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December 26, 2007
Every Christmas. Not one missed. Not one. It was always so perfect. Same traditions, same decorations, same family. A time for celebration, giving, and more importantly, receiving. Families are together. Tree lights are cut. Church bells fill the cool winter air. Toasty fires are lits.
The clock read 7:30 on Christmas Eve Night. Time for 5 and 7 year old to go to bed. After arguing for about 10 minutes over which kind of cookie to put out for santa, my sister and I decided on chocolate chips with a side of milk. I still thought sugar cookies were better. We raced up the stairs, like we always do, to see who could brush their teeth and get to bed the fastest. I always won. That probably explains my cavities.
Back then, Tamar and I shared a room. We shared everything. Clothes, stuffed animals, bathroom. We even had matching pajamas at Christmas time. Our beds were different. Mine was by the window, looking out into the dark scary night, while my sister’s was against the wall on the other side. The walls were lit with Christmas lights of all colors of the rainbow. Each of us had our own little tree next to our beds. I decorated mine with sparkles, polka dots, and pink. Lots and lots of pink. My sisters tree always looked better than mine. Better designs and prettier colors.
Mom and Dad walked in the door and kissed us both goodnight. My dad, of course, gave us our nightly hugs and tucked us in snug. We both closed our eyes tight. The lights were turned off and my parents left our room. Click. The door was shut. They were gone.
My eyes opened wide. Me and my sister both looked at each other and smiled. We jumped out of bed, trying not to make a sound, but we couldn’t help but chuckle. We threw pillows on the ground to make a bridge from my bed to hers. We jumped on the pillows and tried to get from bed to bed without touching the floor. It took us a couple tries, but eventually we got the hang of it. After about 20 minutes of falling, laughing, and pretend sleeping when our parents walked in, we got tired and both laid down in our beds. We made a pact to stay up all night and wait for Santa. It lasted 30 minutes before we both fell asleep from exhaustion.
The next morning we both woke up. My sister looked at me with soft eyes.
I nodded and smiled.
We made that pact for 3 years, each time ending in failure.
December 26, 2010
Christmas came again. Same as always. Families were still together. Christmas tree scents filled the air once again. Nothing had changed. Except one thing. We got a new house that Christmas. Same town, same street, same house number. Just a new house.
I was eight. My sister was 11. First time I ever had my own room in 8 years. I know right. Most people are excited when they get their own room. My sister was sure happy to get rid of me. December 24. Christmas Eve had arrived.
The clock read 8:30 pm. Bedtime once again. My sister and I set out the cookies once again, this time sugar, for santa. We raced each other up the stairs, and into our new bathroom, separate from our parents. We now had separate sinks. Mine was on the right, hers on the left. It was nice having my own space for once, without her hogging the entire bathroom for hours. We brush our teeth and to walk to our rooms.
I follow my sister into her bedroom, completely forgetting that I had my own.
“What do you think you’re doing? Get out of my room!” My sister hollered.
She pushed me out of her room and slammed the door.
It finally hit me that we no longer shared a room. We no longer would skip from bed to bed. We wouldn’t be together for Christma Eve for the first time in 8 years. I walk into my room. It was dark and gloomy. The walls were not painted. I had no furniture besides my bed. I walk over to my bed, lie down and close my eyes. It didn’t feel right. Nothing did then. I couldn’t fall asleep without my sister next to me. I jump out of bed, and walk to my sister’s room.
“Can I sleep in here tonight?” My hands quivered as the words poured from my mouth.
“Why? You have your own room!”
“I know, I know. But… but I was wondering if… if maybe-”
“Ugh, just come in!”
I sprinted as fast as I could into her bed and covered myself with the blanket.
“But just this one time!”
“Yah, yah. Just for tonight! I promise.”
I made that same lie for 3 years.
December 26, 2013
Christmas! Another year, another tree, more gifts. Mistletoe hung and houses decorated inside and out. Everything’s stayed the same, except one thing: my sister. Everything about her changed. Her clothes, her hairstyles, and especially her attitude. She was no longer home to watch movies, decorate the tree, drink hot cocoa, nothing. She was out with friends all the time. She never talked to me like she used to. She never wanted to play outside with me in the snow anymore. No more anything. Said it was “dumb”. I guess that’s what high school does to someone. Everything is dumb.
Christmas Eve eve morning was when it hit me:
“Wanna make pancakes?” I asked.
“What time is it?”
