Doug is asking if anyone got any Reds-related Christmas gifts this year. While I can’t top what Slyde received (are you listening, Mrs. Chad?), I did receive something worth talking about. First, some background….

Fifteen or twenty years ago, I was a teenager who wanted only one thing for Christmas: a Barry Larkin jersey. I didn’t receive it — too impractical, I think my parents believed — and I asked for the same thing the next year. And the following year, and so on until it became a running joke.

Now I’m married with two kids and a minivan, and every once in a while, I joke with my parents about the fact that my childhood was unfulfilled because I never got the Christmas gift I really wanted. Of course, I could buy one for myself now, but that isn’t the point. Every year, they ask me what I want for Christmas, and I still tell them: “Just one thing. A Barry Larkin jersey.”

So, cut to yesterday. I took the family to my parents’ house. As I prepare to open a package from my parents, I notice that everyone has stopped to watch. Yes, you guessed it, it’s an autographed Barry Larkin jersey. With a sign on top that said “Better Late Than Never.”

Perfect. My seven-year-old daughter and I agree: Best Christmas Ever.