Monday, December 24, 2007

Secret Santa Shenanigans

Barb trudged through the snow across campus. She was headed for the campus church to kill some time between classes. It was the last week before Christmas break.

She let herself in through the glass doors in the rear of the church where, just inside the vestibule, a foldout table held a dozen brightly decorated boxes belonging to the students participating in the bible group’s Secret Santa exchange.

Barb rocked at Secret Santa. In the past, she had always been able to guess her benefactor before the end of the week.

Barb checked her box. Still nothing. Secret Santas were supposed to leave a gift everyday. Barb had checked her box on the way to class earlier that morning, and now almost lunchtime, there was still nothing. Her Santa didn’t seem to have any kind of regular schedule for leaving gifts. Each day’s delivery had been different. Sometimes early, sometimes late, sometimes apparently in the middle of the night. Barb’s Santa was a mystery. Maddeningly so.

Hearing Anne bumping around inside, Barb went into the church to chat.
While they made coffee, both Barb and Anne heard the glass doors in the back of the church thud shut.
“That must be Sandy,” Anne said. “She usually stops in before lunch.”
“I’ll get another cup.”

But when several moments passed, and Sandy didn’t come in, the two young women went to the vestibule to investigate.

No one was there.

“Did you hear her leave?”
“No, I only heard the door once.”
“Me, too.”

Barb gasped in understanding. “Don’t tell me!”
She lunged at her Santa box. Ripped the lid off.

There was a gift.

“NO!”

She rushed outside to see many students trudging through the snow, but no one she recognized from the church group. And not one of them was suspiciously sneaking away.

“Look!” shouted Anne from behind her. “Footprints!”
Barb kicked at them. “Those are mine.”

Drat!

***

Barb’s Secret Santa trudged through the snow across campus. She was headed for the campus church to drop off Barb’s gift between classes. It was the last day of Secret Santa. She planned to let herself in through the glass doors in the rear of the church where, just inside the vestibule, a foldout table held a dozen brightly decorated boxes belonging to the students participating in the bible group’s gift exchange.

So far, she had managed to keep her identity safe from Barb, the self-proclaimed Master of Secret Santa.
As the days had passed and Barb’s frustration had grown, both women vowed even harder to succeed in the game.

And now, with just one more gift to deliver, this Santa will have pulled off the best secret ever!
She almost felt sorry for Barb.
Almost.
If she could only deliver this last pivotal present without getting caught…

But wait! Up ahead, cutting across campus from another direction was Barb! And Barb was heading for the back doors of the church, too! What to do?

Barb’s Santa ducked behind a tree.
She peeked around to see Barb enter the church.
Drat!

What to do? What to do?!
Think, think, think!

Maybe Barb was just checking her Santa box and would leave right away.
She waited for Barb to come back out.
And waited.

Drat!
She wasn’t coming out.

“Okay, what I’ll do is I’ll go put her gift in, and if she catches me, I’ll just say I was checking my own Santa box.”
She followed Barb’s footsteps up to the door.
And when she got there, she saw no one in the vestibule.
She slowly opened the door, crept inside, and quietly delivered the present.
“It’s going to work! I’m going to make it!”
On the way out, however, as carefully as she’d opened the door, she kicked it, and it loudly thudded shut. She scurried away, hopping carefully in the same footprints she and Barb had made and blended into the traffic of student bodies trudging between classes.
She walked away cringing, waiting to hear Barb call after her. But no call came, and moments later, Barb’s secret Santa walked around the corner of the science building and was out of sight.

***

At Secret Santa reveal night, Barb told her side of the story.
She spoke of the best Secret Santa she had ever known. A magical, mystical Santa that seemed to travel sometimes at night and was able to appear and disappear before the eyes of TWO witnesses.
(Anne verified it.)

“It seemed this would be the year I failed at Secret Santa. Try as I may, I could not catch my Santa in the act. She drove me insane. But just when I decided I’d been beaten for the first time ever, my Santa left the best gift I’d ever received. My Santa gave me… her identity.”

Then Barb held out the present that had been cleverly delivered right under her nose.
It was a glass paperweight. And inside the glass was a single rose.

She looked at me.
And I smiled.

***

Merry Christmas, everyone!
May all your dreams come true!

8 comments:

HapKiDo said...

Best Secret Santa story ever! That was just brilliant how you pulled it off!

Roses said...

Thanks, Hap!
Merry Christmas!

Thumper said...

Heh...very cool.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Richmond said...

Merry Christmas!! :)

(And I am late with treats this year - New Year's treats work, right??)

Lee Ann said...

COOL! That is SO awesome! I love it!!! Congratulations to You and to Barb for a game of evenly matched wits!

I love it!!!!! Merry Christmas Roses, to you and your family and friends. Have a wonderful day filled with laughter, love and good memories!

Tink said...

Merry Christmas Roses and thanks for a wonderful Christmas story read.

Priscilla said...

What a precious story!

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Teresa said...

Merry Christmas Roses!