When I wrote about the GIFT Challenge last week, I really wasn't thinking about joining. For some reason, I'm just not in the Christmas mood yet. But thinking about what I could write about and reading a few comments on Carl V's blog made me change my mind. Here's a family story we still talk about.
I'm not sure exactly when this happened; I'd imagine I was around 8 or 9, making my brother about 7 and my sister about 4. My sister and I, as the girls, shared one bedroom and my brother got his own. After "lights out," he would frequently come in our room to talk until we heard Dad's footsteps coming down the hallway. He would tear back into his bedroom so fast your head would spin. As soon as the coast was clear, he'd be back. We did this for years.
One Christmas Eve, it was the familiar pattern. Now this may have happened more in the middle of the night. The whole house was dark so my parents must have been in bed. We'd send my brother on scouting trips to the living room where the tree was set up. In our house, Santa left out gifts for the kids unwrapped. So we were just trying to get an idea of what we could expect in the morning. Suddenly, my brother came tearing back into the room. As he approached the hallway that connected to the living room, he was absolutely positive he'd seen a shadow of Santa's boot on the wall. I don't know if he was worried that Santa would see him or if he was just freaked out that Santa was really in our house. As I recall, all three of us were simultaenously scared to death and excited. I don't think there were any more scouting trips that night.
We still tell this story in my family. It is now joined by my niece's terrified reaction to the message that the Easter Bunny left on the whiteboard in the kitchen this year. "Was the Easter Bunny really here?!" she squealed. Too bad we can't keep that kind of excitement/faith all our lives.