Sunday, December 9, 2012

Santa's NOT crazy!

Santa’s NOT Crazy! But my family is. And that is why I never had the chance to believe in Santa Claus. It’s my brothers fault. They were sneaky and often snuck through the house searching for their gifts. My dad was always trying to outsmart their sneakiness.

I remember the Christmas I was four. All I wanted for Christmas was a pink ballerina Tutu.  Mom helped me write my letter to Santa. And then I began to wait with the anticipation every child has during the count down to Christmas.
On Christmas Eve my Grandpa Flick and Grandma Dot arrived for the holiday festivities. Grandpa Flick was a big, handsome well dressed man. He was a manly man who loved to hunt and fish. Grandma Dot was tall, happy and had the most wonderful laugh that echoed through the house. I liked when Grandpa Flick and Grandma Dot came to visit.
After Christmas Eve dinner and candle light service, stories were told and we were all tucked in to bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads. Well not really.  I fell asleep with visions of pink Tutus dancing in my head. My parents fell asleep on the sofa bed under the lights of the Christmas tree. Grandpa Flick and Grandma Dot fell asleep in mom and dad’s room.
My brothers retreated to their “pent-house” in the attic and began to plot a perfect plan to foil Santa. My father planned an offensive strategy to ward off their antics. He had somehow gotten wind of the boys plan to sneak down to the Christmas tree in the middle of the night. So he took some fishing line and tied it to our very large dinner bell. He set the bell on the hard wood stairs, stretched the fishing line across the step and tied the other end of the string to the railing spindel. He knew that when the boys snuck down stairs they would trip over the line, set the bell off and he would wake up and catch them.
It was a perfect plan until I woke up sick and wanted my mommy. I teetered out of my room and quietly tip toed into their room only to discover Grandpa Flick’s big head where mommy’s should have been. I remembered mommy was sleeping by the Christmas Tree downstairs so I headed for the stairs. I turned at the landing and continued down the stairs to wake mommy. I was almost to the bottom of the stairs when I tripped over the line, set the bell off and tumbled down the rest of the stairs.
Dad woke up and raced to the bottom of the stairwell shouting and laughing, “I caught you!” I immediately threw up all over his feet. Mom and dad cleaned me up, tucked me back in bed and went back downstairs to the couch. My dad, not one to lose a game, reset the bell across the stairs. It wasn’t long before I was up again. In a repeat performance I threw up all over dad’s feet again.
This happened several times through the night until my mom said, “enough!” and wouldn’t let my dad reset the bell. My grandparents upstairs, not ones to meddle, were quietly wondering what was going on downstairs.

Finally the house quieted and everyone fell asleep except for my brothers. They waited, and waited. And then they quietly slipped downstairs to the Christmas tree. My parents slept soundly while they methodically switched the labels of every present under the tree, except their own of course.

Christmas morning I opened my present with full expectation that I would find a pink ballerina Tutu inside the box. I did not. What I got was a pair of hip high fishing waders that would fit a 6 foot tall man. Grandpa Flick got a tiny pink ballerina Tutu. My brothers got their Army outfits and toy guns.  I may have only been four but I knew Santa wasn’t that crazy. Grandpa Flick slipped the Tutu on his arm. My sister and I slid into the hip waders and the sound of my grandmother’s laughter filled the house. My family was crazy. Santa was NOT!