Divine Calm: My Stint as Santa

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12.01.2005

My Stint as Santa

Once a week leading up to Christmas, I am going to recount a Christmas story for your enjoyment and my amusement. Here's this week's tale:

As an 8-year old little girl, I wanted nothing more than a "My Child" doll
to cuddle with for Christmas (well, except for maybe a microscope set). It was even on my Christmas Wish List that I painstakingly cut out from various shopping ads and the JCPenney catalogue. Santa might be able to go down chimneys, but he couldn't read minds, especially the mind of a 8-year girl who wanted to make sure Santa knew exactly what she wanted. (See, my type-A personality tendencies started at a young age.)

On Christmas Eve, I was antsy and doped up on sugar from Santa's Whiskers cookies and Peanut Butter Blossoms that we made for Santa to eat when he visited. Between the anticipation of the toys I would open the next morning and the sugar I had consumed, it took me forever to fall asleep that night. The last sounds I heard as I was drifting off to sleep were my mom and dad's whispering voices and the occasional door opening and closing.

Suddenly, I woke up and looked around the room. After a minute, I realized that although it was 4 a.m. in the morning, it was CHRISTMAS! Oh boy, oh boy. Also, I really had to go to the bathroom, and my little 8-year old bladder wasn't going to be able to wait until 6 a.m., our official present opening time. So I quietly opened my door and adverted my eyes from the living and dining rooms and tiptoed to the bathroom. A couple minutes later, I was back in bed under the covers and trying sooo hard to fall back asleep. But I couldn't. Not with promises of toys and a My Child beneath the Christmas tree for me to see. I would shut my eyes but eventually open one eye and squint at the alarm clock hoping that it was 6 a.m. After seeing 4:32 a.m. and then 4:48 a.m. on the clock, my curiosity lured me from my bed. I snuck out of my room and took the back way through the bathroom and kitchen into the den where the Christmas tree was located that year. As I crept closer, my stomach churned in little kid angst.

The brunette My Child that I had wanted was sitting on the toys with my sister's name-tag on them. Santa had given me the redhead My Child; the one I didn't want. Oh what to do, what to do. I was so upset that when I went back to my bed, I couldn't fall asleep again. With the knowledge that Santa had already visited me and the unlikelihood that he would come back and remove my gifts since I was going to be a bad girl, I decided that I had to rectify Santa's grievous error. Silently, I went to the den and took a deep breath. I quickly switched the dolls and hopped back into bed.

At 6 a.m., I nudged my parents awake and told them how excited I was to open my presents from Santa. As they were getting ready, I also gave them descriptive details (right down to the dress, colored eyes and dark brunette hair) of the exact My Child I was hoping Santa brought me. Later, I should have won a "Best Child Acting" Academy Award, when I feigned surprise that Santa knew which My Child I wanted.

After my 4-year old sister and I opened our gifts and as I was looking at cat hair under my new microscope set, my mom asked me if I could follow her into my bedroom to have a talk. Once we sat on my bed, she asked me if I had gotten up in the middle of the night.

"Nooo," I sheepishly replied.

"Well, Dad had to get up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water, and he saw all of the gifts Santa had left you and your sister," she carefully explained. "Dad swears that Santa didn't give you the brunette My Child. Santa gave you the redhead."

Silence.

"Did you switch the dolls in the middle of the night?" she asked.

Silence.

"Well, I think you did and that isn't right or fair to your little sister."

At this point, tears started trickling down my cheeks, and then I started sobbing so hard that I began hiccuping. "I-I-I'm soorr(hiccup)rry. Pleeease (hiccup) don't take it away from me."

My mom ignored my crying, and firmly stated, "This is what I am going to do. I am going to let your sister decide whether she wants to keep the redhead My Child or take the brunette one that she was suppose to have."

At this point, I started screaming and crying on and on, and begging my mom not to let my sister pick. Finally, after I began to calm down, my mom called my sister into the room and explained to her that she could have either doll. It was her decision.

"I want that one," as my sister pointed to the doll wrapped tightly in my hands. As I looked on, heartbroken, my mom gently took the brunette My Child out of my grasp and gave it to my sister.

Now my mom asked me, "Are you going to sit here pouting and ruin the rest of your Christmas, or are you going to come out and play with your toys and have some breakfast?"

After making her wait for a minute, I finally agreed to follow her out to the kitchen for some breakfast.


Years later, my mom and I chuckled over my Christmas switching stunt, and she confessed that at first both she and my dad weren't sure if they had made the mistake and mixed up the dolls. It was only after my dad had reviewed the videotape footage of the gifts under the Christmas tree that they realized I was the culprit for the switch. My mom also had confessed that it had almost killed her to make me give up my brunette doll, but she couldn't let me get away with my misdeed. Today, I am thankful for my mom's good parenting.

Categories: Cynic Beware, Once Upon a Time