Alright so I haven’t touched that fiction piece but I’ll eventually come.

This past weekend was Christmas, and on Friday my family got together as is tradition thanks to how we used to visit my father every year on christmas day. We used to have our atomic family christmas on x-mas eve morning, then head to my grandmothers, then ship out to where-ever-my-father-happened-to-live-now for the day-of and do whatever until a couple of days after New Years.

I’ve made quick mention about my father’s gifts before and was worried about getting anything this year. We pulled up to my brother’s place and walked in dropped our gifts and then was told to keep my shoes on. He handed me two red wrapped presents and said to open them later and to do what I want with them. I said thanks and walked them to the car. My family’s christmas went off without a hitch including a bit of grouchiness and Lego building. We said our goodbyes and drove the snow covered roads to Liz’s dad’s house north along the fox river.

We chatted and Liz said she wanted to “see her presents.” I couldn’t help but scoff and ask if she was serious, of course she was. I pulled out a long block of red wrapped something into the front seat with me while she drove. The wrapping pulled back in an arc and in the slow movement of yellow mercury lamps showed some thing I should have expected. At the max speed of 25mph Liz grabbed a look and didn’t stop herself from letting a laugh out. She wanted me to open the other one. Awkward happiness spread to dread over opening the second package and what it truly meant about the relationship my father and I have. A second, this time square package held something with glass.

I thought quickly that maybe it would some revelation present where it would contain photos of my dad and I when I was younger and it would melt all the hard feelings. I could see us standing on the side of a hill smiling at the camera or me looking wayward with my siblings. The package was tore quickly from edge to edge and inside was another piece of junk that had no connection to me what so ever.

Here are the two things my father got Liz and I for christmas:


That is Ike helping me photograph for evidence.

Writing this, and thinking now of the things I got him when I was a kid. I guess it goes both ways. I got him ‘end-cap’ garbage like a motorize tie rack or a basket ball hoop for his garbage can. He collected those things and stuffed them in the back of his closet – nice enough to not tell us it was trash. We always gave each other inpersonal gifts that said we knew nothing about each other.

In a ways the gifts we give others shows just how much we really know each other – and for us, it’s nothing.

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Dad’s Christmas Gifts

Posted on

December 27th, 2010