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Bruce Alan Humphrey

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A Christmas Story
By Bruce Alan Humphrey
Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A child's Christmas memories.

Four year old Joey is full of energy as he runs up the stairs to bed. His mommy and daddy told him to go to bed early because Santa was coming. He rushes into his bedroom followed by his mother. With a big smile Joey climbs into bed and covers himself without the help of his mother. Hugging his teddy bear around its neck until it bends he pretends to go to sleep instantly. His mother, smiling, bends and gives him a kiss on his forehead.
“Goodnight.”
With his eyes closed and a large smile on his face he says loudly, “night mommy.”
“Shh..you’ll wake your sister.”
Joey looks over at his sister who is fast asleep having gone to bed an hour before.
Joey talks in a low whisper, “Okay.”
He giggles as he snuggles into his covers.
His mother walks to the lightswitch and looks back at her son with a loving smile.
“Goodnight, Joey.”
Joey, who is a natural comedian, starts a fake snore.
His mother smiles and turns the light off as she leaves the room.

Hours later Joey begins to stir in his bed. The room is nearly dark but for a sliver of moonlight. It slices through the blackness and leaves a silvery line on the floor next to his bed. Joey sits up in bed and looks over at his eight year old sister, Becky. She is sleeping soundly covered in her favorite pink blanket. Looking around the room he can just make out his stuffed animal and little chair in the dark.

He notices something through their open door; colored flashing lights are coming from the hallway. What is that? Grabbing his teddy bear, Joey slides out of bed backward until his feet touch the floor. Quickly he looks around the room for any monsters that might be lurking in the dark or in the closet. It is quiet and the closet door is closed, the monsters are all sleeping.
Remember?
Hugging his teddy bear for courage, he promptly sticks his thumb in his mouth and steps toward the door. Stumbling a bit over some toys he left on the floor for dad to step on, (I remember) he reaches the door to his room. The colored lights are brighter now. What are they?

Peaking around the door into his mommy’s and daddy’s room he sees that the light is off, they are asleep. He walks quickly, his footy pajamas making a padding sound on the hardwood floors. After he passes their room he does not hear his father’s deep voice say, “He’s up.”
“I know,” the mother says.

Joey reaches the living room where he sees a wondrous sight. The Christmas tree, with its sparkling ornaments and flowing tinsel, is standing like a giant in the dark. It dazzles his eyes and mind as he stands before it. Wow! And under the tree are multi-colored packages of all shapes and sizes. The tree lights shine down on them making the colored paper almost glow and saying to him, open me. Remember?

Kneeling in front of them, thumb in mouth, Joey wonders which ones are his. Forgetting his fear of the dark, he drops his bear to the floor and inches closer. A tag dangles from the corner of the biggest one. He knows the letters of his name because mommy taught him. There is a J…and an O…E . He does not finish, it’s his present.

Too involved with the present, he does not see his mom and dad watching him from the shadows. Dad says something but she raises her hand to stop him. “Wait,” she whispers.

Joey moves closer, becoming bolder. Touching a corner he begins to pull then stops. He remembers that when he tried it before mommy told him to wait until tomorrow. But he cannot wait. Reaching up again he pulls a little harder and the paper tears.

Suddenly, a voice from behind him says, “Joey, what are you doing up?”
Joey jumps to his feet afraid because he was caught at something he knew he shouldn’t be doing.
He tries to dismiss his crime, “Mommy, look at all the presents.” He kneels next to the one he was trying to open and points at it, “And ‘dis big one is for me!”
The mother walks down the stairs and over to him. She bends down to face her son.
Mother says, “I know, Santa put it there.”
In the dark his mother can see a cute little smile come over her son’s face. She hugs him to her chest with pride, takes his hand, “Come on, back to bed” and leads him back to his room. As they walk Joey looks over his shoulder at his present then up at his mother. He says in a puppy like manner, “Mommy, can I sleep in your bed tonight?” A deep groan comes from his father as they pass.
 

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Reviewed by Donna Chandler 12/9/2010
A beautiful memory, beautifully shared.

Donna
Reviewed by Mary Lacey, Desertrat 12/7/2010
Bruce,

This has a such a 'warm and fuzzy' feelings and all the memories of childhood and the long wait for Santa. Very touching.

Mary


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