• Sandy Boone

Can I Have It?

My Grandmother and I settled into a booth with her friend across from us. We ordered my mac and cheese and something for them. Then Grandmother asked her friend, “So what have you been up to lately?”

“Like everyone else, I guess. Christmas shopping.”

I stopped coloring on the page the waiter gave me. “Did you get something for me?” I asked.

“I did, yes. And I think you will like it.”

“Can I have it?”

“Well, I haven’t wrapped it for you yet.”

“That’s ok. Can I have it now?” I smiled sweetly and politely added, “Please.”

She went out to her car and came back with a slinky. “Merry Christmas,” she said.

I remembered to say thank you after my Grandmother reminded me.

The next day I went to work with my Dad who was helping John, a guy who trains dogs.

“Hello, Tad, and merry Christmas,” said John.

While my Dad was chasing the dogs, I asked John if he had finished his Christmas shopping.

“Yep,” he said, “and you were on my list.”

“You got me a present? Can I have it now?” I asked.

“Now? But it isn’t wrapped yet.”

“What is it?”

“Don’t tell anybody I told you, ok?”

I nodded in gleeful agreement.

“It is a ball. You can throw it and your dog can chase it.”

“Can I have it now, please? I lost our ball and Rover misses it.”

He was convinced and took the ball out of his truck. I remembered to thank John for my gift and then tucked the ball in my pack back.

Two days before Christmas, my Mom dropped me off at Joel’s house to play while she grocery shopped.

“I got you a Christmas present,” Joel announced as he showed me the Christmas tree surrounded by presents. “That one is yours.”

“Can I have it?”

“If you share it with me,” Joel whispered.

He handed me my gift and in no time, we were snacking on peppermint candy. Yum.

Finally, Christmas Eve arrived. We gathered around the tree to open our presents. I had a present from my parents and one from my sister and one from my grandparents.

Way in the back of the tree, there was also a present from my Grandmother’s friend. It was empty.

There was also one from John. It was empty.

There was also one from Joel. It was empty.

“So,” said Mom. “I think I baked too many cookies to leave for Santa. Is everybody ready for cookies and hot chocolate after we clean up all this?”

“Can I have a cookie now, Mom?”

She looked at me for a moment and then at my empty boxes. Then she continued to put bows and wrappings in a big bag.

“Sure,” I said.

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