As reported over breakfast on Christmas morning.
Christmas Eve, 11:30 pm: Mom wakes up. Must have dreamed the kids were prowling around downstairs shaking packages to see which ones were Legos. Certain she can still hear someone down there. Gets out of bed. Dark. Kids sleeping all snug in their beds. Dog snoring on the floor.
Just past midnight: The ten year old wakes up from a dream about zombies that morph into a basketball game.
1:00 am: Footsteps on the roof. The seven year old looks out the skylight to see a flashing light. Scrambles under the covers so Rudolph doesn’t tell Santa he’s awake.
2:00 am: The ten year old thinks he hears the gate at the bottom of the stairs, but falls back to sleep.
4:30 am: The twelve year old is wide awake. He tiptoes into his parents’ room, crawls into bed.
5:00 am: Two brothers whispering down the hall. The oldest bolts to see what’s up.
5:15 am: Mom and Dad lie awake listening to the excitement brewing. Three boys show up at the foot of the bed. “Not until six o’clock,” says Mom.
5:45 am: The jingle of bells. An amp, electric guitar and baritone horn. Three boys play Jingle Bells, singing as loudly as they can.
6:00 am: Silly String is discovered in three Christmas stockings.
7:00 am: Presents unwrapped, boys clean Silly String off the ceiling fan in the bedroom. The smell of bacon cooking. Christmas music. Everyone wearing new jerseys from rival football teams and socks that say “awesome” and “strong” and “lucky”.