I took a step back and admired my work. This may just be the best set of holiday decorations I have ever done. Clearly I was not alone in my assessment. Glancing over my shoulder I could see the neighbors all standing around pointing at my house and whispering in hushed tones. Yeah I am pretty much a stone-cold lock for winning best-decorated house on the block.
I walked through the door and heard the sweet sounds of holiday music throughout the house. The kids were bouncing off the walls with excitement and really who could blame them. Everything was in place to make this a magical night. It’s funny, the anticipation is almost as much fun as the actual holiday. I have to remind myself there is still a lot to do.
Looking over my list I put a check mark next to the decorating. The gifts are all wrapped and hidden until the kids go to bed tonight, which from the looks of things could be a really long time from now. My wife just pulled up from a last-minute grocery run before starting the traditional dinner. I can almost taste the succulent morsels she is so famous for. I always loved my mom’s cooking but my wife is the MVP of this holiday meal.
Getting back to my list, the stockings were hung by the chimney each personalized with the name of one of the kids. As I was going through things I realized I had forgotten to get that extra special gift for my wife!
How could I have been so stupid! I always make it a habit to never go to the mall the day before a big holiday but what else could I do? I made some sort of lame excuse, grabbed my Diamondbacks hat and my car keys and rushed to the garage.
All along the way I mumbled to myself about how I was never going to find a parking space and the stores would be so picked over. This was going to cost me dearly, I just knew it. I was slightly worried that the mall may be closing early due to the holiday but luckily some of the stores were still open.
Even with my last-minute stupidity I still had plenty of holiday spirit. I love this time of year. As I walked past the jewelry store I saw a man in a New York Yankees hat looking at diamond rings with a girl in a Boston Red Sox shirt. In my day mixed marriages rarely worked out so I hoped for the best for this couple.
At the toy store there were two little kids in Minnesota Twins sweatshirts with their noses pressed against the glass hoping to see the latest toys and hoping they would wake up in the morning with something special after weeks of promising to be good little boys.
I found what I was looking for and paid the cashier. I would tell you what I got but I am worried my wife may be reading so let’s just say it’s really cool and perfect. On the way out of the mall I stopped at the Hallmark Store to get a card to go with the gift. Bonus points since I am sure my wife will look at the back to see if it is genuine Hallmark.
At home we gathered around the table with the holiday feast set before us. A tear of joy slid down my cheek as I thanked the Lord for our good fortune and for being able to be together as a family to celebrate.
After dinner we will watch a movie, a tradition we do each year as part of our holiday celebration. Then the kids will be sent to bed. They will likely lay awake listening for any noise hoping to catch the jolly old elf but they never do. Sleep will not come easily and who can blame them? Tomorrow they will rush downstairs to see what they received we will have a big breakfast, open gifts, and then we will be off to Salt River Fields!
At this time I would like to wish everyone a safe and wonderful Pitchers and Catchers Report Day! May your mitts be filled with baseballs and may your bats never break. And let’s not forget the words of Tiny Adam Eaton, “God bless us every one!”