There are some old family Christmas stories that just don’t ever die. They are repeated again and again and again, much to the dismay of the son-in-laws who weren’t there for the original event and probably hate hearing the same stories multiple times. Oh well. They’re used to it by now.
One of these everlasting stories is the story of the wooden reindeer.
When Lacey and I were little, she was an evil big sister (Okay, not all the time, but most). Of course, the fact that I was the most gullible kid ON THE PLANET didn’t make the situation much better. She liked to take advantage of the fact that she could tell me any made up, crazy, nonsensical lie and say “you should go tell your friends about it,” and I would immediately go tell everyone (or at least Kelly) about whatever insane thing she had made up. I believed everything that came out of her mouth, and I would defend it to the death.
One day when we were little, mom had the house all decorated for Christmas. Of course, like always, the wooden reindeer was standing proudly on the hearth. Now, you have to understand that the wooden reindeer comes in 4 pieces: 1 for the antlers, 1 for the body, 1 for the front legs, and 1 for the back legs.
Mom had warned us within an inch of our lives that if anyone took the reindeer apart, they would be spanked. No exceptions. And because I have always had an insane fear of getting in trouble, I listened. There was no way I would be taking that reindeer apart.
Then Lacey gets one of her devious plans. She comes to me and says “You know how Mom said not to take the reindeer apart? Well if you want to take it apart, I promise I won’t tell on you.” Up until this point, I havent even considered dismantling the reindeer. I mean, who wants a spanking? “C’mon,” Lacey says. “You won’t get in trouble. We can put it right back together. Nobody will know.”
Hmmmm. Now it does look fun to take it apart. It’s kind of like a big puzzle. I could take it apart just once, right?
So there I am, sitting in the middle of a big pile of dismantled reindeer puzzle pieces, when Lacey jumps up and runs off, yelling “Mooooooommmmmmmm! Nikki took apart the reindeer after you told us that we can’t take it apart or we’ll get a spanking!!!” So in walks mom, and there I am sitting in the evidence. Of course, I get scooped up and spanked because I disobeyed the rules. Mom puts the reindeer back together, instructs us not to take it apart again, and leaves the room.
Lacey thinks this is hilarious because it worked. I am livid. In my preschool rage, the only thing I can think to do is lunge at her and bite whatever I can reach, which happened to be smack dab in the middle of her stomach.
So Lacey jumps up and runs out of the room again, yelling “Moooommmmmmm, Nikki bit me!” Of course, I get spanked again. I mean, a little kid isnt that good at defending herself against her big sister. It was years until the full story came out to mom, after which she said, “If I had known all that, I wouldn’t have spanked you! I would have spanked your sister!”
So I had spent years harboring bitterness over the fact that I got spanked twice for something I felt really wasnt my fault, but Lacey carries a big scar on her belly to this day.
I’d say I made my point.
And now, the reindeer sits proudly on MY hearth, just waiting on the day when one of the twins manipulates the other into breaking the rules, all be hind my back.