- THE MAGAZINE
It's the same routine every year. The boys hit the sheets around 11 p.m., and Mr. and Mrs. Santa pull out all the gifts I worked the entire month of October to pay for, and place them under the tree - with care, of course.
Then WHAM! Christmas morning. Up at 6 a.m. and, still half-asleep, follow the kids to the tree.
That 15,000-square-foot medical arts building we cleaned eight weeks ago? Finally got paid for it earlier this month. Bought a state-of-the-art computer system with it. Yes sir, the one I always wanted, all the bells and whistles included. Merry Christmas, son.
And remember that huge residential job I did for Mrs. Wilson? Ten rooms of carpet cleaning, four rooms of furniture cleaning, and protector for all! What a ticket! I went out and bought that set of golf clubs I'd been eyeing all year, as well as the latest home video system with all the add-ons, including Madden NFL 2004! Yes indeed, it was a very merry Christmas for my other son as well.
Man, I miss being the kid. Oh, and the proceeds from the rest of my record-breaking October? I'm married, I'm Italian, and the family isn't small. Enough said.
Well, back in September, I decided this year was gonna be different, because 'lil Armand would submit his own wish list to Mrs. Claus this time. Yep, sent it in with plenty of time to spare, too, because I knew Mrs. Claus was already in full swing, spending all her recent earnings on the kids.
What did I ask for? Clothes? Nope. Music-related stuff? Uh uh. Hobby gear? No. Oh, I wanted some new toys, all right, but I was all business this year. I wanted some new carpet cleaning toys. Want to see my list?
Dear Mrs. Claus. This Christmas I would like the following new toys, gizmos, and gadgets, please:
1. A new cleaning wand. The one I currently use feel into the river last year while we were cleaning that boat, er, ship, remember? Funny, it just hasn't performed the same since!
2. One of those newfangled glides for my new wand. I've heard so much about them, they just must be the have-to-have item for 2005. I haven't a clue as to what they do, but everyone says I need it, so I guess I should have one.
3. How about a new filter bag for my waste tank? The one in there now is kind of slimy, you know? Might be easier to just replace them rather than clean them! While you're at it, get me six, one for each day of the workweek.
4. One super-duper pre-sprayer to, um, pre-spray. You know, the type that hooks up directly to the truck's high-pressure hose? That battery-powered sprayer that everyone wanted two years ago is no longer anywhere to be found. Geez, these things are like the weather: stick around long enough and it's bound to change.
A reasonable list, don't you think? So what did I get this year? Clothes, a few CDs, and some neat hobby-related stuff. Guess it's true what they say: Christmas, and the toys that go with it, is for the kids. But it's the thought that really counts, and the people that you can share it with. Keep that in mind when preparing next year's Holiday wish list (and tell Santa that 'lil Armand sent ya!). Happy New Year!