Shooting Santa is not an option

Published 7:49 pm Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner, and I’m still waiting for those presents to magically appear under my tree where I’ve supposedly been shopping for my family and friends. That’s right. I’m a procrastinator.

Even though I refuse to stick my pinky toe out the door the day after Thanksgiving for fear of being completely pulverized into the ground with all the shopping traffic, I will venture out on Dec. 23 and 24 as if it’s no big deal. Go figure.

When I was a kid, I always saved my money (with a little, …uh, no, wait,…with a lot of help from my dad), and I would go Christmas shopping in downtown Greenville. You know, it’s not easy balancing bags and items of odd shapes and sizes on a bicycle with a plastic basket with flowers on the front of it. But, I managed.

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I look back now and I have decided that one of the most memorable Christmas gifts I ever bought was a black velvet Elvis Presley picture from Belk Hudson’s for my grandmother.

I will now pause for a moment of silence, laughter, or pity, whichever you deem appropriate.

Yes, I bought a black velvet Elvis picture. It hung in my grandmother’s den until she passed away, so quit laughing.

It’s no wonder that I wasn’t the best at picking out Christmas gifts as a kid with all the stress and pressure I was under at home. My brother Britt had become an avid deer hunter by the time he was 13. So, what better way to torture baby sister than to threaten to shoot Rudolph as soon as he spotted his red nose? After all, if he saw a deer in our yard, Britt figured it was fair game.

And, to make things worse, he also told me that he would shoot Santa Claus, too, because if Santa came into our house (we didn’t have a chimney, so he’d have to use the front door, and no one remembered giving him a key), therefore, Santa would be breaking and entering, and, well, Britt would just have to shoot him.

We should have known then that he had a future in law enforcement.

So, here I go crying to my mom and declaring it’s the end of the world because Britt is going to shoot Rudolph and Santa Claus, and it’s Christmas Eve, and Peppie, our Chihuahua is yapping and jumping up and down because I’m crying, and no matter what my mom says, Britt continues to say he’s going to shoot Santa Claus, and bedlam has just broken out in the Grayson household.

By this time, my daddy, Theo Grayson, would come through the front door and thunder, “What the Sam Hill is going on in here?”

I always wondered who Sam Hill was because his name got brought up a lot in times like these.

Once Daddy found out that I was crying because Britt was going to shoot Santa and Rudolph, and Peppie was barking because I was crying, and Momma was trying unsuccessfully to console me, he was ready to throw the tree outside and declare Christmas officially over.

I must say that Christmas at my house is much quieter now.

Come to think of it, I wonder if I can find a black velvet Elvis painting for Britt by next Thursday….