A Dirt-Cheap Christmas Eve Gift From The Hook.

The last few days have been trying, to say the least. My father-in-law has been wrestling with his mortality in the ICU, but he’s home now, just in time for the holidays. Although he’s currently weak as a kitten he remains as feisty as ever. Chalk one up for the tenacity of our elder statesmen.

But enough of this sentimental junk. My family deserves their privacy so let’s get to back to bellman blogging business.

The day for before the Big Day has arrived. For parents, Christmas Eve isn’t about religious symbolism, acts of gratitude towards those we hold dear or any other holiday staples. No, when you’re a parent, Christmas Eve is about...

1)  That last-minute trip to the battlefield mall… that you regret five seconds after entering the parking lot.

2)  Hunting for surprise gifts that seem to appear on your kids’ list the day before the stores close for the season.

3)  Pouring over empty shelves for appropriate stocking stuffers that won’t break the bank.

4)  Realizing the bank’s been busted beyond recognition anyway.

5)  Accepting your holiday poverty and moving on.

6)  Standing in a line that. Never. Ends.

7)  Staging an expedition in a metal, fiberglass and glass jungle in hopes of finding your car and returning home to tell the tale of the horrors you’ve seen.

8)  Lugging what was supposed to be two bags – but turned out to be ten – of seasonal wares into the house, past the pets, kids, and assorted jink that’s always lying around, just underfoot.

9)  Digging the wrap, tape, tags and bows back out from their appropriate resting place – which is never accessible.

10)  Sobbing quietly while staring at the pile of presents before you.

11)  Abandoning your task to concentrate on the holiday feast.

12)  Imagining the enormity of the task before you while the oven heats up.

13)  Stifling the urge to shout out for help from the family. (You fool.)

14)  Cursing your family’s need to eat as you tend to four burners, the oven, the microwave, the crock pot, the blender and miscellaneous appliances.

15)  Staring at a once-full bottle of “cooking wine” and whispering, “I’d do it again. Is there another bottle somewhere?”

16)  Surveying the carnage that was once your kitchen and setting off to find another bottle…

17)  Watching in abject horror as a meal that took eight hours to prepare is devoured in eight seconds. (Don’t people swallow anymore? They just inhale.)

18)  Whipping the dirty dishes – and all that damn fruitcake Aunt Bessie brings over – into the yard of the vacant house across the street.

Or is that just me? Never mind.

19)  Resetting the kitchen – one way or another – for the horror festivities to come.

20)  Watching the family room slowly disintegrate into a smoldering heap as the Christmas Eve festivities unfold.

21)  Trying to lose yourself in the joy of the season while your mind contemplates the tasks that remain.

22)  Ushering everyone off to bed so you can get right back to work on those tasks you put off until now.

23)  Digging the last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers out to conquer them once and for all.

24)  Realizing you haven’t dug the stockings out. And silently screaming at that realization.

25)  Making a vow to be better prepared next year.

26)  Shuddering yourself to sleep as you realize the futility of that vow.

Well, this may not have been my best work (I’ve been too worried about my family to focus on writing this holiday season), but its done.

Have a safe, happy, holiday season, my dear friends. I love you all – in my own way.

See you in the lobby, kids…

What do you mean The Hook’s writing another book? Haven’t we suffered enough as a people? When will it end?

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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44 Responses to A Dirt-Cheap Christmas Eve Gift From The Hook.

  1. Merry Christmas, Hook and Family!

    Prayers for a speedy and complete recovery for your Dad-in-Law.

    Thanks for all your support, Robert ans keep kickin’ ass in 2015! Amigo.

  2. Merry Christmas. I think you were a secret guest at our house last year. i would not have known given the strangers that came out of nowhere. The big difference is I always know where the other bottle is. (usually in my fist) Great post.(the dirty dishes into the vacant lot was a good one.)

  3. oceanswater says:

    A very Merry Christmas to you and yours Hook! Thanks for keeping it real for us this year! 😉

  4. paul says:

    Merry Christmas to you and to your family Hook!!

  5. Merry Christmas Hook and family, hope the father in law recovers soon. And the festive season runs as smoothly as humanly possible in the Hook household!

  6. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

  7. Have a wonderful Christmas – here’s hoping that not everything in that list comes true 😀

  8. 1jaded1 says:

    Love you, dear. Have a good December 25. PS there is never enough tape…

  9. Paul says:

    I feel your pain Hook. Have a Merry Christmas in spite of the struggle! And may the New Year bring health and happiness to you and your family.

  10. These are memories, Hook, memories!! Sigh.

    Have a really wonderful holiday, for however that turns out. Tape or no tape. Wishing the best in health, wealth. wisdom, and laughs for you and family over Christmas and for 2015. Huge hugs, bud! xxoo

  11. Pamela Edwards says:

    Sounds about right Hook . Merry Christmas to you & your family !

  12. Next year it will be different….I’m already making a logistics list…if I keep at it, maybe the fates will have pity on me and send me a winning lottery ticket and I’ll have the help do it all while I direct…sigh. Have to dream, right?
    Wishing you and yours the merriest and brightest Christmas ever!

  13. You call this suffering? That it would be only if you were to delay it any further …so get on it!
    Happy Holidays, Robert – to you and your family. 🙂

  14. Have a wonderful fabulously fearless Christmas, Hook! All the very best to you and your loved ones. Hugs x

  15. Oooh, I can do much worse than this. Believe me, I can do a lot worse. But if you do have a god, of whatever persuasion, I hope he or she goes with you

  16. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Wishing a happy, healthy, safe, peaceful holiday to you and yours, Hook. ❤

  17. girlseule says:

    Merry ChristmasI I love this time of year but I am glad I don’t need to worry about the shopping part again for another 12 months.

  18. The Holidays are stressful enough without having to worry about the mortality of our loved ones. I hope you managed to have a wonderful Christmas in spite of it, Hook. My best wishes and prayers for you and your family.

  19. Hi Hook!
    I hope that you and your family had a fun and blessed Christmas. Hoping your father in-law is getting better every day.
    You have been a true gem and unawares mentor to me. Thanks for all that you do and everything you are. xoxo
    Michelle

    • The Hook says:

      You’re going to give me a warm and fuzzy feeling deep inside, Michelle.
      That usually only happens when I eat leftover chili…

      By the way, you’re a helluva gal and a wonderful human being as well.

  20. susielindau says:

    I hope it was fabulous anyway! Happy New Year!

  21. curvyroads says:

    Late as always, but mystified how you described our house so specifically??? 😉

    I hope everyone is well and Happy New Year, my very funny blog-friend!

  22. AND the dish washing that follows :p

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