This holiday season, the Wyoming Public Radio news team is sharing stories about memories and traditions that stand out to them.
My childhood best friend, Amanda, and I once asked our parents for early Christmas presents. We wanted walkie-talkies. We would use them for a deviously genius plan. This Christmas, we were going to be the clever 10-year-olds who actually caught Santa in action.
Our plan? Stay up all of Christmas Eve and listen for any thuds, heavy footsteps, or chewing. Because of course, we put out the most delicious cookies to lure Santa in. Really all our senses were programed to alert us when Santa was in the house.
If there was any sign or disturbance, we had our walkie talkies to keep each other updated. Amanda only lived a couple blocks away and we got the high powered walkie-talkies to make sure everything went off without a hitch. The adults had no idea of our master plan.
At last, all systems were a go. It was Christmas Eve. My mom tucked me in. I watched her walk out and closed the door behind her. Once the coast was clear, I opened my bedroom door just enough so I could see the shimmering lights on the Christmas tree, and hopped back in bed with the walkie-talkie in my hand.
“Amanda - I’m ready in position. Do you copy?” I asked.
“Roger that. I’m ready too” she replied.
The night wore on, we whispered back and forth but no sounds. I drifted in and out of sleep. Until thud, the sound of a heavy box falling on the floor shot me straight up in bed.
“I’m going to get you Santa,” I thought as I pushed the button on my walkie-talkie.
“Amanda! Amanda! Come in. Santa’s here!” I whispered.
“Go get him!” she replied.
I ran to peek through the crack of my door. Red, blue and green bubble ornaments shivered a little. Someone was definitely rummaging under the tree.
I tippy toed out to the hallway and jumped out into the living room
“Gotcha Santa,” I yelled.
My mom’s head popped up from under the tree almost knocking it down. I stared in disbelief. Round and rectangular presents layed around my mother. She closed her gaping mouth, smiled at me and said, “You just missed Santa. I’m just helping him place the presents he brought under the tree.”
Amanda and I didn’t catch Santa that year, but my mom still says she’s his helper. And the presents still come so maybe she’s right.