Authors: Jeff Kinney
Tags: #Friendship, #Juvenile Fiction, #Humorous Stories, #School & Education, #Social Issues
Somebody knocked the glasses off of Patty's head, and one of the lenses broke. Mrs. Norton had to shut down the play after that, because Patty can't see two feet in front of her without her glasses.
After the play was over, my family went home together. Mom had brought a bouquet of flowers, and I guess they were supposed to be for me. But she ended up tossing them in the trash can on the way out the door.
I just hope that everyone who came to see the play was as entertained as I was.
[Image: A cartoon showing four children.]
Well, if one good thing came out of the play, it's that I don't have to worry about the "Bubby" nickname anymore.
I saw Archie Kelly getting hassled in the hallway after fifth period today, so it looks like I can finally start to breathe a little easier.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy being hassled.] The Caption reads: " Hi there "Bubby"!"
With all this stuff going on at school, I haven't even had time to think about Christmas. And it's less than ten days away.
In fact, the only thing that tipped me off that Christmas was coming was when Rodrick put his wish list up on the refrigerator.
[Image: Rodrick's Wish list] The Caption reads: " Rodrick's Wish list
1. New drums
2. New van
3. Shrunken head"
I usually make a big wish list every year, but this Christmas, all I really want is this video game called Twisted Wizard.
Tonight Manny was going through the Christmas catalog, picking out all the stuff he wants with a big red marker. Manny was circling every single toy in the catalog. He was even circling really expensive things like a giant motorized car and stuff like that.
[Image: A cartoon showing boy going through Christmas catalog.]
So I decided to step in and give him some good big-brotherly advice.
I told him that if he circled stuff that was too expensive, he was going to end up with a bunch of clothes for Christmas. I said he should just pick three or four medium-priced gifts so he would end up with a couple of things he actually wanted.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy holding the Christmas catalog.]
But of course Manny just went back to circling everything again. So I guess he'll just have to learn the hard way.
When I was seven, the only thing I really wanted for Christmas was a Barbie Dream House. And NOT because I like girls' toys, like Rodrick said.
I just thought it would be a really awesome fort for my toy soldiers.
When Mom and Dad saw my wish list that year, they got in a big fight over it. Dad said there was no way he was getting me a dollhouse, but Mom said it was healthy for me to "experiment" with whatever kind of toys I wanted to play with.
[Image: A cartoon showing mom and dad looking at the wish list.]
Believe it or not, Dad actually won that argument. Dad told me to start my wish list over and pick some toys that were more "appropriate" for boys.
But I have a secret weapon when it comes to Christmas. My Uncle Charlie always gets me whatever I want. I told him I wanted the Barbie Dream House, and he said he'd hook me up.
On Christmas, when Uncle Charlie gave me my gift, it was NOT what I asked for. He must've walked into the toy store and picked up the first thing he saw that had the word "Barbie" on it.
So if you ever see a picture of me where I'm holding a Beach Fun Barbie, now at least you know the whole story.
[Image: A cartoon showing a picture of a boy holding a Beach Fun Barbie.]
Dad wasn't real happy when he saw what Uncle Charlie got me. He told me to either throw it out or give it away to charity.
But I kept it anyway. And OK, I admit maybe I took it out and played with it once or twice.
That's how I ended up in the emergency room two weeks later with a pink Barbie shoe stuck up my nose. And believe me, Rodrick has never let me hear the end of THAT.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy in the doctor's chamber.]
Tonight me and Mom went out to get a gift for the Giving Tree at church. The Giving Tree is basically a Secret Santa kind of thing where you get a gift for someone who is needy.
Mom picked out a red wool sweater for our Giving Tree guy.
I tried to talk Mom into getting something a lot cooler, like a TV or a slushie machine or something like that.
Because imagine if all you got on Christmas was a wool sweater.
[Image: A cartoon showing a man looking at a wool sweater.] The Caption reads: " Yippee."
I'm sure our Giving Tree guy will throw his sweater in the trash, along with the ten cans of yams we sent his way during the Thanksgiving Food Drive.
When I woke up this morning and went downstairs, there were about a million gifts under the Christmas tree. But when I started digging around, there were hardly any gifts with my name on them.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy looking at his Christmas gifts.]
But Manny made out like a bandit. He got EVERY single thing he circled in the catalog, no lie. So I'll bet he's glad he didn't listen to me.
I did find a couple things with my name on them, but they were mostly books and socks and stuff like that.
I opened my gifts in the corner behind the couch, because I don't like opening gifts near Dad. Whenever someone opens a gift, Dad swoops right in and cleans up after them.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy opening his gift.]
