This year, for the first time in ages, I spent Christmas day with my Mom and Dad. Two things you need to know:
- My “Dad”, Jake, is really my step-Dad. I like to call him the Fairy Stepfather. He’s awesome, funny, loving and also a knucklehead; so you can see where I got it from. He’s a veteran who served in Vietnam and then another 20-something years after that for good measure. He’s good people and I’m excessively lucky he is part of my life.
- My Mom, whom we call Zippy, is a Christmas Lady. Meaning, she has Christmas decor up all year ’round, including TWO fully decorated, lighted, flocked trees in the house. Yes, two. Yes, inside the house, all the time. She is also the best thing to ever happen to me or anyone who knows and likes me, hands down. (She would kill me if I did not mention that she is also a retired LTC, just like Jake.)
As you might imagine, having the first Christmas together in about a decade was a big deal for my Momma Christmas. We have a family tradition of all donating to charity instead of exchanging gifts, but this year, we opted for gifts as well for the festiveness of it all. Zippy gifted Jake with a new Kindle Paperwhite and the rest of us got him all the accouterment to set him up right.
This did not go swimmingly.
Jake opened the big red box, pulled out the beautiful Paperwhite, and said, “kicking and screaming into the future, huh?” He was … not thrilled.
Zippy went into cheery, let’s-not-ruin-Christmas mode: “You said you thought that display was great.” “You read so much now that you’ve retired, and we just downsized. We don’t need all those books!” “I was the same way when A gave me my Kindle, remember? Now I love it.”
And just when all the lighthearted good cheer was about explode, I said: “I really think you’d love Shadow Ops: Control Point. Let me get it for you right now.”
Then the trump card — I told him about Shadow Ops. Magic, real world and the familiarity of a militaristic world view. How it reminded me of the first fantasy series I truly loved, Piers Anthony’s Apprentice Adept; which were some of the first books my teenage self discussed with my new Stepdad way back when.
Will Jake embrace his new Kindle lifestyle? I have no idea.
I never got a chance to ask him — he was too busy reading.
Also, this is freakin’ winning: