A reminder: This is Day Two of The Seven Days of Pricklesmas Contest. Details here!
I’ve always had trouble sleeping. It takes me forever to get my brain to stop working and wind down, especially when I’m anxious or excited. And when I was a little kid, and it was Christmas Eve? Fuggedaboudit.
For the first ten or so years of my life, my family’s Christmas was pretty minimalist. And by that, I don’t mean we received few presents. We received a TON. It’s just that they were never wrapped. On Christmas Day, my sister and I would race downstairs to the living room, where her gifts were displayed on one couch, and mine were on the other. Any spillover or smaller gifts were stuffed in our stockings or left under the tree. It was pretty green of Santa, when you think about it, not to waste all that wrapping paper.
But this meant that Santa left my Christmas bounty out in the open and nearly beckoning to be played with. And there I was upstairs, in my bed, wide-eyed and vibrating with anticipation. This was a recipe for trouble, and my mother knew it. She made it very clear that we (meaning ME) weren’t to come downstairs until 7am. But even then, as a wee moppet, I knew all rules were meant to be broken. Over the years, I made several, increasingly-artful attempts:
Attempt #1: I snuck downstairs and spent a good ten minutes ogling my gifts before my mother discovered me.
Attempt #2: I was discovered by my mother as I was sneaking down the stairs. When interrogated, I pretended I’d been sleepwalking.
Attempt #3: I stayed up all night reading my entire Laura Ingalls Wilder library, then set my alarm clock ahead one hour, went downstairs at 6am, and claimed my clock had malfunctioned.
After this final, Ocean’s Eleven-level ruse, Santa decided to play hardball, and started delivering wrapped gifts. With all the hours and hours Santa and his elves spent on gift-wrapping, I’m sure my parents were thrilled that they were finally able to get a good night’s sleep. And I could finally sleep, too, once the lure of exposed Christmas treasures was removed. A détente was reached.
But not for long. My mother had a whole new set of rules to implement. And those rules involved a clipboard.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Image from The Graphics Fairy.