Santa stopped by the studio for a visit this morning.

Santa has been a staple of the morning show during the holidays for the last 19 years. It’s always fun listening to the kids call in to tell Santa what’s on their list, and I’m sure parents are glad to not be standing in a two-hour line at the mall while feeding their children Goldfish and Teddy Grahams to prevent a hunger meltdown. We’ve all been there.

When the microphones were off, conversation turned to wrapping gifts for others. Had to smile, because of the countless years my father asked me to wrap the presents he bought for mom. How many Dads count on their kids to wrap for them? Keep in mind, this was long before the days of giftbags and tissue paper. I can remember hiding out in a back bedroom, neatly folding mom’s robe in a giftbox, and taping it up neatly, knowing she wouldn’t think for a second that Dad managed to line up the Christmas trees on the paper.

Just as I would finish up, Dad would bring me one more. A last-minute purchase, earrings, her favorite perfume, or Isotoner slippers. Those were staples for him, despite the fact that he often bought them on Christmas Eve.

I was still helping Dad wrap during my college years, but it’s been awhile since those days when he requested help from me or my sisters. I had long forgotten those times of wrapping late in the night, until today. I miss those phone calls.

And my father.