Snow gathers on the lawn as my mom cooks in the kitchen. My dad reads the newspaper. I watch the snow fall like heavy rain. It comes down so that I cannot see past the front yard. My aunts and uncles are still sleeping. I would be sleeping too but this is my escape from my crowded bed.
I have to share my bed with relatives during family gatherings. I barely sleep with my young cousins tossing all night. They kick and grab in their sleep.
My girlfriend, Christie, is out of town so I have to deal with my relatives without her. I begged my parents to allow me to go with her to her grandparent’s house but my mom reminded that the holidays are suppose to be spent with family. She also reminded me that I do not see some members of my family too often.
It’s Christmas Day. I know that any moment the younger relatives of mine will race downstairs to open their presents but for now I enjoy the solitude. I hear the wind blowing as the snow covers everything in sight. If the snow did not mean that my relatives will have to stay longer then the snow would a sight for joy but instead it makes me want my Christmas vacation to end.
I asked my dad for a car this year but I doubt that I will get one. A car is pretty much the one thing I wanted this year. I know I will receive the usual from most of my relatives. I will end up with a bunch of clothes. Not that I am complaining about clothes. Not going to school naked is worth clothes, but clothes for Christmas can become too much.
Did I mention that my relatives have been with us for about a week already? The goal was for them to leave tonight but with the snow still coming down it’s not likely to happen.
The roar of children screaming and the sound of children running pierces the silence of Winter. I cover my ears as my younger relatives race through the house towards the den where the tree is and where their gifts wait.
They search and search for their names until they find every package labeled for them. I walk slowly through the kitchen, past the adults drinking coffee and spreading gossip and I stand in the door to the den watching. The scene before me reminds me of one of those nature videos where the lion devours its prey.
They pile the boxes with my name in a corner ready for me to open. I see the usual boxes that will contain sweaters and socks and underwear. One of my aunts still buys me briefs instead of boxers. One of my grandmothers gives me a new scarf and matching sweater and hat she knits for me.
I open my packages up neatly while the rest of my relatives leave shredded wrapping paper all over the floor like some disaster area. I pile the gifts in stacks according to size. Most of my pile is clothes. I have found no keys to a car so that is out of the question.
My parents walk into the den with cups of coffee. They smile at each other as though their hiding something. Maybe they’re spies and today is the day that I become one as well. Yeah, you need an imagination with a family like mine. Something to take your mind away to a far off place.
My dad has a small package in his hand. It’s a present. One last present for me. I take the small box from his hand. He smiles as slowly remove the tap and the paper. Inside is a box like one that would hold a watch. I open this box knowing something good is inside.
I begin to thank my parents. I know it’s a car and the keys are in this box.
I open the box to find a watch. It’s an expensive watch but it is a watch. I look at my parents as though they forgot something. They smile back at me as though this were a joke of some kind.
My dad walks back into the kitchen for more coffee. When he returns he tells me that the watch is so that I am not late to places when I ‘m driving my new car.
I think I hug everyone in the room. I even hug the tree. My dad tells me that the car is in the garage. I never go to the garage. The only thing in there are the tools for chores. I avoid chores.
I know that I will not be able to drive right away but soon enough I will be old enough and maybe my parents will trust me enough to drive my Christmas Car.