#199 – The Miracle of Christmas

I’m beginning to think there’s something to this whole Christmas miracle thing. At least, I have no better explanation for the affection I received from Sophia’s family this morning.

Bright and early, the three of us (Prometheus included) traveled to my in-laws’ house for the annual exchange of Christmas gifts. Knowing Sophia’s family tolerates me like a recurring case of herpes, I’d pulled out all the stops in this year’s shopping. And my extra effort paid off! 

My brother-in-law loved the noise-canceling headphones I gave him. While the rest of the family assumed the item intended as a thoughtful gift for an audiophile, Giuseppe and I both knew that the ambient noise he’ll most want to filter out is his wife’s incessant yammering.

As for Giuseppe’s Mrs., she too appreciated my present: a monogrammed, leather bound day planner. I think I speak for the entire family in expressing hope that the day planner’s assistance improves the eternally frazzled mother’s sour disposition.

I didn’t try to buy a product for my father-in-law. As I’d realized, I stood a better chance of parading unscathed through a den of hungry bears, with my balls slathered in honey, than I did of procuring something pleasing to Vito. I instead handed him a gift card to his shopping Mecca, Home Depot. He couldn’t have been happier!

My mother-in-law literally gushed with joy over her present. Not only did she thank me profusely, but she actually hugged me! I’d purchased her gift at the same time as Sophia’s and at the same store. Wanting the packages to look perfect, I’d asked the saleswoman to wrap both, and then I accidentally switched them. As a result, my wife opened a box containing the antique brooch with costume jewels I’d purchased for her mom. Maria in turn opened the package meant for her daughter’s combination Christmas and birthday gift: ¾ carat, princess cut diamond earrings in white gold, purchased for a grand total of $1,400.00!

Surprisingly, Sophia made no attempt to correct the mix-up; nor did she seem the slightest bit disappointed in the inadvertent switcharoo. Just the opposite, she grew teary-eyed at her mother’s happiness and beamed over Maria’s new and improved attitude toward me. Sophia even opined that my relationship with her mother no longer requires weekly counseling sessions, and Maria agreed. Talk about a Christmas miracle!

If only this new era of good feeling could last. Alas, I’m afraid it’ll prove short lived. While readying for our return home today, I discovered that the chew toy I’d seen Prometheus gnawing on all morning wasn’t a bone, as I’d presumed. His “bone” turned out to be none other than Baby Jesus! I managed to sneak what was left of the Savior back into my mother-in-law’s manger with no one the wiser, but it’s only a matter of time before Maria discovers the sacrilege … and Prometheus and I resume our customary places in the Gambinos’ honorary doghouse.

A gift guaranteed to mend fences with one’s mother-in-law.

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