My brother Joey and I had just finished hanging our stockings by the fireplace one Christmas Eve, when the most disturbing thought crossed my mind.
“Joey!” I shrieked. “Did you know that we forgot something?”
“No we didn’t,” said Joey crossly. “We’ve got both our stockings hung up. What could we possibly have forgotten?”
“We forgot the cookies,” I explained to my seven year old brother, who happened to be older than me and who also happened to be more selfish than me.
“Cookies!” Joey laughed. “Why would you want to have cookies just before you go to bed?”
“They aren’t for me silly,” I declared. “They’re for Santa Claus.”
“Oh my!” Joey suddenly clued in. “Mom! Mom! We forgot to leave a snack for Santa! He’ll never leave me the racing car set if we don’t leave him a snack. How could we have forgotten something so important?”
Mommy came running into the family room. She had flour all over her face and in her hair. She looked very funny.
“Children!” she cried. “What is all this screaming about? I’ve got to finish my pies. This had better be important.”
“Oh Mommy,” I said very seriously. “We forgot something.”
“Now Missy,” Mommy said, a bit impatiently. “What did we forget?”
“We forgot Santa’s snack,” Joey and I cried in unison.
“Oh my!” sighed Mommy. “Santa’s snack! How did we ever forget that? Come on children, let’s go into the kitchen.”
Joey and I followed Mommy into the kitchen. We both sat down at the table while she got out the milk and poured Santa a big heaping glass full. Then she went to the pantry to get the cookie jar and she set it on the table.
“Now,” said Mommy. “You two each pick out a cookie for Santa and put them on the saucer.”
I let Joey pick out the first cookie. Very carefully, he took the lid off the ceramic jar and set it on the table. He reached deep into the jar and then he let out the loudest scream that we had ever heard.
“There are no more cookies left!” he cried.
“That’s impossible!” Mommy said, as she picked up the cookie jar and examined it. “I just baked a fresh batch this afternoon. Where could they be? Who stole the Christmas cookies?”
Just then, Daddy walked into the kitchen. He had a plate full of Christmas cookies in one hand and an empty glass in the other.
“I just came up to get another drink of milk,” he said as he walked over to the refrigerator. “These cookies are really great!”
Mommy dropped the cookie jar onto the floor.
“No!” she cried. “Don’t eat those cookies! We need them for Santa Claus!”
Daddy gladly gave up his cookies for such a worthwhile cause when he saw the look of anguish on our faces. Joey and I put the cookies on the table beside the glass of milk and then we went to bed to dream of sugar plums, Santa Claus and those cookies, all night long.