Our Christmas story this week is one from my childhood. It’s the one story my own kids loved to hear – about the time that Aunt Sandy, Uncle Tim and their mom almost got into trouble on Christmas Eve.
Do you remember how hard it was to sleep after hanging your stockings?
Every year I would toss and turn in bed, trying to stay awake so that I could hear when those mysterious presents appeared under the tree.
I wasn’t the only one. My siblings were the same way.
One year in particular my brother, sister and I made an elaborate plan.
We would stay up until the presents appeared – and then we would sneak downstairs and check them out!
We lived in a big old farmhouse in rural Iowa. I was about 10 years old, which would make Sandy, 9 and Tim, 12.
We obediently went to bed when we were told and waited anxiously until all was quiet in the house. Then Sandy and I very quietly slipped out of bed and headed to Tim’s room at the top of the stairs.
He was waiting and ready with our secret stash of pilfered chocolate chips and dry Tang. We sat feasting in the light of our flashlights, trying not to giggle while we waited for the perfect time to make our foray downstairs.
When we were sure that everyone in the house was asleep – or maybe it was when we ran out of chocolate chips – we began our descent down the stairs.
Now remember – this is an older farm house and the stairs were pretty creaky. But my brother had been testing them for weeks. He knew exactly where each step creaked and had the pattern memorized so that we could sneak down those stairs without a sound.
Right side on the first step.
Middle on the second.
Back to the right on the third.
The fourth step is bad, skip it totally and go on to the left side of the fifth.
Step by step he silently led us down the stairs, my sister and I stepping exactly where he stepped.
We didn’t make a sound.
At the bottom of the stairs there were 2 doors. One opened into the living room with the tree and the stockings and all the gifts. The other opened into the newer addition which included a bathroom, utility room, and kitchen.
The door into the living room was closed and it creaked, but the bathroom door was open. The plan was to quietly go through the bathroom, out the other door to the utility room, circle around through the kitchen, and enter the living room where we would use our flashlights to scope out our presents.
The three of us were in line. Tim, in the lead, noiselessly slipped through the first bathroom door like a hunter stalking his prey. I was close behind, followed by Sandy.
Now that we were in the newer part of the house the floors didn’t creak. We were close now! Our excitement surged and Tim picked up speed. He took the next bathroom door at a semi-run with me right at his heels. We had just about rounded the utility room when we heard the loud crash!
We looked back in horror to see Sandy in a heap on the floor – she had gone too fast and tripped on the bathroom rug!
It took a second for the reality of the situation to hit – we were out of bed at midnight on Christmas Eve with flashlights and the smell of pilfered chocolate chips on our breath!
And we had just made enough noise in the quiet house to wake the dead!
We turned tail and took the stairs three at a time. We jumped into bed, pulling the covers up over our heads.
Then, despite our excitement and all that extra sugar, we fell sound asleep.
Before we knew it – it was Christmas morning and we hadn’t been caught!
We ran down the stairs with sheepish expressions and saw all the gifts that had eluded us the night before.
As far as I can remember, that was our last Christmas Eve mission. We soon grew too old for those midnight raids, but it sure makes a fun memory!
You know – I haven’t had dry Tang in years! 🙂