Seeing as Christmas is drawing nearer, I thought I'd share one of the many Christmas events that have occurred in my family.
So Christmas time's back. I’m not afraid to admit that it’s my favorite time of the year. It’s the one time that I find myself with a smile on my face, the one time I don’t snap at everyone as many times as I usually do. It was Christmas Eve when I was 11; my family and I were all sitting in our small lounge room singing Christmas carols like we do every year. We weren’t the best of singers, trust me – Seth could almost burst an eardrum with his god-awful singing – but we all still enjoyed ourselves nonetheless. Mom and dad were on the couch behind Seth and I while we sat on our beanbags our mom made us. The Carols by Candlelight was finishing on TV, my eyes were drooping as they always do when I listen to Silent Night. It’s always made me tired, I think it’s because it’s always played towards the end of the carols, when I’m already tired. I can’t remember the program finishing, however I was woken by Seth shaking me. There was a smile wide on his face and he didn’t look at all tired, too excited for his own good as he always has been. Mom and dad were outside; I could hear their murmurs, talking to each other. “Seth leave me alone. I’m going to bed,” I drowsily growled at him. But Seth still looked up at me with his wide eyes.
“Lets shake the presents! Mom and dad aren’t in here to tell us off for it!” Of course what he said wasn’t as clear as that, he had had two front teeth missing and I was too tired to listen. But it was something along those lines. Seeing Seth slide quietly over to the Christmas tree, shaking and feeling the presents, I was alert and wide awake as well. Whenever mom caught us shaking or feeling the presents she’d tell us off and send us away from the Christmas tree, but always with a smile on her face. I shook the one that was closest to me. I couldn’t feel what it was seeing as it was in a box, but it still didn’t stop me from throwing out guesses of what it could be. “It better not be a doll,” I shook the present again. “Maybe it’s a new seat for my bike; you know how it’s broken with rips all over it.”
“It’s those hiking boots you wanted. Dad’s finally going to take you out hiking like you always wanted,” Seth said in an as-a-matter-of-fact-tone while looking through the presents to find more of his.
“Like you would know,” I rolled my eyes at him in the dark, then looked at the label on the front of the present. To: Leah. From: Seth. I looked over at him sifting through the presents, minding his own business. Wham. I had thrown the remote at him. “You idiot! You don’t tell people what they’re getting!” I had gotten to my feet, still holding the present. I was furious. I hate – even till this day – when people tell you what you’re getting. Where’s the fun in that?
I dropped the present at my feet and pushed Seth over, “maybe I should tell you what you’re getting, huh? Then you’ll know what it’s like.” The front door had opened; mom and dad had come in to see what the commotion was. Seth was in tears at my feet while I looked over at them, now not-so-tough. I didn’t like getting punished. Plus Seth called for it, so it wasn’t my fault. Seth pushed past me and ran over to mom and hugged her around the legs, while looking over at me, his tears still rolling down his cheeks. Dad looked at Seth, then at me, then at Seth, then back to me.
“Why is Seth crying?” He asked in a tone that made me panic, as I have said, I hated getting punished. What kid doesn’t?
“Leah threw the remote at me and pushed me over!” Again, this wasn’t exactly what he said. The missing teeth and the sobbing made it hard to understand, but it was definitely along those lines because dad had looked at me angrily. He didn’t like it when I hurt Seth.
“Only because he told me what I was getting for Christmas from him!” I shouted back, tears had now started rolling down my cheeks. At that moment the clock had struck midnight, it was officially Christmas and all I remember thinking then was that Santa was bound to be coming very soon. Mom smiled and wished us all a merry Christmas, as if these past events that we’d been yelling about moments ago had not happened. Dad too seemed to have gotten all calm again, telling us to go to bed otherwise Santa won’t come. I walked down the small hallway, Seth at my heels, hiccupping still. I ignored him as I walked into my room, when I turned around to close my door he was standing there, wiping his eyes looking up at me.
“I’m sorry,” and that’s all it took. I smiled back at him and wished him a happy Christmas, then told him to get to bed otherwise it’d be his fault if Santa didn’t come. Seth smiled, nodded and ran down the hall to his bedroom.
As I curled up in bed, looking up at my ceiling, I couldn’t help but smile. I was getting the best present a kid could ever ask for. Hiking boots. It’d been hard to find some boots that were my size, but mom and dad obviously had found some. It had been my greatest wish, hiking with dad. Yeah, yeah. You all must think what an odd girl I was back then, wanting hiking boots while other little girls wanted dolls and pretend make-up so they could be just like mommy. But it was one of the best Christmases I have ever had. The excitement about getting those boots and knowing that I was soon going to be hiking with dad made it so. Maybe I do have Seth to thank, because as I drifted off to sleep I was full of excitement. I wanted to open that present so I could start wearing them. I wouldn’t have had that feeling if Seth hadn’t told me what I was getting.