READ THROUGH FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A CHRISTMAS PRESENT!!!
I have this wonderful Christmas memory of practicing with my brother and sisters. Practicing sneaking past my mom and dad’s bed.
They weren’t in it. It was daytime. I was six.
My brother and one sister played mom and dad and laid down in bed with their eyes closed and listened, then two of my sisters and I—the three of us slept in the bedroom past theirs, would tip toe by them. My brother and sister were probably…four and 18 months. They were probably bad at playing their parts, but we had to make do!
‘Mom and Dad’ listened for creaking floorboards.
I’ll back up and set this up just a little.
First, it’s important to know that Mom and Dad could have put a stop to this if they’d wanted to but they probably thought it was fun, either that or they were just too nice. It’s possible, I guess that we, that’d be my three sisters, ages 8, 7, 6 (me) and 2 and my brother age 4 were really, really sneaky. Yeah, I’m gonna go with my parents being nice!
But every Christmas morning all my growing up years, my brothers and sisters and I would get up crazy early in the morning and open our presents. I have no idea how early. I have a suspicion we were getting up almost the instant my poor tired mom and dad went to bed.
Instead of growling at us to get back to sleep!, my parents would just come out and watch and enjoy the madness and let us tear into the gifts. There was no order to it. None of the lovely ‘taking turns’ I hear about in some families. Nope, we just launched ourselves onto the tree, tossing presents to each other, ripping them open when we found one with our own name on it.
It was chaos.
This went on until we got the tree utterly stripped.
Then we played and talked and just generally had the time of our lives for who knows how long, then we’d all go back to bed.
But this year was different. This year we had an EMERGENCY.
Why? Because we had a new housing situation. Not a NEW HOUSE…a New House Situation.
With the birth of my sixth sibling my parents added on to the house.
This black and white picture is with five of us–I’m five, on the top left–two older sisters, an infant sister and a little brother (where did he get that hat?) It would be our last year in the smaller version of the old house .
We lived in a two bedroom farm house which, when the sixth child was born, the year I turned six, the November after this picture was taken, my parents bought a small house and had it moved and attached to our small house and our two bedroom house became (brace yourself) a THREE bedroom farmhouse.
It should have been more, because the new house had three bedrooms, but the old house didn’t really have two bedrooms it had a tiny attic and my parents slept in a room that was really a dining room between the kitchen and the living room. So when the ‘new’ house came we quit using those ‘bedrooms’….so plus three bedrooms, minus two. We didn’t gain that much. Eventually my strangely-hatted brother moved back to the attic so it became a four bedroom house in the end.
But we thought it was a mansion, a mansion with unpredictably creaking floors. And CHRISTMAS WAS COMING! AND MOM AND DAD WERE BETWEEN US AND THE TREE!!! We needed to find out which ones not to step on.
Somehow, even though my folks never stopped us, we seemed to think we needed to START without getting caught.
My brothers-the one in this picture, and the yet-to-be-born infant–slept in another room that wasn’t blocked by mom and dad (they always were spoiled) with two cribs. One containing the baby in the picture (my little sister who would have been eighteen months old at this New House Situation Time and was I’m sure no help with our plotting and planning) and the baby brother who prompted the new house–he must’ve really been an emergency, because we had NO MONEY.
Well, we successfully sneaked past my parents that fateful first Christmas in our new house. (Now, after having been a mom myself, I have a mental picture of my mom and dad lying awake listening to us tip toe past}
And for the next two eighteen month cycles we added more babies and we kept sneaking and somehow my ‘gullible’ parents (God bless them) never caught us.
In the picture above I’m the one with the white headband standing next to my dad. My gosh I was cute! WHAT HAPPENED!!!???
You know, I don’t remember much about the gifts. We didn’t have much money and the gifts weren’t expensive, I do know that.
But the memories I love about my childhood Christmas are sisters and brothers. Kind, patient parents. Fun, laughter, togetherness, sneaking. All of it makes me smile. All of it is more precious to me than the most valuable long gone gift or the grandest mansion without a single squeaky floor.
I hope that God is at the heart of your Christmas joy.
Remember the true spirit of Christmas is the Holy Spirit.
And may you always be blessed to know that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
Leave a comment about your own childhood Christmas memories to get your name in a drawing for a signed copy of my novella collection which includes our own P & P filly Karen Witemeyer and Carol Cox and Regina Jennings. It releases JUST IN TIME FOR YOU TO BUY IT WITH THAT EXCESS CHRISTMAS GIFT MONEY YOU HAVE BURNING A HOLE IN YOUR POCKET! But I’ve got my author’s copies now and can get it to you Ahead of the release date!