jump to navigation

The Christmas Key December 10, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.
comments closed

“What should we do about the kids snooping around for presents?”

At the image of four tiny detectives inspecting the premises for Christmas clues, dad grinned.  Then said, “Shhh . . . here’s Hercule.”


Grasping Teddy, Jamie frowned.  “What’s her cue?”

“Hercule Poirot.  He’s a detective.  Like Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, and Harriet the Spy.  Why are you up?”

“I can’t sleep.”

“Give it another try.  Santa’s watching.”

“That’s why I can’t sleep.  Knowing he’s watching makes me nervous.”

“No doubt.  Back to bed.”

As Jamie shuffled off, mom frowned.  “I never snooped as a child. Did you?”

“Me?  Of course not. I paid Marjorie to snoop for me.”

“Ho Ho Ho.  Funny.  Now, be serious.  What should I do?  I leave gifts in the car until they’re asleep. Then, like a thief in the night, I tiptoe around doing a quick wrap and stash.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“They unwrap them! When they find a package with their name, they peel back the tape and sneak a peek.”

“Let’s wait until Christmas Eve to put names on the packages.”

“I’ll never keep them straight!”

“Use a code.  Instead of names, use numbers.”

“OK.  But what d’ya bet those little monkeys will find my cheat sheet?”

“It’s their Christmas.”


Pursuant to plan, mom labeled gifts with assigned numbers.  One problem: she didn’t share her key code with dad before excess holiday stress and a mounting sleep deficit landed her in the hospital.  With pneumonia.

Dad had to unlock the code.  Alone.  Without a key.  On Christmas Eve.

He made a few mistakes as he swapped out numbers for names.  Of course he did.  That’s to be expected of a frazzled parent, short on sleep, with a wife in the hospital, four kids bouncing off the walls, snow to shovel, a dog to walk, and a job requiring ample time and attention.

On Christmas morning, we held our tongues.  We “oohed” on cue.

Later, when dad wasn’t looking, we reshuffled each mis-given gift to its intended recipient.

How did we unlock the code?

Elementary, my dear Watson.  We used mom’s key.

* * * * *

Join Susanna’s 3rd Annual Holiday Contest ~> Merry Mishaps abound!

* * * * *

Thanks to a mad twist of Hamlet’s Shakespearean soliloquy, Col selected me to host Haiku Monday this week ~ Enter at Haiku Monday ~ (A Twist of) Fate