I work on christmas.  I work on all of the holidays.  Two years ago, Natalie started dragging me upstairs to her place for holiday dinners.  Just the two of us.   Today is is going to be seafood and nibblies.

Throughout the fifteen years of my marriage to Hank, I never received a christmas or birthday gift.

I decided I would have no expectations because I was always disappointed.  Having no expectations means never being disappointed.

I guess I carry that too far sometimes.  Steven wanted to get me a christmas present and I refused to let him.

I think that my marriage might have had a chance if it had not been for several things, but I am only going to mention one of them.  I had a cast iron barrier of training and could not hit first.

I always beat the crap out of Hank once he had landed the first blow.

Christmas was always a misery.  I did my best to protect Sovay from all of it.  I did not succeed, but I tried.  Hank went through money like it grew on trees.

One year, it did not look like he was going to meet his deadlines in time for him to get a check by Christmas.  So I picked up some swatches of  felt at the yardage store and some remnants.  Over the course of two weeks, I assembled from scratch a dragon hand puppet.  I designed it on the fly after making a sketch of what I wanted it to look like.

I sat in the living room at night, when I got home from work, and Sovay watched in wonder as that dragon came to life.  Hank, who thought I had neither talent nor intelligence, was amazed.

The check did arrive in time for Christmas.  However, once Sovay had opened all her presents, she immediately went back to playing with the dragon I had made for her.

She named him Sparky the Baby Dragon.

Hank had spent lavishly on her, many many expensive gifts.  Yet what she loved best had been that dragon made of $5 worth of cast offs from the craft and sewing store.

Sovay, I love you.  Don’t ever forget that.