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The 12 things Modern Dad wants for Christmas

MODERN DAD | By Jon Show

Dec. 25. It’s the holiday season, which means it’s the time of year when we call our dads and ask them what they want for Christmas, and they respond with the same time-honored dad answer, “Nothing, I just want you to be happy.”

It took having kids for me to understand that their response actually means: “If I need or want something I’ve already bought it or plan to buy it myself because I’m not going to risk you screwing it up.”

Valid but, nonetheless, it’s an annoying answer to a question that no one knows the correct answer to – what do I get Dad for Christmas?

Not me. I’m gonna make it easy on my family and become a financial burden to them at the same time.

Here are my gift requests, 12 Days of Christmas-style.

On the first day of Christmas…

One nap sounds nice. I don’t nap anymore. I think it’s because I don’t stay up late and don’t need to nap but either way a nap is just a great thing to include in your day. I’ll take one, please.

On the second day of Christmas…

A pair of New Balance Nitrel v3’s, my favorite shoe of all time. I liked them so much that I bought four pairs five years ago and just went through my final pair and now I can’t find any more of them.

Yes, I tried on the v4 and v5 but they aren’t as comfy-cozy on my tootsie-wootsies

On the third day of Christmas…

Three pieces of pizza. Mmmm, pizza.

Three slices of pizza is the exact right amount of pizza. Eat two and I’m still hungry. Eat four and I’ll wake up at 3 am with a stomach ache. Man, being middle-aged is awesome.

On the fourth day of Christmas…

Four tires. When did tires get so expensive? I Googled it to find out why and the first link I clicked blamed it on Obama’s 2009 tariff on tire imports.

I have no idea if that’s correct but my new favorite thing is to blame something on a president (blue or red) and then listen to people pile on with unrelated complaints about said president.

Sometimes I just walk into a room, get a good read on the crowd, groan the name of an ex-president and buckle up for some quality entertainment.

On the fifth day of Christmas…

This list is more difficult than I expected. Maybe dads don’t answer the gift question because it’s just easier to say nothing than come up with ideas?

I’ll take a high five and move on to the next day.

On the sixth day of Christmas…

I infrequently purchase things that come in packs of six that I should probably buy more often. Things like socks and underwear and string cheese.

I’ll take a six-pack of socks and underwear because once you have kids your mom stops buying you socks and underwear and I have a 14 year old so … let’s just say it’s been a long time since I last replaced the good ol’ delicates.

On the seventh day of Christmas…

When you were a kid was there anything better than pulling together a last-minute coupon book of favors for your mom or dad and only actually doing one of them?

I want a seven-chore coupon book. Mow. Back scratch with fake nails. Cook dinner. Wash car. Pick up the garage. Cook breakfast. Take out the trash.

The only one I want completed is the back scratch with fake nails because I’d just have to redo all the other ones when they weren’t done correctly.

Side note: you haven’t lived if you’ve never had a back scratch with fake nails.

On the eighth day of Christmas…

Eight T-shirts. I need T-shirts, bad.

A man doesn’t add T-shirts in his 40s. He begins the process of living in the same shirts he’s already accumulated until his days on Earth are over.

Being in a bad T-shirt spot is a scary place to be at my age.

On the ninth day of Christmas…

Nine visits to the chiropractor.

Unlike my wife, who has a different person on retainer for each part of her body, I’ve done next to nothing to take care of injuries and wear and tear from playing sports over the years.

If I was a car based on my birth year I’d be a 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass with bald tires, poor alignment and rattling CV joints.

On the tenth day of Christmas…

My dad had a nice pen before he retired. It was thin and sleek and gold plated and had his company’s logo affixed to the pocket clip. He was a classy guy.

Me? I like Bic Clic Sticks. I’ll take a 10 pack.

On the eleventh day of Christmas…

Have you ever paid attention to the gifts in the 12 Days of Christmas? There’s some truly terrible stuff in there.

On the eleventh day of Christmas the recipient was gifted 11 pipers piping. At some point in history was there a market for buying and gifting flute players? If someone gave me 11 pipers piping I’d call the authorities.

I’ll take 11 special holiday edition Trader Joe’s chocolate-covered Oreos sprinkled with peppermint dust. Yummy.

On the twelfth day of Christmas…

The reality is you can’t do the 12 Days of Christmas in this economy. You either can’t afford all this stuff due to inflation or it’s not all in stock because of supply chain issues.

That being said, on my final day I’ll be requesting the timeless gift that is always in stock and greatly appreciated by dads everywhere during the holidays.

Beers. I’ll take 12 beers, please.

I’d prefer a brew I like, but based on prior years I’ll probably get one of those samplers that have a bunch of different beers, three of which are tasty and nine of which are wheat beers, fruit beers or pumpkin beers.

Which is why, when asked what I wanted, I should have just answered “nothing” and bought my own beer.

Man, dads sure are way smarter than we give them credit for.

Happy holidays!

Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 13-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 10-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.