The radio on your alarm clock switches on, telling you that it’s time to get up.
“…traffic on the freeways is close to heavenly. Light snow expected all throughout today, folks,” the radio host tells you. “It’s going to be a White Christmas!”
Wait. You didn’t set your alarm.
“And now back to the music! This next one’s for all you sleepyheads out there who are STILL IN BED THIS LATE ON CHRISTMAS MORNING.”
Wow, that radio is loud. It’s as if the host is in your bedroom, yelling right at you.
Eyes still closed and wanting to sleep in longer since you didn’t get much last night, you halfheartedly reach up your hand, feeling for the snooze button on the clock.
Your hand meets something soft and fuzzy.
You slowly open your eyes. Since when is your clock fuzzy?
Jack Frost is there crouching at your bedside, a huge smile across his face. He’s wearing a Santa hat, on top of which you currently have your hand resting.
You jump so badly that you fall out of your bed on the opposite side of him, taking your blankets with you.
“Good morning, sleepyhead! It’s about time you got up!”
You sit up and look across the bed at him. “You…You’re the ra—Why’re you in a—What’re you doing in my bedroom?”
He ignores your question, getting up and starting to walk out of your room. He turns around at the doorway and beckons you to follow him. “Come on! You’re such a slowpoke! I’ve never known anyone who wasn’t excited to open presents.” He leaves your room at a slow jog, obviously eager about something.
Did he say…open presents?
And what’s all this about a white Christmas and Christmas morning?
You pick up your phone and look at the date/time info on your home screen.
December 25th, 8:52 a.m.
Since when was it Christmas???
You faintly remember listening to “The Christmas Song” when the first snow of winter fell.
Did I really lose that much track of time? you wonder, staring blankly at your phone. Shows how much I pay attention. Well, a lot HAS been going on…I guess it makes some sense that I forgot about Christmas.
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” starts blasting throughout your house. You smile.
You get up and go through a revised version of your morning routine. Still in your PJ’s, you rush to your living room.
Your jaw drops.
Standing in what once was an open corner is a giant, lush pine tree. It’s decorated with white garland that sparkles in the firelight, shining slightly of its own accord. Lights twinkle behind the leaves. A large, beautiful star rests on the highest bough, illuminating the ceiling with a warm light. But the best part? Snow, pure and white, sprinkles the verdant branches of the tree in small mounds. It looks like a tree that was taken from deep within a forest just after a gentle snowfall. It stands tall and proud, the decorations exemplifying its natural beauty and wonder.
You’re so lost in the tree’s glory that you nearly forget about what lies beneath it.
Presents. Gifts. Not an overwhelming amount, but enough to completely cover the floor under the tree. All gorgeously wrapped in patterned paper, tied with lavish ribbon and with bows ranging from the ridiculously large to the microscopically minute.
You walk up to one of them and lift up a tag that’s hanging from one of the bows.
“To: (your name), From: Santa.”
You look over at Jack, who is casually leaning on the arm of the couch.
He nods, telling you they really are from the famous Guardian. “Go ahead, open them!”
You take a seat by the tree, picking up one of the presents. Jack sits a few feet from you, beaming, his white bangs peeking out from under the brim of his Santa hat. Even though none of the gifts are labeled for him, he doesn’t seem to mind it, appearing to be thoroughly ecstatic about you having presents to open on Christmas.
You work your way through them, each one being something that you had very much wanted but told no one but yourself about. There’s even a few in there from unfulfilled requests you made when you were a kid. Each present refreshes the smile on your face. You haven’t had a Christmas this great in years.
You finish up and lean back, admiring your loot. Some Christmas morning hot chocolate sounds like it would hit the spot.
As you get up, Jack holds out his hand, pointing in the direction of the tree.
“Wait,” he says. “You forgot one.”
You raise your eyebrow. You’re pretty sure you double-checked to make sure you had gotten to every present.
Nevertheless, you turn around.
There is one last gift waiting patiently for you.