My son’s neighborhood had a gathering of all the children to meet with Santa. Our son told our granddaughter that she needed to tell Santa that she’d been naughty but that she’d be nice from now until Christmas.
Thought this was an interesting statement from the kid who didn’t sleep an entire night until he was 18 months, was always more intent on rule breaking than rule following, and we’re not even going to mention his high school and college years.
Unfortunately, I believe there may be an inherited gene. My older brother was just one year ahead of me in school, and was the compliant one. I heard a lot from my elementary teachers, “Why can’t you be more like your older brother?” Umm, because I have no intention to be was my unvoiced response.
School was pretty easy for me so I needed to keep myself entertained. Simple things like orchestrating our class to put all their pens and pencils on their desk-top lid. At exactly 2pm, we all looked in our desk and writing instruments covered the floor. No suspensions, a number of trips to the principal’s office. It actually was helpful when I was a principal and you knew the kid was fabricating a story to say, “Nice try, been down this road.”
In the naughty and nice conversation, I have a few regrets. There are several things I did to my parents that make it on the naughty list. The vast majority won’t make it to blog-level, but I’ll share one. A friend and I were walking through the alley near some bars and found decorative liquor bottles that were being thrown away. I brought them home and lined my room window with the bottles. My bedroom was essentially a sun porch with five big windows, so the decanters were very visible.
Honestly, I can’t believe they let me do it. Dad is a pastor and my room overlooked the parking lot to the church. I had rationalized they were decorative and I was simply collecting. While I have no idea what people said, I put my parents in an embarrassing situation. That should have been a no present year.
As a quick side note – preachers and their families (especially selected children) are actual people who do stupid things. Just like the rest of our families. In the church, where grace should abound, there are times it can be a place of judgement and hypocrisy. Soapbox ended.
So in the conversation of Naughty or Nice, for the most part being nice all the time is for Santa’s knee.