During my high school years every Christmas arrived with the same horrifying revelation.
I was a teenager, given a blissful two-week break from school and just wanting to do the first thing every teenager wants to do when on a break from school: Sleep.
Every Christmas Eve I would curl up snuggled in my bed, to dream of sugar plums dancing in my head.
Then at some absolutely horrific hour in the pre-dawn blackness there would arise such a clatter that I would burrow deeper into the sheets and mumble: “It’s not even light yet!”
This was not a gift from St. Nick; oh no, it was my younger brother and sister lunging out of the gloom to pounce on me with the ferocity of jungle cats in an attempt to roust me into going downstairs to open presents.
I would fling pillows at them, but this only encouraged them to rip the sheets off the bed and turn on the light, ending the battle before it even began.
I tried saying Santa would leave them coal for making me get up so early, but they cleverly countered by telling me he had already come and dragging me downstairs in the cold house to shiver and smile as presents were unwrapped.
But this year, oh, this year will be different. See, I have grown accustomed to waking up while it is still dark (OK, at least before 9 a.m.). My youngest brother, now a teen himself, routinely sleeps until lunchtime.
I fully intend to return the pre-dawn awaking horrors inflicted on me no less than sevenfold.
I only have so many more chances, as my brother graduates from high school this year, my sister has an apartment and a job and with my first kid on the way in the spring, it won’t be too long before I am again subjected to being dragged out of bed far too early on Christmas.
But for this one year, with everyone home for the holidays, I shall have my comeuppance.
Besides, it’s not like Santa can give me coal when I get my revenge; he will have already come and gone, making the inky blackness of Christmas morn the perfect time to strike for the honor of early awakened older brothers everywhere.