Lap Battles

A story a day until there’s a sleigh! This holiday season, I’m sharing a new flash fiction piece inspired by a holiday song every day of December until Christmas. Today’s story is inspired by Minuit, Chrétiens.

Jackie liked sitting in Grandpa’s lap far better than sitting on Santa’s. He sat on Grandpa’s lap all the time. There was no pressure about it.

Whenever his mom dropped him off at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, Jackie would always find Grandpa sitting in his recliner in the living room in front of the television where he’d watch old football games that looked real grainy. Sometimes Grandpa would ask him to come sit on his lap, sometimes Jackie would hop up on his own, uninvited but welcome. He’d stay up there as long as he wanted–usually until Grandma called him into the kitchen for chocolate milk and SpaghettiOs.

When his mom took him to see Santa on the other hand, Jackie would have to wait in line while a million other kids sat on Santa’s lap first. Then, he was barely on Santa’s lap at all–only long enough to say a couple things he wanted for Christmas and to take a picture his mom would send out to everyone she knew like Santa was someone special.

Santa didn’t even listen. Two years ago, Jackie had told him he wanted to go to the zoo, but Santa never took him there. Jackie had said the same thing to his Grandpa while sitting on his lap, and they were at the zoo the next weekend. Sure, Santa delivered presents under the tree on Christmas Eve but where was he the rest of the year?

Grandpa was always there when Jackie needed him. Grandpa picked him up from preschool when his mom had to work. Grandpa had put Jackie on his shoulders when they went to the Georgia Bulldogs football game so he wouldn’t get lost in the crowd. Grandpa had taken him to the hospital when he’d hit a tree sled riding and hurt his forehead real bad.

Plus, Grandpa’s beard was better than Santa’s. Sometimes Jackie liked to play with his beard while he was sitting on Grandpa’s lap, and Grandpa didn’t mind. Meanwhile, when he’d tried to touch Santa’s beard, he’d accidentally pulled it off him, which scared Jackie so much he’d peed his pants (he’d been waiting in line forever).

And Santa had stood up, knocking Jackie off his lap while saying, “You little shit!”

Grandpa never talked like that to Jackie. Grandpa never talked like that at all….well, except when the Dawgs were losing.

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