The impossible Christmas gift

I dragged my frozen body inside the house and lay on the family room floor. My toes throbbed. My fingers ached. My head was in a fog because I was dead tired.

I was frozen solid after spending nearly two hours in sub zero weather in the wee hours of the morning trying to make my children’s Christmas wish come true. About a dozen years ago they wanted a Wii game system, but securing one was like finding a needle in a haystack.

Stores sold out as soon as shipments came in.

They would pop up on the market and disappear.

I read every ad in the newspaper, paid attention to every electronic add and Internet plugs hoping to secure a Wii. If my kids wanted a Wii damn it, they were getting a Wii. Finally my chance came. The Game Stop near my house had 25 coming in on a first come, first serve bases.

I left the house at 3:45 in the morning hoping to be one of the first 25 in line. By the time I got to Game Stop a line snaked around the building. It was cold, windy, blustery and uncomfortable. But I walked to the end of the line hoping this was finally my lucky day.

I was wrapped in thermal underwear, hat, gloves, coat and scarf. I pulled anything out of the closet that could keep me warm. It did not work. The Hawk was vicious that morning and I felt every razer sharp dagger it threw at me.

Finally around 5:45 a Game Stop worker passed out numbers to the parents who braved the night. I hoped and prayed for a low number. If I am going to torture myself please let me return home with a Wii.

I got 27. Shit. I began to curse myself. If I didn’t fumble around to find that extra pair of socks maybe I would have gotten here earlier. I still did not leave. I foolishly hoped that at least two people were here for other reasons.

By the time the doors opened people surged upon this store like a pack of jackals. I stood in this fist of fury and watch the 25 Wiis leave the store. I was angry and still frozen to the core as I hopped in the car for the disappointing drive home.

I fell to the floor in all my misery. How could I still be this cold?

I felt a presence and opened my eyes. My eight year old daughter Celine stood over me.

“Where were you mister,?” she barked.

I lied and told her I went to the bar for a drink.

“No self respecting dad would leave their family in the middle of the night to go to the bar,” she said. “You were out looking for a Wii for your children. You can’t fool me.”

I could not argue. I took off my clothes and retreated to bed where my wife Abs wanted to kick me out.

“You feel like a block of ice,” she protested. “Where were you?”

I fessed up that I went hunting for a Wii. She allowed me to stay in bed.

I told my story on radio. A shipment was coming into another Game Stop. One of the employees said he’d hold one in reserve for me and meet me anywhere to make the exchange.

So I finally made the purchase of the precious Wii in the parking lot of Mallie’s in Southgate. I bought the guy lunch in addition to paying for the Wii and my life was much happier because I knew my kids eyes would light up Christmas morning.

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Published by terryfoster8

I am a 58 year old retired sports journalist, husband and father of two living outside of Detroit in search of his next big adventure in life.

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