When our children were small, as with all children of a certain age, they thought Christmas was exciting. From Thanksgiving on, as the traditions of putting up the tree, writing to Santa and wrapping the gifts came about, their enthusiasm for the whole enterprise grew.
We parents, of course, tortured the young ones by offering concepts still foreign to them like, “It’s more blessed to give than receive” or singing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” repeatedly to remind them that Santa knows if they were naughty or nice.
Our daughter is four years older than our son, but it was our son who, in some long forgotten pre-school or kindergarten class, glued together a “present dragon” out of green construction paper.
We used the present dragon to guard the gifts under the tree. It did a mighty poor job.
For some reason, a couple of people at our house liked to spend their Decembers squatting by the Christmas tree and wondering what could possibly be behind the beautiful wrapping paper.
They would hold the presents, testing their weight, or perhaps shake them to see if they made a noise. That’s why we needed the present dragon.
Our daughter, being the older, also tempted her little brother. She would sidle up to him and ask what he thought a particular gift was. She would pretend to take a peek under the wrapping or pretend to know what it was.
This drove his curiosity bonkers, until one time, he actually ripped open the end of the package trying to see what she had pretended to see. She then immediately squealed on him to their mother. Caught in the act, he felt shame for almost an hour.
Perhaps that’s why, 35 years later, our son has declared he is not giving nor does he want any gifts this year, while our daughter still put together a detailed list for Santa. It could not have been PPDF (Post Present Dragon Fear).
Tom West is the general manager of the Peach. Reach him at (320) 352-6569
or [email protected]