Mommy, here’s more Christmas cards.” Joey scrunched up his face and smiled that cheesy smile of his. It made his cheeks dimple in a most appealing way. He smeared his runny nose across his face with the sleeve of his snowsuit.
I landed a tissue on the offending body part and pinched his nose a bit. I then said what every mother says to their little boys, “Blow.”
“We got more Christmas cards. Oh, we got other stuffs, too. Can I open the cards?” I let him, of course, especially after he gave me his silly puppy dog look that he had perfected in five short years. It wasn’t his fault that I was upset with the whole Christmas ordeal.
I had lost my job and being a single mom, that meant I had to sell our house and move into a small rental. Instead of anyone trying to help us out, they kept sending us these stinking Christmas cards with good cheer of a blessed and joyous Christmas season.
I was about ready to let Joey have them to line his hamster cage but thought better of it. I couldn’t disappoint my little guy anymore than he would already be on Christmas morning. “Joey, you can hang them up on the door with the others.” I tried to put some excitement in my voice but failed miserably.
He galloped into the dining room, tape in hand, to hang the newest cards. As he did he sang, ‘Jingle Bells,’ as loud as his small voice box would allow. And trust me, it was loud.
“Ugh.” Oops. I let that one slip.
Joey stopped suddenly. “What’s wrong, Mommy?”
Wow, he’s an intuitive little kid. “Oh, I was just thinking.” I tried to sing, ‘Jingle Bells,’ where he left off but Joey didn’t join me so I stopped. He walked over to where I stood looking at the big pile of bills he brought in with his precious cards.
“Are you gonna find a new job before Christmas?”
He socked that one right in there. “I don’t know.”
“If it would help, we can skip Christmas this year,” he said.
This little guy is very good at blindsiding me. “What do you mean… skip Christmas?”
“I don’t need any presents.”
I squeezed him as tight as he would allow before he squirmed away. He looked up at me and waited to hear my answer. “No worries. Christmas will come to the Phillips household. How can it not with such a great kid living here? Hmm?”
“Mommy, I know you’re the one that brings me presents. Bryce told me that last year, ‘member?”
Ah, my sister’s twelve-year-old. “Yes, I remember. No worries, Bud. This is grown up stuff, okay? You don’t get to worry about anything. Your job is to play and wish, wish, wish. By the way, what do you wish for this Christmas?” I realized I hadn’t asked him yet. Oh boy…
“I took care of it, Mommy.” He shot up off my lap and went to do whatever it is that five-year-olds do after being so stinking mature.
By the time Christmas Eve came, I had managed to buy some Dollar Store presents. They were wrapped under my parent’s old artificial tree. It would have to do this year. I knew Joey would understand, but I still felt bad.
Later, Pastor drove up and Joey dragged him into the house. “Sorry to barge in on you like this but,” he began to say before Joey interrupted.
“Mommy, he brought presents!”
Pastor tried again, “Everyone from church pitched in. I also brought enough groceries for a whole month at least.”
Joey ran outside to bring in another load while Pastor continued to talk.
He smiled, “We also have Joey’s wish present.”
“He told you his wish? What is it?” I was totally flummoxed.
“You’ll see.” He left me with my mouth wide open.
The next morning Joey rushed to the tree and tore into the presents. The very last one was his Christmas wish. He opened it and found a box full of Christmas cards. My heart sank but Joey was ecstatic. He piled them in groups of ten. When he opened them, a new dollar bill fell out of each and every one. He scooped up the pile of money and handed it to me with a smile. “Mommy, I got my wish… one hundred Christmas cards, and I made a wish for you… one hundred dollars.”
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