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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1998090
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest · #1998090
A remembrance sparked by a prompt re 'firsts'. Christmas is a very special holiday.
CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN
         I think I was six years old when I remember a family car trip to my grandparents' home. My Mom, siblings, and I had waited forever for my Dad to be finished work and come home. All of our bags had been piled by the front door and Mom had told us many times to stop climbing on them. When Dad had finally shown up, he insisted upon taking a shower and shaving. Usually, I enjoyed our shave conversations, but this time he was so slow. Didn't he know Christmas was coming? We had a car trip ahead of us and nothing was even in the trunk yet. Mom kept talking out loud about the weather. She was being silly; we kids wanted lots of snow. Everybody knew there had to be snow for Santa and his reindeer.
         Finally, Dad shouted, "What are we waiting for? Let's get this show on the road." Mark, Laurie, and I wrestled our coats on. Someone hit someone else in the eye. Mom shushed the injured party with, "No time for tears. Your grandparents are waiting for us. Just give each other room." Laurie, the two-year old, decided she didn't like her boots and wouldn't wear them. Mark argued he didn't have to zip up his coat because Dad never did. Mom handed me a hat as I squeezed out the door.
         Mark always got a window seat, so that left my little sister and I to fight over the other one. She didn't stand a chance silly girl. For the first leg of our journey, the three of us pinched, poked, squirmed, and breathed on each other. Dad threatened to stop the car, but he always said that. Before long, my brother and sister fell asleep; squishing me. Mom and Dad probably thought I was asleep too. I was awake, but I felt too warm and I had no room to wriggle out of my coat. I was still annoyed with Mom. She knew I really disliked hats. Maybe, I could lose it somewhere. My luck Santa would bring me a new one.
         The sky outside our moving car was so black. I thought the swirling snowflakes were so pretty. My window was frosted and I drew a happy face on it. We were chasing twinkling red lights. Sometimes, a bright white light would suddenly stab my eyes. I couldn't sleep. It always seemed to take forever to get to Nanny and Grandpa's house. Couldn't Dad hurry a little more? I had to be in bed and asleep so that Santa could come. Would Santa know where I was? When I asked my Mom this she jumped. Who did she think I was?
         When I began to feel as if this ride would never end, I looked out my icy window and recognized where we were. Yeah!! It was about time. I shook my siblings awake. They were a bit grouchy at first. I think I had my door open before Dad finished parking the car. Although they tried, I made it into Nanny's welcoming kitchen before my brother and sister. You snooze, you lose.
                   There were lots of hugs and kisses. Grandpa asked if we'd seen Santa and his reindeer. How could we? We were stuck inside a car for hours. I was surprised to learn that Grandpa had been following Santa's flight via the news. He explained that something called radar was able to 'see' Santa wherever he went. It was the same method used to check on airplanes. Wow! Grandpa said Santa was really quick. I told him it was because of the magical reindeer and he seemed impressed by this.
          Eventually, the three of us kids had to get ready for bed, but we didn't fuss too much. We were so excited, but we knew the rules; no sleep, no Santa. I tossed and turned. Just as I finally drifted off to sleep, I heard Grandpa yelling, " I just heard the latest report on the news. Santa and his reindeer have been shot out of the sky. I guess that's it for Christmas!" Running downstairs in a panic, I was met by laughing adults. Apparently, this had been a test to 'see' if I'd been eavesdropping. I remember stomping back up those stairs and wondering what eavesdropping could be. I was pretty sure I'd done no such thing. 731 words4
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1998090