Sneaky Santa

Today I’ll tell a personal story (I get much writing inspiration from my relationships with family so it’s important to me to remember and/or record favorite things). This story came up in a conversation earlier this week and it made me chuckle.


One December about 5 years ago, we grown kids set about decorating our parents’ house and decided to use EVERYTHING we found in their attic regardless of what it was(because we could).

After testing and putting up the larger strings of lights plus some small stuff (e.g. lining the walkway to the front door with 12″ candy canes), we stepped back onto the lawn to consider our work. The bushes bore blankets of colored lights and white icicles dangled over the garage. Single colored strands lined the remainder of the roof; several strands choked the trunk of only one of the three palms; and clusters of lights lined the azalea flower bed. And yet, the driveway was still littered with odd short sections of lights and funky, quaint lawn ornaments that matched nothing else (we were totally going to use those).

Ellie said, “The door needs a bow.”

Anton added, “A huge bow.”

Ellie agreed. “That lights up.”

They looked at me. Ellie suggested I run to the corner Walgreens and do a red bow recon while they test the last of the light-up ornaments. As they got to work, I jumped in my old black Jeep Cherokee and within five minutes I walked through Walgreen’s automatic doors.

The Holiday section sparkled and shone with lights, angels, Santa Claus (in every size imaginable), and every red, white and/or silver themed thing no one needed to buy. Sure, it’s only a single aisle with a center divide of bins and displays but holy moly if that aisle isn’t always an itty bitty holiday jungle.

Bows. I found the wall of bows. Excluding the bows smaller than my face, there weren’t too many options that were truly ‘huge’. I narrowed my choices down to two bows. The first was made of red cloth which most certainly qualified as ENORMOUS; the second was constructed of red wire with lights threaded throughout. But what about prices?


In the background Christmas music jungled throughout the store and other customers conversed quietly here and there, and as a result I didn’t immediately notice a tiny voice repeatedly saying, “Get the big one…”

Upon being certain the voice was real and realizing it might be talking to me, I looked around for its origin.

Anton and Ellie’s grinning faces looked back at me from behind a display on the end of the aisle. Apparently they had been crouching there for a while, easily ignoring (and possibly immune to) the baffled stares of passersby.

Hand cupped aside her mouth, Ellie whispered one last time, “Get the biiiiig oooonnnnee!

[The moment my Jeep had turned the corner out of the neighborhood, Ellie and Anton had jumped in Ellie’s car and raced after me, determined to sneak up on me but to stay out of sight for all long as possible. Who knows, maybe they’d surprise me at check out. Maybe at my car. Maybe at the red light before our neighborhood by pulling up next to me and staring at me with ridiculous stares until I looked over at them. Maybe they’d try to beat me home after I bought the bow. I could actually imagine them attempting any one of those things. In the end though, they couldn’t resist giving themselves away. Oh, my siblings.] 

The End!

Have a great day!

3 thoughts on “Sneaky Santa

  1. oflettersandlibraries says:

    Hi Duri! It’s great to see you again. Loved this little portrait of your relationship with your siblings; it was so sweet! Hope you’re having a good weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

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