“8 o’clock? It’s like the middle of the night!” She moaned.
“But we always make pancakes on Saturdays,” I said.
“Ask someone else, I’m going to breakfast with Chiara! Now get out,” She yelled.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. For 6 years straight, every Saturday at 8:00, it was Pancake Day. Not anymore. She wanted to go out for breakfast. But not even with me. With her friend. Pancake Day was gone just like that. What was I going to do on my Saturday mornings now? I decided to have cereal that morning because I wasn’t allowed to use the stove without Tamar. It was different. It didn’t feel right. Then again, nothing did.
Christmas Eve flew by. I didn’t mind. It was really Christmas Eve night that I looked forward to. I no longer set out cookies for Santa. My sister ruined that for me. I slowly walked up the stairs and brushed my teeth. I went into my room and pulled the covers up. I contemplated for awhile if I should even bother asking my sister to sleep in her bed. She would just yell in my face. But then again, it was Christmas Eve. I always slept in her bed on Christmas Eve. I finally convinced myself enough to get out of bed and walk over to her room. I opened the door and saw her staring at her phone, like any other teenager with a phone. I didn’t think she realized my presence, until she said:
“What do you want?” She didn’t bother to look up from her screen.
“I wanted to know if it was ok if I-”
“I already know what you’re going to ask. The answer is N-O!”
“Oh c’mon, I always sleep in your bed on Christmas Eve. Please, please, please?” I think I said please about 16 times until she interrupted me.
“Absolutely not! You have your own room. Now get in your bed and leave me alone!” Her tone was getting aggravated.
Fine. I’ll sleep in my stupid room.
I tried to pretend like I didn’t care, but my facial expressions said otherwise. I slouched and walked out of her room. That was it. The first night in 7 Christmas Eves that I didn’t sleep in my sisters bed. All I could do now was go to bed, in my bed, and wake up Christmas Morning to an empty bed. I sat down, laid down, and pulled up the covers. I shut my eyes and started to doze off. I guess this was how it was going to be from now on. Typical teenager kicking their typical little siblings out of their typical teenage rooms.
December 26, 2017
Another Christmas come and gone, just like that. Eggnog, snow, and more family get-togethers. But the only difference was everything changed. One word: college. My sister was at college. 3 and a half hours away from home. I thought she wasn’t home before, now, her room was vacant. Her lights weren’t on, there was no music blasting anymore. She was 100% gone. Her break got out a week and a day before mine. She got home December 14th. Those 14 days of December fekt life forever. The holidays weren’t the same without someone to argue with about the tree decorations or where to place the Christmas cards. Even when she did get home, it didn’t exactly speed up the process. No one to bother to make cookies with.. All she wanted to do was see her friends. The friends she hadn’t seen since she left. Of course she said hi to me, and hung out with me for the night, but every night after that, it was like she never came home from college at all. She was absent from dinner every night. She wasn’t home to help with the lights outside or to prepare food on Christmas.
Christmas Eve came around once again. It was 11:30. I decided to go to bed a little early cause of course, it was Christmas Eve. I walked upstairs and brushed my teeth. I changed into my sweats and tshirt and got into bed. I didn’t even bother to check my sister’s room to say goodnight to her, it’s not like she would say it back. As I closed my eyes, I heard a knock at my door.
“What?” I hollered.
“It’s me,” my sister said.
“Come in,” I sighed. I didn’t know what she wanted. Probably clothes.
“Hey,” I didn’t look up to make eye contact, I was too tired.
“I was wondering if you wanted to sleep in my bed tonight?”
“Really?” I said sarcastically. I was expecting a sarcastic response back.
“Yah. I don’t always have someone to talk with at night. I need my roomie back!”
“Well than call your roommate and ask her!” I closed my eyes and pretended to fall asleep.
She sighed and walked out of my room. She closed the door behind her. I opened my eyes in a startle. She wanted me to sleep in her bed, again. I couldn’t believe it. But I wasn’t going to give into her temptations. She hasn’t exactly made enough effort on her part to win me back.
I lied in bed for about 20 minutes deciding if I should give in or not. I decided not. That decision lasted 3 minutes. I raced out of my room and sprinted as fast as I could to her bed.
“This doesn’t change anything,” I said.
“Sure,” she rolled her eyes.
We looked at each other and chuckled. The clock read 12:00.
“Merry Christmas Adi,” She whispered.
“It sure is!”