First … I posted this not on Friday like I usually do because … I went snowboarding for the first time! And I didn’t die!
A Christmas Miracle!
I think you can tell a lot about someone based on what they find funny. I’m not sure what this story will lead you to think about me, but I want you to keep in mind this. Yes, I was aware something bad was about to happen, and then I laughed when the bad thing happened … BUT the bad thing that happened, happened to my brother.
For Christmas Eve my family’s tradition when I was growing up was to open one gift. The gift would be hidden amongst all the other gifts under the tree, with something to mark for my Mom which one was the designated Christmas Eve gift – it sometimes took her a while to remember her own cryptic messages. Does the star mean it’s their main gift, or the Christmas Eve gift? When I was younger, my brother, sister and I would get a new pair of pajamas for the Christmas Eve gift. Now that I’m older, I figure this was to make us look more presentable for Christmas morning pictures/videos.
When I was in 7th grade, Christmas Eve finally came around. My family was sitting in the living room, about to open the one gift. The TV was probably just turned off, interrupting our watching of “The Christmas Story” or “Scrooged.” My brother popped up, said, “be right back,” and came back shortly with a glass of milk. He set this over his left shoulder, within easy reach.
We opened our gifts. I got some little thing that wasn’t exciting for a 7th grader, but was nice. My family went back to the TV and the night slowly came to a close.
When the next morning finally arrived, and we were given the green light to come into the family room – my parents liked to make us sit just outside the family room while my Dad turned on the camera. He wanted to capture our angelic faces as we sized up the Christmas loot.
My brother again disappeared and came back with a glass of milk. Strong, healthy bones on that one.
We all resumed the same seats we had the night before – a sort of unwritten thing we tended to do. As my brother was setting his glass of milk on the ground between his feet, I noticed something. He hadn’t put up his glass of milk from the night before. And, wasn’t this just so funny, he had unknowingly placed last night’s glass of delicious milk on a heater.
Somebody, not me or my brother, got up and started to distribute presents.
Then, an unexpected present.
My brother reached back, not down. Back, to the sat-on-the-heater-all-night-long milk.
Then he raised the glass up and, wow, not just a sip of milk, a swig, a gulp even (Snagglepuss, that one’s for you). His eyes practically popped out of his head as the taste hit him and he sprinted out of the room to spit the milk out into the nearest possible sink.
Around the same time he started sprinting, I started laughing. Everyone else was confused.
When my brother came back in the room he stared at me, realizing by my laughter I’d known.
This seems appropriately-brother-like for this to be (probably) my favorite memory of him.
Shalom to Christmas everybody! And shalom to you!