Many years ago during a crisp winters morn a lovely couple decided to take this time and go Christmas shopping for their beloved children. But these were well-seasoned parents, grizzled veterans of shenanigans you might say. After last Christmas’ debacle with presentgate they said in unison,
After years of painstakingly purchasing presents and then carefully hiding them around the house only to have their diabolically crafty children always find them they planned to make this Christmas one full of surprises. So they shopped, as in past years, while their children were off at play. The children, as always, figured they knew their parents game. The house was only so large, the available spaces so few they were confident they would, once again, find out what they were getting long before Christmas. They even found out what they were getting the year their parents gave up, wrapped all the gifts and put them under the tree weeks before the big day. It’s amazing what you can do with a razor and some careful folding.
You may think this was ruining Christmas but not as far as these kids were concerned. They wanted to make sure their presents were evenly measured out. For every pair of socks they might find they sure as hell had better find a video game or tablet. And if they saw the line moving further towards non-enjoyable gifts they would make their displeasure known in no uncertain terms.
But this year the parents knew they had them beat. There was no way, after all their hard toil to gather the goods, the kids would know what gifts they’d be getting. Not this year. The bright idea came to them one day after shopping. They passed a building with an intriguing sign on it that read: One Month Free. Yes! For half the cost of a video game the parents would rent a storage unit for the length of their shopping sojourn. They celebrated this victory over their meddling children as parents have done for the centuries by stopping off for an adult beverage after securing their space.
Day by day one or both of the parents would visit the facility to deposit that days purchases. One afternoon, while the children were at the house meticulously inspecting every corner and cubby only to come up with no information, the mother spent a delightful afternoon alone in the unit carefully and lovingly wrapping each present for delivery on Christmas.
The big day finally arrived. The children were whisked off to Grandmas for the annual Christmas Eve feast. The husband was closing up shop early to gather all the stored gifts. He made sure his van was empty so he’d only have to make one trip to carry all those gifts to their final destination. But first he’d stop off for the usual pre-Christmas libation with some of his co-workers. He planned on one, maybe two, to share the joy of the holidays with his friends.
But as holiday cheer often does, it flows so wonderfully it seems to become the entire universe. With NORAD tracking Santa on the television the father stepped back and blinked his eyes. What was he was seeing? Surely it must be a Christmas illusion. He picked up his phone and checking it twice he quickly made a faithful call.
The phone rang once, it rang twice, three times it rang. On the fourth ring a connection was made. But it did not make the man happy. It filled him with dread as he listened to the answering machine tell him the facility closed at six while he was standing at seven thirty.
His wife was in ire. The kids felt let down. The man was in the dogs gingerbread house his expression a frown. They called throughout the day, that evening into night hoping for a Christmas miracle but, alas, it didn’t and their Christmas was put on hold.
The moral of the story is it’s best not to be too tricky because Christmas spirit has a will of its own.