Story: Leigh

Illustrations: Eyelaugh

Having Christmas with my family is like having Christmas with the fey. We’re pleasant, ordinary (okay, that might be stretching it a bit) people, but when Christmas time comes around, we turn into capricious, willful creatures. While some people might have sweet, charmed Christmases where everyone will dress up, pleasantly take turns opening presents, or have a calm dinner, my family is another story. We all have minds of our own, which creates for an interesting Christmas dynamic.

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Like most kiddos, my siblings will plan what they want for Christmas before Thanksgiving is over. Unlike most kiddos, they carefully plan what they are going to get for others, sometimes months in advance. While we all might know what we’re getting each other, none of us know what our parents will get us! It’s often not anything on the list, because we have totally unrealistic lists. But hey, it never hurts to ask for a laptop when you’re 15 or a cell phone when you’re 11….you never know when they’ll cave!

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Most of the people in my family have serious issues with peeking and guessing before Christmas. It got so bad that when I was 13, my parents invented a code for the presents, which I promptly cracked.
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 The codes have gotten more and more complicated since then, to the point where the coder can never remember which present goes with which child. Two or three people usually end up unwrapping the wrong Christmas present.
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In an attempt to dissuade the peekers, presents are often wrapped deceptively. When a kiddo decides to join in the wrapping fun, boxes within boxes are used to excess and other noise-making objects are added to throw off guessers. This tradition started because one year I was forbidden from touching the presents ahead of time to guess. Being a persistent individual, I got around this rule by asking a friend to feel the presents and describe them to me. I was happy to know that I got the Two Towers Extended Edition, among other fun presents.

Any present that is in a gift bag is wrapped before it is placed there. I don’t think I need to explain why at this point…

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One thing we all know is coming on Christmas day…socks. This is not because our feet grow bigger each year. It’s because me and all three of my siblings have chronic sock-stealing issues. I’m wearing a pair of my mother’s socks right now, actually. So every year, they buy us socks. I’m not sure that this is really fair to them. No matter how many pairs of socks we seem to get, we always need to “borrow” a pair from them, here and there.

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I’m sure my parents wouldn’t mind a heartwarming Christmas once in awhile, but one day, I’m sure they’ll realize how much more fun these Christmases are.

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HUGE THANKS to Eyelaugh for providing illustrations for the story! Check out their website!
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