Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Santa's Speedo

I know many of you have read this before.

But it's my favourite Christmas story. :)

In the Tolley household, Christmas . . . the actual ‘business portion’ which includes frantic tearing of colourful papers and scrabbling through mounds of discarded wrapping, was an event on hold until the father of the house finally succumbed to the pleadings of his numerous children and crawled out of bed.
Once he hit the front room, it was every man for himself.
Or every woman . . . or child . . .
You get the picture.
To facilitate the introduction of said father to the ‘action room’, the children, over the years, had graduated from begging to more . . . proactive methods.
As their size and strength increased, they finally achieved the impossible.
Plucking their sire from his warm downy and carrying him, bodily, to his place of honour.
In an attempt to thwart their . . . growing . . . expertise, their father began to incorporate thought into the proceedings.
He resorted to sneakiness.
With varying degrees of success.
Allow me to illustrate . . .
Christmas, 2001, began like many others.
Tiny noises in the bowels of the house which told us that the natives were stirring. And time for any needed preparation was short.
Husby leaped from the bed and, under cover of darkness, began to shed his pajamas.
Not unusual.
However, considering that our children would soon be bounding up the stairs demanding to open presents . . . well . . . okay, unusual.
Sleepily, I noted the sound of fabric sliding over flesh.
He was pulling something else on.
Then, he crawled back into the bed and snuggled close.
Suspicious, I asked him what he was wearing and he chuckled.
“Not much,” he said.
Then the pounding started. “Mom, Dad! Time to open presents!”
“Okay,” he called, cheerfully.
Another sign that all was not as it should be.
The door swung open.
Slowly.
Several suspicious noses poked into the room, the light from the hallway throwing their shadows across the bed. Remember, these children had been exposed to many different devices in an attempt to discourage them from their desired goal.
Duct tape, catapults, booby traps, duct tape, air horns, chains with padlocks, duct tape, yards of medical gauze, mustard, duct tape.
Okay, I admit it. He likes duct tape.
Back to my story . . .
The group stayed huddled for a moment, afraid to pierce the unknown blackness that pervaded our room.
We remained still.
Finally one brave soul reached for the switch, flooding the scene with light and everyone moved slowly forward, still tightly packed.
A group makes a harder target.
Okay the reasoning needs a bit of work, but there is safety in numbers.
They approached the bed.
Still cautious.
Still peering anxiously into the shadows and flinching at every sound.
Finally, they reached their father.
Silence.
Grant’s eyes were closed, a small, blissful smile creasing his face.
Not a good sign.
One of the older boys grabbed the covers, then paused, gaining courage.
The silence stretched.
He threw them back.
And disclosed his portly father clad in a ‘speedo’.
I am not making this up.
It was a bright blue one.
Oh, and a bow-tie. Red. With sequins.
Now I would like to take this opportunity to state that the ‘speedo’ swimsuit was created with speed in mind, hence the name. Comfort is secondary, and looks a far distant third.
Certainly they look . . . ummm . . . delicious on a trim, incredibly fit man.
On a middle aged, fairly Santa-esque male?
Not as good.
But certainly effective.
The kids scattered.
Screaming.
We could hear one of them moaning in the hall. “I don’t want to open presents, do you want to open presents?”
Another, “I can’t un-see it! I can’t un-see it!”
Still another, “Presents? What are those? I’m going back to bed!”
My husband chuckled. “I should have thought of this years ago!” he said.
Mission accomplished.
Okay, you'll have to use your imagination regarding  clothing.
This is the best I can do.

22 comments:

  1. Hilarious!! Those poor, poor children. Also: your husband is brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I missed this story the first time around! I hesitate to share it with my hubby for fear or a re-enactment :)! Have a wonderful holiday!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Make that "fear OF a re-enactment". Dang keyboard!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my, this was the best story ever. I am still reeling from it.
    Thanks for the LOL moment.
    Merry Christmas to you all and many blessings for the New Year.
    Hugs!
    LeAnn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely was an LOL moment! Thank you, LeAnn!

      Delete
  5. I remember this and it is every bit as good this time around! I can just see the group of offspring, moving en masse toward the bed!

    And yep, when there's a practical joker in the family, take heed if he is suddenly extra-cheerful ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. The smile should be the warning . . .

      Delete
  6. Still love that line, "I can't un-see it, I can't un-see it!"
    Merry Christmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And never was it uttered more appropriately! Thank you! And Merry Christmas to you as well!

      Delete
  7. This tale gets a HA HA HA instead of a HO HO HO.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It didn't help that he was blindingly white from wearing layers of clothing for three months already, either... *shudder*

    ReplyDelete
  9. And I've always thought the speed in Speedo had to do with swimming!
    I see a huge Toblerone chocolate bar in the background of your photo. No wonder kids were anxious to get to the presents!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. 'Toberlone' is pretty much a food group in our family!

      Delete
  10. Yup! It's a great one! One of your best, for sure!
    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ah I remember those days well! My daughter, SIL and baby Caleb stayed all night Christmas. We had just gotten back from a 12 hour drive picking up my niece for the week and it was wonderful to have the house so full again. We just had one missing but very soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think of next Christmas, with the whole crew! Praying for that little granddaughter!

      Delete

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