It was the night before Christmas

Do you remember feeling like an adult, being given adult responsibility, being allowed to do your parents’ special project for the first time? I had one of those experiences and it was such a wonderful feeling to be treated like an adult. I was a serious kid and tried to do my best at all ages. But some things can’t be rushed, like skipping childhood quickly to become an adult.

It was Christmas Eve and I was quite young and my parents had always encouraged me to do adult things. This year was one of those times. I was told that I could fill the Christmas stockings with little gifts and then hang them on the mantelpiece. I was in seventh heaven. Imagine that. Me doing something so adult.

When my parents went to bed, I gathered all the things that were designated to go in the socks. I looked around and couldn’t find socks that were sturdy enough to hang on a mantelpiece with candy and gifts. Then I saw my father’s new black silk knee socks and proceeded to fill them.

I put them on the table and started putting treats in them, but then I realized that all the treats in our county couldn’t fill those socks. Note that in those days, there were no commercial Christmas stockings made of felt and sewn together for strength, so we used our own stockings.

Since no one knew that I was going to wear my father’s silk knee socks, no one told me that they stretch very easily. So, there I sat at the table with these socks spread out, stuffing things into them.

The problem with that was that the silk knee socks kept stretching as they filled. Frustrated that I didn’t have enough presents to go from the bottom of the socks to the top, I grabbed some oranges and stuffed them into the bottom of the socks and then put the small presents on top and hung them on the mantelpiece.

The next morning, as we all came downstairs to wish each other a Merry Christmas and open our presents, my father was more surprised than pleased to see his new knee-high silk socks dragging on the floor, so stretched out that each sock Two or three legs fit.

My wonderful feeling of being treated like an adult didn’t last long. After that experience, I was treated like a child again for the next few years.