Christmas Gratitude List (2015), continued:
6. Minecraft. This crazy game has given my son a thousand hours of flow. On the Xbox, on the computer, at the library after school, he spent the year building ever-more-fantastical houses in the Chinese style -- complete with libraries, dojos, and indoor waterfalls -- block by block.
With the devotion of a Talmudic scholar, he pored over Minecraft cartoons on the Internet, discovering clips the whole family could enjoy. Christmas with the Villagers, for example, includes the following exchange:
Minecraft Santa: Come sit on my lap!
Minecraft child: Hey, you're not the real Santa! You're just a fake!
Minecraft Santa [gruffly]: Get in the bag.
7. Nana Claus. While some families excel at singing around the piano at drunken soirees, my family excels at the most important Christmas activity: giving presents. Not that I'm awake at midnight on Christmas Eve -- because of course, I'm in bed waiting for Santa -- but if I were, I would be moved by all the thoughtful presents under the tree. I am especially grateful to my mom, who sends each gift pre-wrapped -- with exquisite care and attention -- by herself. When these magical-looking presents arrive, I simply lift them out of mailing box and put them aside till Christmas, after changing the kids' gift tags to say "From Mom."
8. Amazon.com. Every Christmas, I renew my pledge to support whoever is in charge of Amazon.com -- or, if s/he is busy, a senior executive -- for President of the United States. It is the most stunningly effective organization since . . . well, there is no human precedent. I feel certain that, over at Amazon, it is a no-excuses culture: If the Prime team were on the job, ISIS would be a smear in two days -- or your money back. (But nobody listens to me, do they?) Thanks Amazon, for giving everybody everything they want every day, at a reasonable price, delivered to their doorstep. Too bad you are "not qualified" to be President.
9. Mr. Right. Years ago, when I began to think about post-divorce dating, I had no idea what kind of person might fit the bill. I was forty years old with two kids, weary of every type of man I'd met in the entire state of California. He could be the nicest guy in the world, but a sharp dresser with a demanding job who was always on his phone, mulling Yelp! reviews of farm-to-fork restaurants, was not going to work: "I'm sorry, I just can't . . . Sorry."
I longed for a 50-foot banner to unfurl over my head, in the sky's vastness, that read -- like the Monty Python film -- "And Now for Something Completely Different."
Miraculously, it happened. Dave's basic character is so noble and decent, I sometimes compare it to "a bar of gold." Despite being genial and handsome, he is not cool or on-trend. He is old-fashioned yet unique, and completely defies classification. This is my favorite type of person, as it turns out.
I am so grateful for him and all our happy times together.
Merry Third Christmas, honey.