'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. Well you can bet your ass me, my brothers and sister were up - wide awake. Disciplined, unwilling to relent to the sleep that loomed.
We didn't leave Santa cookies or milk on the table. For one, we didn't have cookies because Mom Dukes is a health nut and is anti-sugar. For two, we needed the milk for breakfast in the morning. So Santa didn't have shit waiting for him but us. We didn't have the Rambo paint on our face but we matched that intensity nonetheless. We were like a pack of wild dogs lying in wait.
I'm not even sure what our plan was once Santa showed up. It was more so the challenge of seeing the real Santa, in the flesh. We were young, but we knew the rosy cheeked fat guy at the mall who smelled like egg nog and Newports was NOT the real Santa. It was almost like catching Big Foot. I mean for a husky dude, the guy was pretty stealthy - he moved around like a damn ninja. As far as we knew he had never been caught. If we pulled it off it would be the feat of a lifetime, no doubt. Our legacy would be cemented. For hundreds of years they would talk about the 4 kids who saw Santa, and got their presents early because he surely would have to surrender them. We meant business.
It was 11 o'clock and my sister was down for the count. 30 minutes later my youngest brother bit the dust too. We were dropping like flies. When would Santa even show up? My guess was 3:45am which seemed like an eternity considering it was barely midnight. I looked over and now they were all asleep - I was the last man standing. Fitting being that I was the oldest. My family was counting on me so I stayed the course.
1 o'clock, 2 o'clock... Minutes began to drag, my eyes were heavy. Trading punches with Mike Tyson would've been easier than fighting this sleep that was now breathing down my neck like a fire spewing dragon.
Was he here on the roof already? Was he waiting till I fell asleep? I surely would've been able to hear the reindeer though, right? I mean those things weigh hundreds of pounds, and doesn't Santa have bells on his sled? Maybe he wasn't coming due to the fact that I had so many fights at school, or maybe it was the pack of baseball cards my brother stole a month earlier. I pondered.
As I went deeper into thought I looked at the gleaming lights on the Christmas tree - yeah I forgot to mention we all slept in the living room on a pullout couch, but that's a funny story for another time. I looked at the tree, and thought about how great Christmas was to me. Pancakes in the morning, board games, spending time with family - good times, indeed.
I decided then that seeing Santa really didn't matter. It would've been cool, but I could respect his anonymity. The presents he had in his bag for us didn't matter either. Christmas isn't about how many gifts you get it's about all the other stuff that many times we take for granted. It's about the perfect butter to syrup ratio on your pancakes. It's about putting hotels on Park Place and completely dominating in Monopoly, even though you may or may not have stolen a few thousand from the bank to fund said hotel. It's about so many things, but the gifts you get aren't any of them.
The Christmas lights got blurry. A warmness swept over my body. This was the final descent. The last thing I remember was my parents' door opening. Maybe they would be able to see Santa...