21 Dec

Once upon a time, in the land of Attic Bedroom, lived three little girls. Downstairs, glazed Christmas spritz cookies lay arranged alongside a chilled glass of milk. Three oversized Christmas coloring books lay stuffed in a corner of the kitchen so three little girls could be put to bed. The yummy smell of steak grilling on the porch floated up into their mint-green bedroom. 

In matching fuzzy-footed pink pajamas, the girls lay resigned, wiggling despite being tucked soundly under covers. Santa wouldn’t come until they were ALL asleep. But who could sleep? Just the thoughts of tomorrow were enough to make three pairs of eyes dance. 

Mom’s white silky stocking, Dad’s Santa’s britches, and girls’ red stockings would hang on the orange kitchen wall – filled to the brim. And what would be under the Christmas tree?  A doll? A diary? A Barbie house? Wrapping paper would fly among the joyful chaos. To top it all off, Grandpa and the uncles would arrive just in time for a mouth-watering Christmas dinner. Torn wrapping paper finally cleared away, the family would chatter on both floor and furniture, swiping Joey, a four-pound Yorkie, away from the plates. 

Enthusiastic thoughts hijacked the sleepiness of the girls. How could tomorrow arrive any faster? The oldest of the three little girls bit down into her smile. She knew how. If she couldn't make time go any faster, she could certainly make the morning come earlier. How? Why, she would simply set an alarm. 

Anticipating the fun that would now begin precisely at 5:30 am, she glanced at the familiar presence of the Big Bird clock. The little girl set it faithfully each morning for school. She was practiced at this. Pretty soon they would all hear Big Bird’s alarm. 

Yawning, the little girl’s heart jolted at the sound of footsteps on the old wooden stairs. Quickly squeezing her eyes shut, she listened as someone walked through the deceptively-still beds and over near her. Peeking out, she watched Father slowly lift the Big Bird clock. 

He was resetting her alarm! 

Hearing the heavy wooden door at the bottom of the stairs finally close, the Little Girl bolted up and secured her early morning entry into Christmas. 

Later that night, her sleepy head finally resting on the pillow, again she heard the sounds of footsteps. Again, Father appeared next to her bed. Again, Father reached for the clock. And thus, in the land of Attic Bedroom, a miniature Father/Daughter/Big Bird dance swirled as quickly as time passed that snowy Christmas Eve. 

Presently, it was a quiet 12:35 am. Father had just left for the third time. Two little girls now slept, Sugar Plums dancing in their heads. The oldest little girl gazed into the dark room, rubbing weighted eyes. 

An idea dawned. She would simply hide the clock in the back of the closet behind all of the clothes on the floor. Then she would will herself to remain awake and out-wait Father to ensure Big Bird’s 5:30 alarm. Unable to do anything else, she started thinking about eternity and how God was always there at the beginning of time. He never had a beginning or an ending. Blinking her eyes against the still, black room, she watched Big Bird’s hands slowly inch their way toward morning… 

Wake Up. It's me, Big Bird, and it's time to get up. Open your little eyes now. Don't roll over and go back to sleep. Come on now, one foot out of bed, now the other. OK, have a nice day and don't forget to wind the clock! 

Big Bird chirped away his talking alarm as three little girls darted downstairs to begin this long- anticipated Christmas celebration. 

It was 5:30 am. 

Not one-minute past.


Aleisha Cate

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