The Mt. Hope Scrolls

Christmas Day and stopping time


It's almost Christmas. You might think the time is flying by and you have so many things to do. There are drop-ins, parties, church services, and lots more shopping to complete. Where does the time go? Need a run to the grocery store? You've been three times this week, and you haven't started cooking yet. There are still the details of having over all the family for dinner. The family, however, wants to make different plans and go to some other relative's house for dinner.

Your children have other plans too. You were hoping they would come for Christmas (day, morning, supper, present opening, stocking stuffing, bible reading, carol singing, etc.), but they all have other plans.

Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it. It wasn't always like this. I can remember when time would actually stand still. As a school-age child, time would take on some strange phenomenon. School would let out for the Christmas break, and the clocks would shift into low gear. Time would creep along.

Sometimes we would see my grandparents in Ohio. That was a different kind of suffering. It took two days to get to Ohio by car. There were no interstates, and we would wind through the mountains of North Carolina and Kentucky. Being carsick was terrible, but being bored out of your mind was even worse. My brother and I would fight, pick on my sister, and wish we were back at home. My parents would stop at a restaurant, and you couldn't get a hamburger. We knew that when we got to our grandparent's house, that granny was going to try to get us to eat all sorts of vegetables. When we got up there, it seemed that their clocks had stopped too. It was still a few days before Christmas.

When we stayed in South Carolina, the clock seemed to go even slower. I would meet my friends to plan what we would do on Christmas day. We had all sorts of plans to call each other to find out if Santa had come to town. Then we would try to meet up and see what kind of things we got for Christmas. After all the planning, there were still more days to wait. Shaking presents under the tree was okay, but no matter how much you begged, it seemed we couldn't open a present early.

Time compressed even more as we quit worrying about days and started counting the hours till Christmas. We had a big clock in our house, and it would begin to tick off seconds that seemed to take five minutes for each second. If it were quiet, the clock would get louder, and the ticks would be further apart.

The final day would finally arrive, Christmas Eve. Now time would really become a problem. If I visited my friends, we would complain about having to wait five more hours before we could go to bed. My brother and I would worry about what would we do if we overslept on Christmas morning.

Our parents gave out death threats about staying in our room until later in the morning. We were suffering more than death just by having to wait.

The time continuum stopped completely. At last, we could go to bed. In eight short hours, we could look for Santa's handiwork. Well, once you climb in bed, not only does time stop, you can't go to sleep either. To make it worse, we could hear what sounded like my dad and granddad playing with toys. They were yelling and seeming to have a great time. My mind was going wild, and my brother was questioning me as to what type of toys they could be playing with.

After lying in bed for fourteen hours, it was nine o'clock, and mercifully we drifted off to sleep. The next thing you knew, it was six in the morning, and we had to weigh the benefits of risking death or running downstairs. Sixty minutes of waiting seemed to age us a week, but what a happy feeling to jump out of that bed and start time running again. Merry Christmas.


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