Children’s Rules for Christmas Morning
What follows is a story that is infamous in our family. It has been told to me by all my siblings and my parents. I was a principle player in this tale, however, I was much too young to remember it and much too innocent to be held responsible for my behavior. Certain parties have argued that point. I will let you, dear reader, decide for yourself…..
It all began mid December 1965. I was just turning three. My sister Linda was 15, Patty 14 and brother Jim was 10. All of them were old enough to know better.
The girls were well beyond the whole Santa thing and Jim was as well but not quite ready to admit it. I was at that age where I was just begining to understand the wonder of Santa and all the excitement of Christmas itself.
As a toddler, I was no more a morning person than I am as an adult therefore my mother had an awful time getting me up back then. Often, if she was busy getting breakfast for the school age kids, she would send one of them in to try and coax me out of bed.
One morning, my brother had the bright idea of telling me that it was Christmas morning and that Santa had come. The lie worked because I sprung out of bed and rushed out to see my presents. Naturally, when I realized the truth I had a meltdown like any three year old would. Mom yelled at Jim when she found out what he did but he and my sisters thought it was hilarious. They rolled off to school laughing while my mother was left to comfort me.
Over the next week or two they periodically convinced me it was Christmas morning just to get me out of bed. They sounded so sincere that I believed them every time. My mother warned them that they were going to pay for their mean spirited behavior.
Their payback came on December 25th.
The Christmas morning rule in our family was that everyone had to come out to the living room together. There are many Super 8 films of us in our pajamas, coming down the hallway, eyes closed, single file with our hands on each other’s shoulders, ready to start the unwrapping.
Well, that year, when Christmas morning finally came along, Jim and the girls were up at the crack of dawn, eager to get to their presents. Mom and Dad headed to the living room and set up the camera, all ready for us to make our entrance.
Guess who refused to get out of bed?
My three sibling, wild to get to their presents, pleaded and cajoled but I buried my head under the covers and refused to budge. They yelled out to my mom and dad but recieved no help. Mom told them that they had created the situation so they had to deal with it. I’m sure she had a very satisfied grin on her face.
I don’t know how long my parents let them stew before mom finally came in and told me that they were telling the truth. The Christmas morning home movie that year show me wandering out slowly rubbing my eyes and Linda, Pat and Jim close on my heals practically humming with desire to get to those gifts. I guess I was lucky they didn’t climb right over me!
My brother and sisters have always maintained that they were unfairly treated that Christmas morning 1965. My parents and I, however feel they got exactly what they deserved. What do you think?