“”Package Alert, Package Alert”, I would call-out at this time of year, when we got home. Many years ago, when the boys were still small, I would pick them up at the end of the workday from Martha Rounds Academy. On the way home, I would detour by some of the local Christmas light hotspots, calling out “Christmas Light Alert, Christmas Light Alert”. Through the rearview mirror, I saw the reflected awe upon their little faces, colored by the passing lights. Arriving home, I always managed to spy the package on the front porch first. As soon as I had cut the engine I would cry out, “Package Alert, Package Alert”.
Initially this would aid in the disembarking process, the boys would explode out of the car in their excitement. This gave me time to gather all of the flotsam and jetsam that traipsed into the house during those years. The problem was negotiating the front door. Arms full, I had to step around two boys who were busy pawing at the latest cardboard monolith erected upon our front door step. I don’t know what they were trying to do. Their tiny hands could have never penetrated the reams of packing tape that encase these artifacts. Maybe through some now long forgotten sense, they could feel the goodness within.
Somehow, I, the boys, the package and all of the rest would make it inside. Then came their question, “Can we open it?” They already knew the answer even before I gave it, “Let’s wait until Mom gets home and then we’ll see.” This usually broke the spell and off they ran to their usual pursuits. Occasionally, depending on the package and only after the Mom-a-sarus came home, we would bust open the cardboard box. If the sender was a notorious wrapper (not rapper) then we ‘rents knew that the secrecy of the gift would be preserved until Christmas. This faux concession only served to reignite the frenzy that was acted out on the door step. Still, it was fun to watch.
Monday night, two packages arrived. Jay and Carl’s present was waiting on the front porch just as in days of yore. Alas, there were no small children in the car to tease, only me. Read that last phrase as you will. It is just not the same. Even though these two are notorius wrappers, we’ll likely leave it boxed until we get our tree and the once little boys return home again.
The other package arrived after we were both home. There was a knock at the door, but no one was there. It could have been Santa, except that his sleigh sounded more like a UPS truck than eight tiny reindeer. The package was marked perishable, refrigerate. This is the other exception to the do not open until Christmas rule. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a shrink wrapped pallet, and seven giant food baskets. As you can see from the picture above, they fill our refrigerator. Thank you, Kathy and Frank!