I am not sure how effective this particular story is going to be, given that I don’t have pictures. However, I’ll try to inject as much drama and enthusiasm into the telling to give it enough life to survive without a photo.
It might help to tell you that this story is funny.
It’s all about Christmas. I would imagine, the world over, there are couples who have the annual, “put up the outdoor Christmas lights vs I hate the damn Christmas lights” argument. My parents are such people. No surprise, if you know them, that mom is on the side of light and dad, well, dad is king of the dark side.
This Christmas, we’re having relatives in town. My dad’s sister, Aunt Kate, her daughter, Sara, Sara’s husband, Mike, and their two small children, Hunter and Hadley. These fine people live in Alabama, a state not particularly known for its harsh winters. These people think 50 is cold. The children have no idea that we can build snowmen as tall as their dad. We’re extremely excited to show them the pleasures of a Minnesota Christmas. Mom, of course, wants the house to be as decked out as possible, so she ordered that the lights be put up–and no arguing!
Dad agreed, because he probably so no way out. However, he dragged his feet a bit. Through the beautiful days of October. Through the gorgeous opening of November. Several times I said to him, “you know this weather will not last? This is perfect weather for putting up the outdoor lights.” He ignored me.
I should probably mention that while there ARE actual lights on the house, the bulk of my mother’s collection is in large plastic figures. Santa, Frosty the Snowman, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus (and a real manger, no less), an angel, a couple of choir singers and a few candles with the word NOEL down each. And these plastic figures are about 3-4 feet tall, each. You know the ones, right?
Okay, so dad finally got the things UP, but they weren’t lit. Then, during one of our colder weekends, he finally got out there an put them all on the timer. During all this, he somehow (deliberately?) managed to bump Santa Claus. Now, Santa holds the place of honor, right next to the front door. Dad bumped into him just enough that Santa was partially spun around. This left him facing an unusual direction.
Somehow, I chose this night to pop by my parent’s house for a visit. Mom and I were chatting in the kitchen, just a casual conversation. I kept having the sensation that someone was watching me. It was eerie. I finally gave in and looked around, only to spot this maniacally grinning, plastic face, leering at me through the kitchen window. I started in alarm and said to my mom. “Santa is peeping at me!”
This caused her to laugh, then me to laugh, then the two of us were huddled over in convulsions as the jolly round face and big blue eyes never wavered in their direction.
It finally became too much and my mother had to go back outside and turn poor Santa the correct direction, just so we could have a conversation in peace.
Why my father didn’t fix it is anyone’s guess?
But, “peeping Santa” is now a term of merriment around my parent’s house. Happy Holidays!