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Staying up for Santa
“Twas’ the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring...” Well, except me! My parents always insisted that if I waited up to see Santa Claus, he wouldn’t bring me any presents. I never bought into that, though. Despite their warning, I stayed awake in my bed on Christmas Eve. I was nine, so I figured I was a little old for believing in Santa, but I wanted to see if he was really, well... REAL. I was up three hours later than my parents usually allowed on Christmas Eve; it was way past my bedtime. That’s when I heard a voice.
“Lucy?” It was my mother. “Are you sure you’re not ready to go to bed?”
“I’m sure, Mom,” I told her. “I really want to see Santa this year.”
“Okay, Lucy, but try not to stay up too much later, alright?”
It was two o’clock in the morning, and I was starting to wonder if Santa would ever arrive. I had done everything I could to stay awake. I watched movies, read books, I even cleaned my room some. I decided to creep downstairs to see if Santa had been there and I had missed him. I crawled out of bed and started walking. Suddenly, I thought of something. It was a terrible thought that was enough to stop me dead in my tracks. Maybe I hadn’t been good enough this year! Maybe Santa decided to skip my house! I was fear-stricken. I shouldn’t have put peanut butter under Mom’s car door handle on April Fools’ Day. Or maybe it was eating all the chocolate out of my brother’s Halloween stash without asking...I groaned to myself. Wait! Maybe Santa won’t skip my house. Maybe, Santa is just going to give me coal this year. I could still see Santa Claus, but this year he would just give me coal. Yes! That was a consoling thought. Spirits lifted, I continued to walk downstairs. When I arrived in the room, I glanced around. Nothing had changed. The milk and cookies were still there. I sat in a comfy chair and watched the fireplace for Santa. I waited. And waited. And waited... my eyes closed, and I drifted off to sleep.
Jingle... Jingle... Jingle... What was that annoying noise? It sounded like jingling. Could it be... could it be Santa? I shot up straight in my chair, and stared at the fireplace, knowing that the moment I had been waiting for had finally arrived. I heard a sliding noise coming from the chimney. I ran over next to the fireplace and waited. Nothing. I waited a little longer. Nothing. Five minutes passed. Nothing. When I was finally ready to give up and declare it a false alarm, I heard a groan.
“Santa?” I said warily.
“Lucy? What are you doing out of bed?” A bell tumbled into the ashes of the fireplace. “Oh, that’s not important now. I need your help.” It WAS Santa.
“M-m-my help?” I stuttered.
“Yes... You see, I seem to be stuck in the chimney, and I can’t get out!”
Desperate times calls for desperate measures. When Santa told me he was stuck in the chimney, I realized I was going to have to act quickly, so he would be able to deliver the rest of the presents around the world.
“Santa, I am going to push your feet, and you try and move up as much as you can, alright? Then when you get out of the chimney, you can come in through the front door.”
I pushed and I shoved, but Santa was really stuck. I couldn’t believe that Santa was stuck in MY chimney! Boy, were my friends going to hear about this! As exciting as it was, it was a problem. Getting Santa out of my chimney was more difficult than I had expected.
“One time my mom got her ring stuck on her finger, and she couldn’t get it off. She told me that when that happens, she uses cooking oil. Do you think that will work?”
Before waiting for a reply, I ran into the kitchen, grabbed the cooking oil, went upstairs, and opened my window. (To the kids reading, don’t try this at home. It’s a trick for trained professionals only.) I climbed out, threw the bottle of cooking oil onto the roof, and took hold of two icy shingles. Carefully, I pulled myself up onto the roof. Picking up the bottle of cooking oil, I walked over to the chimney.
“I’m going to pour the cooking oil around you, and see if that will help you wiggle loose.”
Before Santa could reply, I poured half the bottle.
“Santa? Can you move now?”
He wiggled and squirmed, but it didn’t help at all. We tried EVERYTHING. We tried hot water, we tried cold water, we tried pushing and shoving. We even tried calling 9-1-1, but they told me it was a crime to prank call 9-1-1, and that there was no way Santa could be stuck down my chimney. Oh, but he was. And he wasn’t budging.
I crawled back through my window and closed it. I trudged down to the fireplace and yelled,
“Santa, I’ve tried everything. I don’t know what to do. Maybe we could try... Wait! I got it!”
“What? You thought of something?”
“Yeah, Santa! Why didn’t I think of it before?”
I reached up and took hold of Santa’s foot. “It’s your boots! They’re too big for the chimney! I’m going to pull them off and see if that helps, okay?”
I grabbed the boots, pulled, and out plopped Santa!
“Thank you for all your help, Lucy!”said the oil-covered, slightly bruised Santa. “Now I can go deliver the rest of the toys! You’ve saved Christmas!”
Grinning, Santa filled my stocking with candies and toys, and returned to his sleigh. I ran outside to wave him goodbye.
As he was flying away, I heard him yell “Merry Christmas, Lucy!”
After Santa flew out of sight, I ran upstairs to wake up my parents.
“Mom!” I exclaimed, jumping on her bed. “You won’t believe what just happened!”
Out came the whole story.
“What a nice dream,” Mom yawned.
“But mom, it wasn’t a dream- it really happened!”
Mom chuckled and rolled her eyes as she went to make coffee. That’s okay, though. I know it happened. Nobody saw it but me, but there was a giant boot sitting by the table. Santa’s boot. I knew then that I would definitely stay up for Santa next year. My mother walked back toward the presents. That’s when I heard her voice coming from the den:
“Lucy! Why on earth is there an oil stain on my carpet?”