Each year, as my mom and I shop for Christmas gifts for my dad, we carefully ration the gifts, giving him only half of the booty on December 25th. The reserved portion is wrapped in non-holiday paper and put out for his birthday a short eight days later. Most years I head back to Philly before January 2nd and so we often have a small celebration a day or two before I leave. This year was no exception, we gathered family and friends back to the house on December 27th for pizza, salad and pinch pie.
He’s always bemoaned this halving of his yearly gift allotment, but there’s nothing we can do about the day he was born, and the idea of going out after the holidays and doing more shopping is more than we can handle. So we shop for events at once and ignore the inevitable protests. This year I brought an unopen bottle of booze (I’m not remembering what exactly it was this time, brandy maybe) filched from my grandparents’ seemingly inexhaustable liquor cabinet and bought a tennis racket while I was home. According to my mom, they are sitting on the couch, waiting for him to arrive home from a performance at a peace service at a local Unitarian church. I’m a little bit curious how she wrapped the racket.
I called earlier in the day to wish him a happy birthday and my mom answered. She was on the second floor of the house while he was in the basement, and after talking to me for a few minutes she said that I would have to call him back on his cell phone, because she wasn’t feeling like going two flights down to get him on the phone. I did just that, and after 45 seconds on the phone, he said hurriedly, “I can’t talk now, I’m in the middle of a pile of work.”
So. I made the special family birthday dessert. I left offerings of sports equipment and aged liquor. I called and now I’ve blogged. I believe my job here is done.