I don’t need to tell you how excited kids get at Christmas-time. The decorations, the cookies, the presents . . . it pretty much freakin’ rocks!
Putting up the decorations was a big deal. As a family we would pick out a live tree. Together we would put on the lights, the shiny glass balls and a plethora of ornaments.
I love helping my mom bake the Christmas cookies; dozens and dozens of them baking in the oven and cooling on every available surface.
When I was little I wasn’t any different than your average spastic child seeing all those brightly wrapped gifts having to know . . . nay . . . needing to know what was contained under all that pretty paper and those perfect bows.
After my belief and Santa Claus had waned my mother dispensed with the pretense of the jolly old elf delivering presents to all the good little children on Christmas Eve and started placing the gifts under the tree in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas as she wrapped them. They were so pretty . . . sooooo tempting.
So, when no one was around I would sneak up to the presents and ever so carefully peel back the tape and peek under the wrapping. And thusly I would know everything I got for Christmas before the big day.
That in itself, however, caused a conundrum. I knew all the goodies I was going to get and I couldn’t play with them.
I had already taken a huge risk. If my mother ever found out that I had peeked at the presents then there would surely be no presents.
There was absolutely no way I could get away with fully unwrapping and rewrapping the gifts without her knowing . . . so I had to wait. Tickety Tockety . . .
Finally, Christmas morning would come and we’d go through the ritual of passing out the gifts, the guessing, the opening, etc.
The guessing . . . therein lay the problem. Being a stupid little kid I just couldn’t guess wrong and I didn’t. I’d blurt out what was under the tampered with covering.
My mom finally got to what was going on. In the years that followed she started hiding the presents. I knew that if I peeked again and guessed right again I’d be in big trouble . . . probably to the pain of no presents maybe ever again. My mom didn’t screw around.
When Christmas came around again so did the tradition of passing out the gifts, the guessing, the opening, etc.
When it was my turn I actually guessed what was in the package without having sneaked. Go figure . . . that’s karma for ya! I even remember what it was . . . a jewelry box.
I swore up and down and all around that I hadn’t looked . . . and I really and truly hadn’t. I must have been so adamant and distraught that somehow she believed me and Christmas came every year thereafter and there were presents every year thereafter, as well.