Sleigh bells ring…

I was a good daddy. I only drank three beers while assembling the Thomas the Tank Engine Trundle Table. I was in bed by 11:30 and asleep by 12:30. Still, the boy’s early rising meant I was a stumbly mess come Santa time.

Before we let the kid out of his room, I staggered downstairs, grabbed a Diet Coke, and found the video camera. As an afterthought, I decided to turn on the Christmas tree lights. We got a bigger tree than usual this year and getting behind it to plug in the lights is a challenge. What’s more, we have child-proof (and sometimes adult-proof) electrical outlets in the house. Without impediment, the process of inserting plug is rather simple. When a giant evergreen is poking me in the belly and jingle-jangling with all its holiday might, the process is decidedly more difficult. When I’m barely awake and trying to hurry, there is bound to be more than a couple four-letter words. When an ornament fell off and hit me in the head, I uttered a couple of words that, if had Santa heard, would’ve landed me on the naughty list for the next couple of years. Plus, with the bad luck I was having anyway, I for some reason thought that I’d end up plugging all the lights in just for my mains to explode on me, maybe it was the fact I knew that opting for a bigger tree, meant more lights. I was fairly certain nothing was going to blow, but at the same time, I thought I might end up having to visit Boulden Brothers’s website or another professional electrician available at the time.

Finally, though, the tree was alight and I was on my way back upstairs to retrieve the boy and his mom. Once there, we spent a few minutes looking at the note Santa had left for the boy on a magnadoodle and looking at the mostly empty plate of cookies. Just as we were getting ready to go downstairs, it happened. My fat body ramming into the tree had loosened the hold of a ball-shaped bell. Further, this ball-bell had decided this was the very moment to fall and make noise all the way to the floor.

After several weeks of preparing for the perfect day, my fatigued mind saw this as the first sign we were headed on the road to disaster. This feeling lasted for all of one second. Then, the boy’s eyes lit up and he exclaimed, “Santa!”

My loving wife looked at me as if it to say, “How did you do that?”

I shrugged and gave her a look back that said, “That’s just how Santa rolls.”

By the time we made it downstairs, Santa had made it outside. We just missed him.

Despite all my cussing, beer-drinking, and tree-abuse, I guess I never made it to the naughty list this year. I got the best gift of all.

I got to see my kid’s eyes light up on Christmas morning.

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Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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2 Responses

  1. Sweeeeeeeeeeet !!! I guess that just how Otis rolls too !

    It’s all backwards here in Bedrock this year. Not-so-mini-Peb’s was staring at me as I got to one certain present. It felt like a CD. I get goosebumps when my baby-rocker gets me new tunes! She has exceptional taste.

    I wasn’t dissapointed. Hammer Falls, two disc compilation of “10 years of Thunderous Metal” is just the greatest. I know this would make Blood happier than you based on musical tastes, but seeing her eyes light up when she picked “just the right CD for the old man” made it an incredible moment.

    When she opened the In Flames CD, I’m sure we both had those same looks once again.

  2. I hadn’t read your stuff in ages, but a guy linked your blog and mine together via Elise and so I went to check it out. The year review was great for someone who hadn’t kept us (sorry).

    I can’t believe how big Dylan is! I guess when I see Riley, she will be behind the wheel of her first car.

    I have a friend that is cycling from OKC to Rio (Brazil). He has some amazing pics, stories and insights. Some of his writing is good, but a bit raw and his grammar and spelling make me look like a pro. I know he needs to publish his stories, so I was thinking of writers and you were one that came to mind.

    Best to you, Michelle and Dylan.

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