A Christmas To Remember….. Or Forget…

Christmas morning.  2 A.M.
All was quiet.  
Stockings were filled, Santa gifts out all ready for the little one’s morning of surprises as they come bounding down the stairs.  Lights out and I was off to bed.
Fast forward.
Christmas morning.  8 A.M.
I was awakened by my 11 year old, so excited and ready to see if Santa had brought her greatest wish, a Mermaid Tail.  Following her into my room came the 9 year old, eagerly anticipating the Xbox 360 and Minecraft game.  I told them to climb into my bed while I go downstairs, turn on the tree lights and make sure that Santa had come.  
As I walked downstairs my heart was happy knowing that these two little kids’ wishes were about to come true.  Oh how I remember the magic of Christmas as a little child!  As I came into the family room, walking across to the other side of the room to turn the tree lights on, I noticed the absence of the giant panda bear stuffed animal that was taking up all the space in front of the couch by my daughters’ stocking just a few hours before.  Where had it gone?  I noticed immediately that her large, flat box containing her mermaid tail was also gone!  My eyes darted around to my son’s stocking and the brand new Xbox 360 and Minecraft video was gone!  My heart sank as my mind raced to know what had happened!  Had someone been watching the lights at my house go off at 2 a.m.?  Were we robbed?  I remember hearing stories about people getting robbed on Christmas Eve, was this now happening to our family?  Had someone broken into our personal haven and stolen not only our gifts, but our whole Christmas morning experience?  How was I going to go back upstairs and bring those two little ones down to NOTHING by their stockings???  I began to panic.  Timing was important, after all, it doesn’t take long to turn the Christmas tree lights on, and I had two eager children being as patient as they could be upstairs in my room.  I could hear them in their giddy voices, “Oh I hope I got a mermaid tail!”  “Yeah, and I can’t WAIT to see if I got an Xbox 360!!!”
I began to shake as I grabbed for my phone to dial my husband.  Snow had been falling since the night before, and he was out removing snow for his contract businesses.   He picked up with his happy “Hi honey!”
“Rick!  I think we were robbed!  The Xbox is gone!  The mermaid tail and giant panda bear are gone!”  
Just then from the room of my teenage boy I hear, “Mom, Mom!  We weren’t robbed!”  I hung up the phone and headed to his room to learn more.  Walking quickly down the hallway I passed the little window to the play room under the stairs and out of the corner of my eye I caught a peek of the giant panda head!  I entered his room and demanded to know more.  He told me that he and his older sister got up at 5:00 and thought it would be fun to hide the little ones’ gifts, capture their expressions on video, then (after seeing them utterly disappointed) pull their presents out and give them to them.  Oh, and they were hoping I wouldn’t notice first.  
What.  The.  Heck.
Who pulls a prank like that?!
I went straight to work pulling everything out from it’s hiding place and setting it back where it belonged.  I was enraged as I tried to understand their thought process!
After setting everything back out, and a good chewing on the two olders, I tried to calm myself and get back to the happy place of Christmas morning.  It all ended fine, the little ones came down, thrilled to find their Christmas wishes had come true. The older kids had a few surprises too, and together we had a lovely Christmas morning.
I will always remember this Christmas and wonder what in the world they were thinking, and ever be grateful that teenagers don’t rule the world.

And we all lived happily ever after.
The End.