Life

Why Santa Should Tell Your Parents What He’s Bringing

My brother, Trevor, and I loved Christmas growing up. Santa would pay us a special visit on Christmas Eve every year before we went to bed. We looked for the reindeer tracks and sleigh, but he was pretty good at hiding them. We’d get so excited to see what he would bring us. We’d always get a couple of gifts from him before bed on top of the ones we’d get on Christmas morning. It was a special tradition we shared.

Trevor and I were around 6 and 4 in age one particular Christmas when Santa brought us an extra big surprise! One my parents didn’t even know about. He brought his sack in the house and pulled out a tiny little Jack Russel Terrier puppy. My brother and I jumped up and down with great glee! We were thrilled. We all thanked Santa as he headed out into the night in order to make his rounds to every good little boy and girl.

Our family loved dogs. We usually had a small dog in the house and a larger one outside while we lived on the farm. We were used to animals. However, none of us were ready for the bundle of excitement this pup brought.

We named him Barney. He was white with a brown patch on his one eye and one on his back. He loved to snuggle at night. He’d typically sleep with my brother curled up in a ball beside Trevor’s neck. He was precious then, all snuggly and calm. However, during the day was a much different story.

My dad left in the early morning for work every day so it was up to my mom to get us ready. My brother’s and my bedroom were both upstairs along with a small wardrobe my mom used for her warmer clothes. We were all up there getting changed when we heard the door leading to the stairway slam shut. We all turned and looked at each other with stunned faces.

Barney had jumped against the door. It wouldn’t have been a problem, except the handle on that door was broken. There was one knob in the dining room but nothing on the stairway side. The dog was in the main part of the house and all three of us were trapped upstairs. This was in the days before cell phones or most forms of technology.

How were we going to get out of there? Remember that we lived on a farm. The next house was a mile away. No one would have heard us no matter how loud we shouted. Thankfully, my mom got creative under pressure. There was a section of the house that only had one level and a flat roof above it. We climbed out of the window and onto the roof. My mom laid on her belly and had my brother hold onto her hands. Then, very carefully, she lowered him as far as she could and then let go. My brother safely landed on the ground and ran around to free my mom and I. My mom was so relieved …and a thrill for adventure was born into Trevor!

Barney probably should have been named Wizzer instead. He was quite the family ‘greeter’. Whenever a relative or friend stopped by, we had to hold Barney or keep him in another room. No matter how hard we tried to train him, he had a notorious way of trying to greet everyone by peeing on or near their shoes. My one uncle was the most unfortunate target. Barney really seemed to like him – every time.

Barney also had copious amounts of energy which is why we think Santa brought him to our farm. He could run for days. So much so, that he cleverly escaped one time and ran 20 km non-stop to a nearby town. We were thankful to hear Barney was safe when a man called us to report he had found him. What the man probably didn’t expect was when my parents asked if he wanted to keep Barney. He quickly told them no and where to go to collect our dog.

Eventually the day came that we had to sell the farm. We knew that Barney would not handle town life well so we found a good farm home for him.

That Christmas we received Barney will always be etched in our memories. Though Santa is very generous, perhaps you might not want him to bring everything on your wish list.

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