The Year I Ruined Christmas
Twelve years of age is an awkward age.
Boys are physically still boys, but are expected to act in a more mature fashion. Girls— they are going through the biggest change of their lives. I’m not qualified to comment on that. But I was a boy, over-read and under-socialized, and still short, squirrelly and clueless. For some reason, this particular Christmas season, I was almost out of control. What caused this turmoil, I'll never know. Perhaps too much TV, maybe the stress of starting junior high, maybe the first few drips of hormones inflaming my Id.
At any rate, by Christmas Eve, I was frantic. The presents under the tree were a nagging stimulant, my world revolved around them. I did go to bed early, so as to shorten the wait. About 2:30 A.M. I woke up. “It's Christmas!” I erroneously surmised. I told myself: “Wait! It's not morning yet, no one is up.” The Devil-Id voice within said: “Oh go on! You woke up on Christmas morning right? Go down and get what's yours!” I crept down the stairs, and plugged in the tree lights. The lights reflected in dozens of ornaments cast a surreal glow to the living room. Enchanting. “I'll just open one, then go back to bed.” And then it was two, and three and four and the emptying of my stocking. THEN I OPENED THE FAMILY GIFT—A NEW FAMILY BIBLE! What had I done? I could re-wrap all these presents and no one would be the wiser! My sin would be undetected, I could get away with it...
“What are you doing up at this hour?”
It was my mother. “Go back to bed!”
When my sisters called for me top get up in the morning, I told them “Go ahead, I've already had my Christmas.” They made me get up anyway. They didn’t care about what I had done, but my mother’s glare convinced me that I had ruined Christmas for everyone.