Monday, December 25, 2006

stealing from Santa, my brother, & blackmail

As millions of kids start slowly waking up to trees full of toys one thing struck me, why do kids try to stay awake to see Santa? When I was much younger and less of a sage I decided I would sleep in our living room by our tree in order to capture Santa. I'm not sure what I was looking to achieve but it seemed like a noble enough cause. I mean it's not like you need to spot Santa in order to ensure that you get your presents, I mean that part is going to happen anyways. The reality is I, like most kids, didn't really have a gameplan as to what I would do once I spotted him.

What's funny is that many years later (i.e. now) I've actually thought about what the ideal Santa Scenario would be. If I spotted Santa in my living room I'd probably try to steal his sack of toys. I mean think about it, getting your own toys is well....err...child's play, the money shot would be to steal the loot that would go to all the other kids. Plus let's be honest, often times Santa saved his better toys for the kids across the street. What a jerk face. In fact it strikes me as incredible that no other kid that I've come across has thought about this robbing Santa idea. It's ingenious.
If I could do it all over again Santa would have a lot of explaining to do when he shows up broke at other kids' homes. Is it better to give than to receive? Yes of course, especially when you have all the loot to choose from for what you want to give.

That being said my other Christmas thought is that every family that has a tree goes through their own present opening tradition. I think very rarely are kids allowed to rip right through their presents like they do in movies. In my family you had to do two things:

1) make sure everyone in the house was awake
2) open your presents in a rotating order with other family

The culmination of these two events usually make the Christmas festivities go about 5 hours longer than the average kid (me) could wait for. Rules #1 was done primarily for the benefit of the parental units as they would make egregious demands like making them tea and coffee before they officially "wake up." Sadly jumping on people didn't work like it used to.

Somewhere between the ages of 8 and 13 my brother started to abuse this as well by asking that I prepare him things. He basically got over the fascination/desire of waking up at 5am to open presents only to see our parents make their annual demands. So when he realized that I was always waking up anyways he stopped getting up. Why work when you have the younger brother become the errand boy while he blissfully slept. Furthermore he had the audacity to make demands of his own. He knew his power was limited baed on when mom and dad arose, so our conversations would go something like this:
Me: Hey wake up!
Brother: Are mom and dad up?*
Me: No. We have to wake them!
Brother: Okay excellent, tell me when they wake up. Also make me some toast
Me: @#$@#$@%!~
Years later of course I got wise to the game and resorted to lying. This transformed our morning-time interactions to this:
Me: Hey wake up!
Brother: Are mom and dad up?
Me: Yes!
Brother: Really?
Me: Yes they are!
Brother: Have they had their tea and coffee and stuff?
Me: Yes, they are waiting by the tree! You are the last one!
Brother: Oh, okay...

[15minutes later, sitting by a vacant tree]
Brother: Dude mom and dad are still brushing
Me: Yes.
Brother: Why did you lie to me?
Me: I dunno
Brother: I'm going back to bed
Me: Aw c'mon...mooooooooom
...and so on and so forth. So to all the blackmailing brothers out there, Merry Christmas.

*on a sidenote, isn't it interesting that you always say "mom and dad" never "dad and mom"

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