When I was a kid it was tradition for my family to wake up at 5:00 am Christmas morning to see what Santa had brought. My sister and I were so filled with excitement for the surprises of Christmas morning that we couldn’t wait to get the party started. My Dad insisted that no one would have Christmas before 5:00 am. That was law, as written in stone as any rule could ever be. My sister and I would set our alarm clocks and as soon as that first blast from the clock roused us from sleep, we raced out to the living room to see if Santa had in fact come. The bulging stockings would seem to magically sparkle. Once Santa’s arrival had been confirmed, we raced to my parent’s room to wake them.
It used to drive us crazy how my dad in particular took his sweet a$$ time getting out of bed and ready for opening presents Christmas morning. He knew how excited we were. He would stumble into the bathroom and stay in there so long you would swear he had fallen in. How can a person honestly sit on the toilet and meditate while taking a $hit on Christmas morning knowing your kids were biting at the bit to get to those presents? I mean, drop your load, wipe, and hurry the hell up!! Santa had been there for crying out loud! He always took his time. The door would open with a blast of foul smelling air that he had tried to camouflage with Old Spice as he sauntered out to the kitchen right past the presents like he didn’t have a care in the world. Once there he would start the coffee maker and we would have to wait until he had his first cup of coffee. In the time it took him to move his bowels and fill up with his morning dose of caffeine my mother had managed to dress and join us in our impatient vigil staring at the bounty that awaited us to open.
My sister and I always phoned my Grandma first thing in the morning to wish her a Merry Christmas and in turn tell her what we had gotten for Christmas. Even
though we always celebrated Christmas with her a few hours later with breakfast and more gifts, it was tradition to make the call. We would tear through our Christmas stockings and gifts, and then rush out to the hall phone to make our annual call. My sister being the oldest dialed the number and then held out the receiver. It rang once, twice, three times, and then after the fourth ring Grandma picked up. Before she could even say hello, we screamed “Merry Christmas Grandma!!!” at the top of our lungs. The only problem was it wasn’t Grandma. A very annoyed male voice demanded “Who the hell is this?” Oh my G0d!! It wasn’t Grandma! With eyes the size of saucers my sister hung up the phone. Several seconds passed in silence as we stared at each other with our jaws dropped and our hands up on our mouths in dismay. We both screamed and ran into the living room laughing hysterically. After that, my sister was afraid to dial the phone again and insisted my mom call Grandma. The second phone call was met with a quieter Merry Christmas from the both of us and a full retelling of what we had done peppered with giggles.
It could have only been a little after 6 in the morning when we roused that random guy out of his snug bed to scream in his ear that Christmas. I bet he was wondering why. In retrospect, while he couldn’t have appreciated our holiday cheer and exuberance at the butt crack of dawn at least we didn’t wake him out of a deep sleep blasting profanity in his ear. That would have been unforgivable until next time when I give you another glimpse into the life of a trucker’s wife.