I gave Manny a toy helicopter and I gave Rodrick a book about rock bands. Rodrick gave me a book, too, but of course he didn't wrap it. The book he got me was "Best of L'il Cutie."
"L'il Cutie" is the worst comic in the newspaper, and Rodrick knows how much I hate it. I think this is the fourth year in a row I've gotten a "L'il Cutie" book from him.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy giving a book to another boy.]
I gave Mom and Dad their gifts. I get them the same kind of thing every year, but parents eat that stuff up.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy giving a gift to his parents.] The Caption reads: " Thanks."
The rest of the relatives started showing up around 11:00, and Uncle Charlie came at noon.
Uncle Charlie brought a big trash bag full of gifts, and he pulled my present out of the top of the bag.
[Image: A cartoon showing a man giving present to the boy from the trash bag.]
The package was the exact right size and shape to be a Twisted Wizard game, so I knew Uncle Charlie came through for me. Mom got the camera ready and I tore open my gift.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy opening his gift.]
But it was just an 8x10 picture of Uncle Charlie.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy holding a picture.]
I guess I didn't do a good job of hiding my disappointment, and Mom got mad. All I can say is, I'm glad I'm still a kid, because if I had to act happy about the kinds of gifts grown-ups get, I don't think I could pull it off.
[Image: A cartoon showing a lady looking at her gift.] The Caption reads: " Bless this house
I know the perfect place for this!
I just knew you'd love it!"
I went up to my room to take a break for a while. A couple minutes later, Dad knocked on my door. He told me he had my gift for me out in the garage, and the reason it was out there was because it was too big to wrap.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy talking to his father.]
And when I walked down to the garage, there was a brand-new weight set.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy looking at his gift which was brand-new weight set.]
That thing must have cost a fortune. I didn't have the heart to tell Dad that I kind of lost interest in the whole weight-lifting thing when the wrestling unit ended last week. So I just said "thanks" instead.
I think Dad was expecting me to drop down and start doing some reps or something, but I just excused myself and went back inside.
At about 6:00, all the relatives cleared out.
I was sitting on the couch watching Manny play with his toys, feeling pretty sorry for myself. Then Mom came up to me and said that she found a gift behind the piano with my name on it, and it said, "From Santa."
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy looking at his gift.]
The box was way too big for Twisted Wizard, but Mom pulled the same "big box" trick on me last year when she got me a memory card for my video game system.
So I ripped open the package and pulled out my present. Only this wasn't Twisted Wizard, either. It was a giant red wool sweater.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy looking at the sweater.] The Caption reads: " Flash"
At first I thought Mom was playing some kind of practical joke on me, because this sweater was the same kind we bought for our Giving Tree guy.
But Mom seemed pretty confused, too. She said she DID buy me video game, and that she had no idea what the sweater was doing in my box.
And then I figured it out. I told Mom there must have been some kind of mix-up, and I got the Giving Tree guy's gift, and he got mine.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy holding the sweater.]
Mom said she used the same kind of wrapping paper for both of our gifts, so she must've written the wrong names on the tags.
But then Mom said that this was really a good thing, because the Giving Tree guy was probably really happy he got such a great gift.
[Image: A cartoon showing a lady.] The Caption reads: " It's a Christmas miracle!"
I had to explain that you need a game system and a TV to play Twisted Wizard, so the game was totally useless to him.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy talking to his Mom.] The Caption reads: " oh."
Even though my Christmas was not going that great, I'm sure it was going a whole lot worse for the Giving Tree guy.
[Image: A cartoon showing a man sitting on a sofa.] The Caption reads: " Jerks."
I kind of decided to throw in the towel for this Christmas, and I headed up to Rowley's house.
I forgot to get a gift for Rowley, so I just slapped a bow on the "L'il Cutie" book Rodrick gave me.
And that seemed to do the trick.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy giving a gift to his friend.]
Rowley's parents have a lot of money, so I can always count on them for a good gift.
But Rowley said that this year he picked out my gift himself. Then he brought me outside to show me what it was.
From the way Rowley was hyping his present, I thought he must have gotten me a big-screen TV or a motorcycle or something.
But once again, I let my hopes get too high.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy giving a big wheel to his friend.]
Rowley got me a Big Wheel. I guess I would have thought this was a cool gift when I was in the third grade, but I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with one now.
Rowley was so enthusiastic about it that I tried my best to act like I was happy anyway.
[Image: A cartoon showing a boy saying thanks to his friend.] The Caption reads: " Gee, Thanks!"