In this ecstatic merriment of Christmas, words are never enough to express gratitude and deep-felt love. Only deeds can do this. Understandably, at the start of every Christmas season, I make a preliminary list. By mid-December, I remake it—this time with an up-close look, checking off those, in my opinion, were not too nice to me this year. By the last week, I redraw the list, checking it twice and sometimes multiple times to make sure only those who have been nice to me get my gifts. The naughty ones will have to wait for next year, maybe….
“You ‘re not getting a thing,” my wife reminded me this morning. To her view, I’ve been naughty 252 times so far this year. I couldn’t believe it. So, I zipped down toward the Christmas tree, vetting every gift, searching for my name. There was nothing for me, except for the traditional ones from my kids to show their devoted love for papi. You know what I mean? Those nice trade-paperbacks, those jogging suits…. As dad always does, I took them down to the Saint Augustine Historic District to watch the children caroling around, but there was no snow flurries to fondle their faces. Still, they were gleeful, as we watched the old priest and his sacristan jingling the bell.
I know I have not always been nice. But being declared naughty 252 times was harsh. Tonight, I’m sitting by the chimney, waiting for Santa. Last time I checked, the old Saint Nick was still in the North Pole with his battle-hardened army of reindeers commandeering the sleigh swamped with glaring regalitos (little gifts), getting ready to swoop down. I hope I make the list. Otherwise, I’m doomed.