Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Three Kings

"I asked for everything.  XBox One, PS4, iPod, iPad, everything."

Right, I said.  And what did you put on your regular list?  You know, for your relatives who don't have a million dollars?

He shook his head.  "I don't think about that.  If I thought about who couldn't afford things, Christmas wouldn't be any fun.  All I do is build my list, ask for what I really want, and if I get it, I'm happy.  And if I don't get it, I'm still happy.  Because it's still presents."   

Triston was on intervention.  He had to come to my office every day so I could make sure he was in school. 

"Listen to him," said Jose.  Jose had an attendance problem too, but ever since I started promising him free candy at the end of every perfect week, he'd been there every single day.  

"What?" said Triston.  "I like nice stuff."  He flipped to his sheet in my book and put a sticker in today's square.

Jose laughed.  "You only like that stuff because you don't have to work for it.  I've got a job. Spoiled."

Listen to you, I said.  I'm sure you like presents too.  What did you ask for?

"Nothing," said Jose.  "I work for what I have."

You don't celebrate Christmas?  How about Three Kings?

"Both," he said.  "We celebrate both."

"What's Three Kings?" said Triston.

"It's like ..." Jose paused a moment.  "You know how you don't get everything you want for Christmas?  You get it on Three Kings."

I laughed, and I made him explain how it was because of the gifts of the Magi and it was a big holiday in Mexico.

"Oh yeah," Jose said.  "Los Reyes Magos.  And Baby Jesus.  But really, it's the presents you don't get."

Triston thought hard for a moment.  "Oh," he said.  "I just made the connection.  We still have Three Kings here.  Except they call it Tax Day.  Refund!  Presents!  What? What?"

Go to class, I said.  You Maniacs.

They both grabbed a Reese's.  I always kept candy on my desk because I'm not above bribing children to do the right thing.