A Christmas Story

I like to do my shopping on Christmas Eve. It helps me feel solidarity with all the other fathers and husbands who venture out just 12 hours before Christmas hoping to find the perfect present in the 10 minutes before all the stores close. "A battery operated swizzle stick! I know she wanted diamond earrings but... it's perfect. Do you gift wrap?"

Abby and I went to our local outlet mall where we bought such useful items as a magnetic clothes pin and a cheese fondue set. What's with all the fondue sets? Is fondue back? Or is it just that I'm shopping the remainder bins?

Then we headed downtown where I bought a gift certificate for a swedish rock massage (as opposed to, Abba, a Swedish rock group) and a level four transformer toy. Guess which family member each was for.

I was surprised how crowded everything was. I guess I'm not the only dad who waits to the last minute. I did catch a break at the grocery store when, as I froze trying to calculate which checkout line was moving fastest, one of the clerks shouted, "hey Screen Savers! over here!" Celebrity has its privileges. I guess.

Tonight we brought Christmas cookies to neighbors, then drove around looking at the over-the-top Christmas decor. One of the houses even had its own radio station - a micropower FM station broadcasting Christmas music - and a sign saying "tune to 88.1."

I hope we'll get a chance sometime this week to watch my favorite Christmas movie, Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story." I grew up listening to Jean on the radio, WOR in NYC, and still idolize him. He passed away in 1999 but you can still hear him on Live 365.

Well the presents are all under the tree, and Santa has hung the stockings with care, so I better get to bed. Abby is getting a drum set tomorrow. I have a feeling I'll be up early.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.