that we are well into the month of December, my three teenage daughters
have provided me with their extensive Christmas lists-both electronic
and hard copies-in triplicate. Full of the typical objects of adolescent
desires like designer clothing, electronics, jewelry, and luxury vehicles,
their lists read like the inventory of Elon Musk's next yard sale.
My list, on the other hand, is simple. All I want for Christmas is
for life to return to the way it was in the good old days of 2019-and
not just because I had less ear hair then.
Like virtually every other human on earth, other than toilet paper
manufacturers, I want the COVID-19 crisis to end. And God willing,
the end is on the horizon with the emergence of several vaccines.
Now, I realize that there is great debate about the safety of the
vaccines and whether Americans should roll up the sleeves of their
hazmat suits and take them.
I, for one, would be excited to accept these injections even if they
had to be administered into my eyeballs or under my fingernails. Sure,
the vaccines might cause me to grow an extra head or two, but at least
my heads could be mask-free. Of course, I'm kidding. I know masks
will still be required on all of my heads for the near future.
Seriously, though, I can scarcely bear the thought of more than one
Christmas being marred by the necessary inconveniences of face coverings,
social distancing and-worst of all-hand washing. I mean, really!
One change my family will face at this year's Christmas celebration
is that our church will hold its yearly candlelight Christmas Eve
service virtually, meaning that we'll have to watch the event online,
and break out a BIC lighter and some leftover birthday candles like
we did several years ago when our youngest daughter had pneumonia.
That year, we almost turned our home into a giant yule log. Maybe
this year I can avoid burning off my eyebrows during "Silent Night."
Another change is that our time with grandparents (and their food)
will be limited at best. One of the most meaningful Christmas traditions
for me is to loiter around my mom and dad's dining table-laden with
every high-carb Christmas treat imaginable-and graze like a famished
Angus bull. I've been known to consume my own weight in Dad's homemade
Chex mix, but this year-if I'm lucky-I'll only get as much as he can
send home with me. (Fortunately, the back seats fold down in my SUV.)
Probably the most painful change for my three daughters is that they
will be forced to spend the bulk of the Christmas celebration at home
with their parents. Even an escape to go visit their cousins, grandparents,
and ancillary relatives will likely be off the agenda this year, meaning
they'll be faced with the terrifying prospect of being cooped up in
the house with us for family board games, sing-alongs, and-heaven
forbid-old home movies featuring moments from their early childhood
when they (sometimes pantless) actually acknowledged our existence.
Christmas of 2020 will definitely create unique memories (until we
find a way to repress them). Hopefully we can all follow the example
of Linus in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and remember what Christmas
is all about.
And although the only thing I really want for Christmas is an end
to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am hoping that someone gets me a new ear