letter “e”. They hoped to have some available after the first of the year. How could you run out of a letter this close to Christmas? I guess it’s true; there is no “e” in Christmas.


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