So the countdown to Christmas morning, and actually; Hannakuh this year too, is on, and only a few days away. As a family you’re super excited to see the kids open their presents, the kids are super excited to open their presents. My family would all go upstairs and sleep in the same room in anticipation for the Santa visit. Our family opened family presents, friends, and relative presents on Christmas Eve, and then we would go to bed and wake up to Santa presents! 2 Days of presents….NO WAY! I loved that our family did that, and I always thought other families had it all wrong doing it all on Christmas morning. I digress…
So, my sisters were 10 and 11 years older than myself; my brother was only 5 years older so my brother and I still had the excitement of Christmas morning in us, and we just couldn’t sleep. We just couldn’t sleep! We would whisper to each other all night about what we think Santa would be bringing us. We would try to figure out what time it was, and if Santa had come yet. Of course when you’re a child time is incomprehensible and an hour feels like the whole night. It’s kind of like when you go camping, and it is so cold outside that you just know that morning HAS to be 15 minutes away but it isn’t.
After what we thought was the longest night of our lives my brother and I thought that Santa has surely come, and ever so quietly we got out of our sleeping bags and began the long, slow, quiet trip down our stairs.
This trip down the stairs was so tedious, and long that I thought we would never get down the stairs. As we got down the stairs we could see that Santa had come and our stockings were filled to the brim, and presents were underneath each of our labeled stockings. Just as we got to the bottom and the end was in sight we ran into a rope that had a cow bell tied to it and it sent the loudest ring through the entire house. It was ear splitting (to us). We looked at each other wide eyed and horrified not to mention shocked. Where on earth did that cow bell come from? Not only was the rope holding a cow bell it was also blocking our entrance to the living room where our treasures awaited.
Without any notice our parents were standing behind us with their arms folded in front of them. My brother and I looked at each other and then back to them. They were shaking their heads slowly, and then then did the unthinkable: they told us it was too early and to go back to bed.
Disbelief, disappointment, and heartbreak slumped our shoulders as we padded our way back upstairs. The cold we hadn’t noticed leaving our room was rapidly crawling up our jammy clad bodies as we returned. We climbed back into our sleeping bags with heavy hearts. Soon we were discussing what we thought we had seen as presents in the living room.
Of course we did fall asleep shortly after only to arise later (still early) to the wonder of Christmas. That memory is one of the special memories I have of my brother. I don’t remember what we ended up getting for Christmas that year but I adore the memory that was created by my parents who needed sleep, and my brother just wanting our presents.