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Michael Picarella: A 6-year-old’s Christmas

Picarella Family Report

Posted: December 18, 2009 9:48 p.m.
Updated: December 19, 2009 4:55 a.m.
It was quiet at the dinner table — maybe we were tired from a long, busy week. Then the 6-year-old boy cleared his throat to speak.

My wife and I woke from our over-worked trance, and we turned from our plates of meatloaf, peas and potatoes to hear what he had to say.

“So what are your plans for Christmas this year?” he asked after sipping some two-percent milk.

My wife and I stared at the boy — emotionless, like zombies. We were so busy we hadn’t really thought about Christmas. Is it December already?

“I was thinking,” the kid said, “when I get old like you guys and have a wife and a dog and a family, I know just how I’m gonna plan for Christmas.”

We waited to hear his plans. But he got lost in thought.

“Oh no, Mom,” the kid blurted out. “Now that I’m thinking about it, what if I forget my wife’s name?”

That got me. “Wait, you got married? When did this happen? Recess this week?”

“No, Dad,” the kid said matter-of-factly. “I’m a first-grader. I only got married in kindergarten and pre-school.”

My wife skipped that beat — she wanted to know how the boy would plan for Christmas when he’s “old.” She asked him. He gave us the run-down:

No toy train around the tree. There wouldn’t be enough room for all the presents.

“You’re sure optimistic about how many presents you’re gonna get,” my wife said.

“I’m gonna be good for the rest of my life,” he said. “If you don’t believe me, we can always go to the mall and ask Santa.”

Our son continued:
The toy train that normally went around the tree would instead run the length of the house. The furniture would have to get tossed out or moved to the garage for a garage sale.

Christmas lights would fill the rooms — on the ceiling, on the walls, but none on the floor or they’d get smashed and they’d spark when people walked on them.

There’d be a fire in the fireplace — and it’d go non-stop all through the month of December.

A Christmas Machine made of Legos and Tinker Toys would be plugged into the calendar on the refrigerator. When powered on, the Christmas Machine would indicate on the calendar which days everyone was good and which days everyone was bad.

“Then I’ll e-mail Santa and tell him which days we were all good,” the boy said. “So he knows.”

“The machine wouldn’t e-mail that stuff for you?” I asked. Silly Daddy, of course not.

For the outside of the house:
My aunt and uncle in Colorado would have to mail snow to the front yard for making snowmen and snow angels, and having snowball fights during winter break when everyone’s bored.

The roof would be decorated with hay so that, wherever Santa landed, there’d be plenty of hay for his reindeer to eat. And it’d be good hay, too, from a good hay place.

On the front lawn, there’d be a Christmas tree that’s bigger than the house. And there’d be tally marks on the garage door indicating how many lights were used on the tree.

There’d also be a huge menorah on the front lawn for Christmas. And none of the lights would be burned out — like the lights on all those other menorahs we’ve seen lately.

“Does Christmas have to have Christmas stuff only?” the kid asked, interrupting his planning. “Can we put up Halloween stuff, too?”

“Why not?” I said.

There’d be jack-o-lanterns with Santa hats everywhere, and monsters popping up out of bushes singing scary Christmas carols.
Maybe there would even be hidden Easter eggs, too.

“We could do all this stuff this year,” our son eventually suggested. “Whaddaya think?”

“Who would do all the work?” my wife and I asked.

“I can do it,” the kid said. “This weekend.”

Michael Picarella is a Santa Clarita resident and a proud husband and father. His column reflects his own opinion, not necessarily that of The Signal. To contact Picarella or to read more stories, go to


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