A Christmas Memory

I just read that this blogger needs to (among other things) install a lock on her son’s bedroom door, and a rush of Christmas memories came to mind.

When we were kids, my mom never bothered to wrap our presents. Which suited us just fine. I mean, let’s cut to the chase, right? Instead, she arranged my sister’s and my gifts in matching piles on the couch or either side of the Christmas tree, which I think she usually set up on Christmas Eve.

Amazingly, these piles were perfectly symmetrical, mirror images of each other. Personalized bath towels. Matching, sometimes homemade, pajamas. New (also sometimes homemade) dresses – same style, different color. Cowboy outfits, complete with cap guns and holsters – just what every little tomboy wants!

And the dolls. Always the dolls. Every year there was a new doll for each of us, I guess to counter any potential negative effects of the cowboy paraphernalia and Hardy Boy books. Also amazing was the fact that every year I seemed to get the brown-haired doll with the red dress while Debbie got the blond-haired doll with the blue dress. Go figure.

Anyways, these laborious preparations kept Mom up quite late on Christmas eve. Her final touch was to secure the bi-fold doors with a rubber band, to keep little early birds at bay while she recouped from her late night endeavors.

Well, one year I decided to take matters into my own hands. As was (and still is) my habit, I was wide awake at some ridiculous hour. I tiptoed out into the hallway, pushed on the bi-fold doors until there was just enough room to get my little hand through and remove the rubber band. I then proceeded to rearrange the piles of presents a little more to my liking. I knew better than to mess with the personalized towels. My main objective was the doll. I wanted, no I needed – that blond doll with the blue dress. I was tired of red. I can’t remember what else I did but after a bit, and perhaps a cereal snack, I somehow managed to secure those bifold doors again and tiptoe back to bed, quite pleased with myself.

On Christmas morning, I acted oh so surprised. Perhaps it was the lack of sleep, or maybe it was the blinding light from my dad’s 8mm movie camera, but my mom never caught on to my clever antics! Until years later when I revealed my little secret and she confessed to a bit of Christmas morning confusion.

So yes, Sarah. You are wise to install a lock on the little boy’s door. Perhaps it should be on the outside though!

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