I thought I was in the running for Dad of the Year until this Florida trip. Now, granted, all but one of our kids live out of state, but that shouldn’t matter. For Sara, my middle child and oldest daughter, it was when we told her at Thanksgiving that we would be going to Florida and wouldn’t be around for Christmas. Her look, and her question “Where am I going to go for Christmas?” dropped me down on the list of Dad of the Year finalists.
Then came the Christmas gifts. We all like to think that our kids are still three or four years old, and we can’t wait for them to get up on Christmas morning, excited about what they might get. Since I won’t be near Matt, Sara or Anna for Christmas, I’m relegated to getting presents to them from a distance. It usually isn’t that difficult, and I send them via computer. I always get a list of things they want, sort it out with others in the family, and get them sent soon enough to get there before the big day.
Sara wants a ticket to San Francisco, but she won’t be able to go until her birthday, so I’ll get her ticket sometime before May. She just moved and I don’t have her address, so I couldn’t send anything to her anyway. Nothing for her to open Christmas morning and no family to be with. One more notch down the ladder.
Anna was good this year and sent me two or three links to things she wanted. They were all clothing, and Dads aren’t good at buying exactly the right things, so I opted for a gift certificate. I clicked on the link she sent me, went to gift certificates, clicked on add to my shopping cart, and it threw me out to Google with a message like “unable to find http:\\whatever” and suggested several other sites to visit. This happened two more times before I gave up. I sent her a check yesterday morning. Another notch down the ladder.
Matt sent quite a list, but most of the items were taken up by other family members. One of the items was a Costco gift certificate for a large purchase he was planning. I figured that would be safe, so I went to the Costco website. I added a gift certificate to my shopping cart and went directly to cash out. After I enetered much of the personal information, it said I needed to buy a membership to buy the gift certificate. I wasn’t ready to spend $50.00 to do that, so I backed out of the website, and now I’m getting spam from Costco. I sent him a check yesterday morning too. I hadn’t gotten a list from Heather, and planned a gift certificate for her too, but I didn’t want to choose the wrong place. I sent her a check yesterday as well. Two more quick notches lost.
Usually, when I send the kids cards for birthdays or Christmas with checks, I’ll send ones that charities send me, enticing me to send more money, or feel sorry for the poor person that made the card, also to make me send more money. I didn’t bring any of those with me, and I’m too cheap to buy cards, so I had to use plain paper. I didn’t bring any of that either, and we’re in a rental here in Florida, so I used the back of three flyers the sales office gave us along with the keys to our manufactured home. Yes, down even farther.
We’ll see Robert the day before Christmas and Rocky and Nina the day after Christmas, and I haven’t bought anything for any of them yet. I usually get them gift certificates too (do you think I’m in a rut?). Robert hasn’t given me a list and neither has Rocky. With the wedding coming up for Rocky and Nina, and Robert being a new college graduate (congratulations Robert), a gift certificate or money may be just the thing they need. I’m not sure whether that drops me down another notch or keeps me even. I’m sure it doesn’t raise me up any of the notches I’ve lost.
I was out of the Husband of the Year contest way back in January. I had the knee thing going on all summer and fall, so Tiger Woods beat me out of Athlete of the Year honors. But, with his recent escapades, I think I’m still above Tiger for Dad of the Year and Husband of the Year. At least I can beat him at something.
Just (Missing Another Friend From The Four O’Clock Round Table) Jack