The Christmas … pizza?
"Could the guys stay with you tomorrow afternoon? I have to go get the Christmas pizzas."
She grinned. "Is that what you have for dinner?"
"No, it's more like grazing through breakfast and lunch. We have roast beef that the guys won't eat for dinner. The pizza is a Santa thing. He always brings one."
And of everything Santa brings, Big Guy remembers pizza the most. He couldn't tell you what toys he got last year. But the pizza is top of mind.
It started three Christmases ago, when Big Guy was 5 and stumped on his letter to Santa. He listed a few toys but couldn't come up with the four he was allowed to ask for.
"I want ... I want ..." he hesitated, then he grinned. "I want a pizza! A whole pizza all my own!"
Understand that this was back when Big Guy was two years into his garlic allergy, so the pizza man hadn't rung our doorbell in a while. I baked homemade once a week, but he still hankered for those previous take-out pies. Surely Santa could pull it off. Couldn't he?
A quick call to the local Pizza Hut, where the manager always was willing to let me bring sauce for Big Guy, gave me the answer. Yes, Santa could pull it off. I ordered two, because I knew Big Guy wasn't about to share a whole pizza all his own.
"Hey, no fair! He got pizza, and it wasn't on his list," Big Guy pouted.
"Well, you got Pepsi and it wasn't on your list," I said, reminding him of another of our odd-ball traditions. Santa also delivers the one Pepsi Big Guy's allowed each year. Or used to be allowed. He's all the way up to three now.
Big Guy fretted last year after we'd moved miles away from the nearest Pizza Hut - it's the official pizzeria of Claus, you know. I sweated it a bit, too, until I figured out that the pizza place on post would be open on Christmas Eve. That left nothing for me to do other than to sneak out alone on Dec. 24 and make the purchase. Gee, I say that like sneaking away from two kids is easy.
This year brought a new complication: How to sneak out alone with Dad in Afghanistan. CPS would probably frown on a real-life "Home Alone," even for a cause as good and as noble as Christmas pizza.
I'd emailed my neighbor earlier in the week, but she hadn't seen it. Yeah, I know. It's weird to email someone whose wall is attached to yours, but I didn't want to risk the guys overhearing.
This morning, though, I had my chance. My neighbor never forgets to put out her garbage cans, so I'm viewing this one as a Christmas miracle.
"Can I send them over? It'll be less than an hour?"
"Sure!" she replied.
Good news, guys! Santa will be able to deliver your pizzas this year. They might not be piping hot, but what do you expect? They came from the North Pole.
Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.