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A Past Present

I was around five when I decided it was a great idea to let my parent’s sleep in on Christmas morning. I took my little sister by the hand and we quietly crept into the living room. I closed the door and plugged in the Christmas tree lights. I sat my three year old sister down in one of the overstuffed chairs.

One by one I handed out presents. I separated my mom and dad’s and put them next to two empty chairs. I put Rachel’s in front of her and put mine next to me. Once I’d crawled around the back of the tree on my hands and knees to make certain I’d gotten each and every present, we settled back for some serious clandestine gift opening.

When we got finished we both went in to wake up our parents to tell them about all the gifts Santa brought. I’ll never forget the look on their faces. My mom cried and my dad looked so sad. Neither of them got mad. In fact they both quickly assured us that Santa wasn’t mad either but that mom’s and dad’s like to watch their children open gifts. But, they did make us promise we’d never again open presents without them.

It’s been over fifty years since that covert present-opening operation. My mom remembers that Christmas in our little house on Mistletoe Street in Victoria, Texas as if it were yesterday.  I do too and I will for the rest of my life.

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