Married . WithOUT Children |

Married . WithOUT Children

Heidi Rice

“It’s the most . wonderful . time . to DRINK BEER!” husband-head sang joyfully, from the living room as I made dinner in the kitchen.

But he was right – it was one of the highlights of the Christmas season – when the shopping was done, the presents were wrapped and under the tree, the three million Christmas parties had been attended to and the holiday grocery shopping finished.

Suddenly, I noticed the singing had ceased, and it was silent in the living room.

“STOP shaking the presents!” I yelled out from the kitchen.

It was quiet for a few more moments before he responded.

“How did you KNOW what I was doing?” husband-head said in a tone of amazement, as I had obviously caught him in the act. “C’mon, I get to open at least one!”

Like a little kid, the boxes with brightly colored wrapping paper and bows drove him absolutely INSANE. .

“Leave the presents ALONE,” I ordered. “You’ll get to open them soon enough.”

Husband-head came into the kitchen and started rummaging around the cupboards.

“What are you looking for?” I asked. “Dinner will be ready shortly.”

Husband-head continued his search.

“Santa,” he said simply.

“You’re looking for Santa Claus in our cupboards?” I asked, wondering if, perhaps, he’d been into something a little stronger than beer.

“No, I’m looking for something to leave for Santa,” he explained. “You HAVE to put out a snack or he won’t stop by. . “

He gave up on the cupboards and opened the refrigerator.

“Hey! You think Santa likes beer?” he asked, obviously pleased with his idea.

“No, I think he’s more of an egg nog type of guy,” I suggested.

Husband-head shook his head.

“Egg nog is gross,” he said in disgust. “What is the NOG part of it, anyway?”

Who knows?

Husband-head decided to leave Santa a ham sandwich and a soda.

“Good King What’s-His-Name looked out . on the feast of Sandwich!” he began caroling again as he slapped the ham and cheese together on the bread.

I knew full well that the dog, not Santa, would be the one to eat the food husband-head was leaving out. .

After dinner, I did the dishes while husband-head went back into the living room to, supposedly, watch TV.

“Stay AWAY from those presents!” I called out, perfectly aware that he was back at the present-shaking.

“You’re a GRINCH!” he yelled back in response, as I had obviously caught him at it again.

I went into the living room and there he was with a present from my mother in his hand.

“You think she gave me another funnel this year?” he said, holding up the small package.

We’d laughed hysterically last year when my mother had sent him a little metal funnel as one of his gifts. Husband-head had promptly turned it upside down and put it on his head.

“You know, anything can be a hat. . ” he had announced matter-of-factly.

By some miracle, I prevented husband-head from getting into his gifts before Christmas this year.

“I’m very proud of you for not peeking,” I praised him as we got ready for bed.

We lay in the dark for a while, but I could tell husband-head was too excited to sleep.

“Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus. .,” husband-head sang softly in the dark.

Later in the night, I heard him get up and sneak out of the bedroom, thinking I was asleep.

“STOP shaking the presents!” I screamed out to him.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

New Castle resident Heidi Rice’s column appears every Friday in the Post Independent. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice. com.

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