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My Favorite ‘Personal’ Christmas Stories

I was thinking this morning of a few fond childhood Christmas stories {not like the rest are horror stories mind you} that made me actually LOL and I thought they might be fun to write down and share.  I plead the 5th right now and hope not to incriminate myself but I may feel better in the long run.  It is Christmas after all and we all have those great stories.  Since I am 99.1% sure my kids will never read this here are 3 of mine.

Photo by Kay Hanley

To Snoop or not to Snoop: The first time I remember “Snooping” must have been the year before this picture was taken. I am 10 in the picture. {Kids today have NO work ethic! Why, I remember when I was a kid…} So anyway, I remember thinking to myself, “Self, let’s go see if we can find some Christmas presents.” After looking high and low I finally ventured into my parents bedroom. If your “old school” you’ll remember that we never went into our parents bedroom without great consequence. Summoning up the courage, I went straight for the opposite side of the bed, hidden from the doorway, and BLAM! There it was under the bed, a box. Not a shiny box, just a box. Didn’t care…there was something IN IT; had to be! I pulled the box towards me and opened it up and there it was. A shirt. A SHIRT? Are you kidding me? I risk life and limb for a shirt? I was devastated, exhausted and my search was over. I had no more places to look. Was I really only getting a shirt for Christmas {still not afraid to say that word by the way} or did my Mom have the best hiding spots on the block.

So Christmas morning came, just like it always does; sugarplums and ferries or not! I had long since forgotten about that shirt until I came across it while opening gifts. Like I was going to be surprised? But sure enough, I opened up the box and the first thing out of my mouth was,

Oh, it’s that shirt!

Woops!  I still remember seeing the look in my Mom’s eyes and it might have been the first time I realized how easy it was to immediately say the wrong thing and incriminate yourself in a blink of an eye.  To what I thought would be my horror, my Mom only chuckled and gave me some grief about “snooping” and for all I know, may have purposely planted that shirt to teach a lesson.

You’d think I’d remember that shirt.

The Crushed Package:   This story happened the following year in the same house as in the picture; Afton Way to be exact.  Wasn’t a huge deal but I lost a LOT of sleep over it Christmas Eve and well into Christmas Day.

As any kid will tell you, it’s hard to go to sleep Christmas Eve.  We all want to see Claus, well, we actually want to see what the parents are bringing down out of the attic but we won’t go into that.

Late that night the lights went out and everyone was in bed, fast asleep with visions of credit card bills in their heads.  {I just lol’d again}   I figured out that “Claus” had been there and I wanted to go see the new presents that would be under the tree that hadn’t been there earlier in the day.  The other ones had already been shaken 112 times so what was the point in shaking those again, right?

I creeped downstairs and tip toed into the living room looking like the Grinch in Whoville making my way to the tree.  My brother Terry {you’ll read about him in story #3 as well} was home for the holidays and was crashed on the couch guarding the gifts with his arm literally hanging off the couch and draped over some presents like it was some kind of duty or something.

Keep in mind that I am being as quite as I possibly can while trying to climb around and pick stuff up to inspect the tags and what not.  While doing so and making a spin move that would make a Navy Seal happy I stepped straight down on a pretty blue package that went crunch.

OMG

My brother rolled around a bit, snorted and grumbled and I was frozen with fear.  Not of him waking up but in that split second of crunching I knew that it would come to fruition in just a few short hours. To be honest, I can’t even remember who’s gift it was or even what it was.  {I was that scared that to this day only the fear was downloaded into long term memory.}

So here is why I told you this story.  Christmas morning we’re all gathered and the crushed gift comes up.  No one can figure it out and my brother said he heard nothing during the night so it must have been the dog.  Oh man, I hung the dog out to dry!  I could have come clean and admitted guilt but yet I chose shame and let them blame it on Cleo. I still feel bad about it.  Cleo didn’t care, she got her Christmas dinner and layed around the house all day like she always did but man, I sacrificed the holiness of the family dog.  RIP old girl!

The BB Gun: Now, I’m not sure if my brother Terry already had the BB gun or if he got it for Christmas. Who cares! The fact is he broke out a BB gun on December 26th, 1971 while the Parental Units were out of the house. I was probably 8 or so and why he was in charge of watching me I’ll never know and if my Mom reads this she’ll cringe too!

The folks were gone and all of  a sudden my brother appears with this BB gun. Cool!  As a little brother you get left out of about everything but he was including me this day {probably to take the blame later if need be but I didn’t care} which a little brother will always take advantage of.

So I am thinking we’re going outside to shoot this thing when all of a sudden he crouches down behind the couch and unloads a BB directly into a Christmas ornament hanging half way up the tree.  I can still remember that ornament shattering into 63 pieces and the laughter out of my brothers mouth.  I am standing there in shock and tell him

DO IT AGAIN

So he does!  BLAM!  Then BLAM!  Three gone, in tiny pieces and we have tears coming out our eyes. So I ask if I can do one and he hands me the BB gun and BLAM!  Direct hit! My brother shoots one more then suddenly realizes we have destroyed like 6 or 7 ornaments and Mom is going to notice.  So HE starts freaking out which freaks me out because when your older brother freaks out it’s usually not good.  You don’t know why, you just know it’s not good.

We feverishly cleaned up the house the best we could and when my Mom came home and asked what happened to the tree we just threw the cat under the bus and the feline accepted full responsibility.

Case closed!  Wow, THAT was easy!  And now that I resemble somewhat of an “adult” I wonder how my Dad never saw BB holes in the wall.  Maybe he did find out and dealt with my brother without me knowing but pretty sure we got away with that one lock stock and barrel.

Those were the days. Watching my brothers blow the mailbox off the house with wads of Black Cats tied together, burnouts in the driveway in the old mans old VW and watching Joe Oscheski biff it on the sidewalk. Maybe it’s time to come clean and tell all the stories my Mom probably still doesn’t know of and let the pets off the hook.

What’s she going to do? Ground me?  Truth be told…she provided some of the best Christmas experiences ever and I am forever grateful for all those special family times and moments!

Merry Christmas everyone from my family to yours!

Charley, Lesli, Taylor, Mason, Cade & Joe

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