Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Twas The Night Before Christmas

NOTE: The following blog entry is based from an actual event which took place when I was a kid. Details are as I remember them today and are set to the narrative tone of the famous holiday story "Twas The Night Before Christmas".

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring. Not even a mouse.

That is until you get to my bedroom.

The year was around 1977 or so. I was 11 or so. In my bedroom, I was tossing and turning trrying to get to sleep. My two younger brothers were dead to the world (no doubt with sugar plums dancing in their heads of course :-)). But no matter what I did, I just couldn't get to sleep myself. I tried everything. I tried tossing, turning, fluffing the pillow. You name it, I did it. I even tried counting everything from candy canes to sugar plums and sheep. NOTHING seemed to work.

Then HE came. :-)

Before I knew it, it was midnight. And that's when things REALLY started happening.

Santa recruited my dad as his special "In-House Helper" (he always did this BTW). While Santa was busy working his magic back in the den where the big family Chrristmas tree was, he had Dad stuff the stockings which were hung on the outsides of our bedroom doors (we had no fireplace) and put a present or two under the samll trrees which we had in our bedrooms. The trees were well lit for the occasion (we were allowed to leave the lights on all night on Christmas Eve).

As luck would have it on this night, it would turn out to be one of my biggest problems.

With me still trying to get to sleep, my Dad started to walk in. At first, he noticed me still lying in bed awake & thought it was intentional. He told me to get to sleep. But try as I did, I just simply couldn't. He started to walk in again, bu this time, I managed to fool him by faking the idea I had fallen to sleep at long last. I could hear the slight thumping noise against the door as he stuffed my stocking full of Santa's goodies. After a short while (I assume he stuffed the stockings of my two younger brothers during this time), he came back in with my present. He put it under my tree, which was still lit.

After a while, seconds became minutes. Minutes became hours. And as I looked over at the alarm clock, I noticed that it was now 2:00 AM CHRISTMAS MORNING.

But I knew there was NO WAY my parents were going to let me get up at that ungodly hour to open presents (Heck, even my Dad was beginning to doze off to sleep). That is when I had mischievious thoughts swirling through my head. It was also when I started to wonder what Santa left for me under the tree in the den. It was also around this time I gave up on the idea of getting any sleep at all.

I could already see the package under my bedroom tree, though I didn't open it. I just saw it sitting there as I laid in bed. As I was lying in bed, I started thinking. I asked myself what sort of excuse could I make up that would seem perfectly legitimate enough for me to get out of bed AND get ANYWHERE NEAR the den. I knew that going to the bathroom was out of the question because the bathroom was just outside my bedroom and I could easily slip in there without Dad noticing me. So I had to think of something else.

Knowing that in order for me to get to the den, I had to not only go through the main living room where my Mom & dad were (My parents didn't have a bedroom of their own as my mom laind on the pull-out bed which was part of the couch we had at the time and my Dad slep in his recliner. Don't ask me why they chose to do this), but I also had to go through the kitchen too. As such, I, as an 11 year old boy, had to come up with a perfectly sensible excuse to be in the kitchen during the wee hours of the morning.

By this time, it was about 2:30 AM.

I then started getting thirsty. REAL thirsty. But my REAL thirst was not one which could be quenched with water. It was then that the perfect excuse hit me.

GET A DRINK OF WATER.

I then started to put all the pieces of my master plan into place. After that, I then set forth to execute it.

I crawled out of bed and walked out of the bedroom. I tiptoed across the main living room (this was to not disturb my then sleeping parents, or so I thought). Dad stopped me and asked what I was doing out of bed. I told him I wanted to get a drink of water. He told me to do it and then get back to bed.

BUT I HAD NO INTENTION OF GOING BACK TO BED (at least not right away).

I walked into the kitchen and reached for a glass. I reached for one which was fairly close and would make the least amount of noise. I filled it up once or twice with water and drank it. I then filled it up again, but this one was "for the road".

The road to the den that is.

Before I knew it, I was at the steps leading to the den. I looked back to see if anyone (namely Dad) was behind me before stepping off into the den. It was then I saw the Christmas tree and all the presents under it.

I knew a few prresents were there before Christmas (Ya know....Chrristmas shopping and all), but there were others I hadn't seen before. I could also tell that some of the presents which were already under the tree had been moved around a little. I went to "investivate".

Before I did though, I made sure to look up over the counter to see if anyone (again namely Dad) was somehow on my trail. Once again, the coast was clear. Or so I thought (read on).

I got closer and closer to the tree and before I knew it, I WAS STANDING IN FRONT OF IT. I then carrefully got down on my knees (Ya know, not wanting any of the decorations to fall :-)). Just as I got on my knees and began looking at all the tags - *SWOOP!*

Before I could say Rumpelstilskin, Dad scooped me back up on my feet, turned me around, and paddled my butt all the way back to my bedrroom. It wasn't a spanking, but he made sure I felt it as I was on the move back to my bedroom. He then told me to get me to get to sleep. By this time, I was in no position to say anything in response. Dad wasn't mad, though he wasn't neccessarily very happy at me either.

Needless to say, my little adventure was enough for me to get something resembling sleep for the remainder of that night as before I knew it, it was 4:30 AM or so and everyone was up and about then (Yes, my little adventure was a buzz around the house that morning). We all opened our prresents BEFORE breakfast (this was a tradition in our family) and the rest, as they say, is history. :-)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE.

Pat

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