The Christmas Alarm

Like many of you, our parents had a Christmas morning rule. Ours was: Stay in bed until 7:00. In Ohio, it was not even daylight at 7 a.m., but my parents and sometimes visiting grandparents dutifully agreed to leave their warm beds for my brother, Bruce’s, and my anxiousness. Of course, our three-year-old sister had to be awakened to join in our merriment.

Now, for my quizzical mind, the 7 a.m. posed a problem. Obviously, there was no Internet 60 years, so I had no understanding of why or how 7 a.m. was the chosen awake time. Without logical reasons, I concluded time was arbitrary. There were no laws to prohibit the wake up time. All I need to do was advance the clocks. Right after we were sent to bed on the Eve, Bruce and I reset the upstairs clocks.

In those days, digital, atomic clocks had yet to be invented, so one would have to squint at the dimly-lit clock, in a sparsely-lit bedroom to ascertain the time. Our plan was flawless. We congratulated each other with our creativity. The alarms went off, Bruce and I were already downstairs eying the presents and full stockings we were forbidden to touch until the adults arrived. My parents and grandparents yawned and drank coffee before the fun began. My baby sister was left to sleep through this exciting, wonderful moment.

It was a perfect Christmas morning! I enthusiastically opened a box from “Santa.” OMG! It was the clock radio I had wanted. I was so delighted I had to plug it in. In my eagerness. I flipped the dial to listen to my favorite station, WHOT. Probably playing Christmas carols, but we all needed holiday music.

Everyone who knows me is well aware I remain techno-challenged. Thankfully, I raised two techno gurus who talk me through my numerous formatting issues, TV set-ups, and cell phone problems. I could only hear the faint music, so I cranked up the volume dial to the max. The music stopped. The DJ blasted, Good morning, Youngstown! Merry Christmas! It’s Four AM!

Busted! Mom fled to the kitchen to check the stove clock, while my dad dialed the local time and temperature number. Both confirmed it was moments after four. Busted! Yes, I admitted I was the instigator, but it was Christmas. My grandparents, unlike my parents, found great humor in my clever shenanigan. Bruce and I were sentenced back to bed, where we slept peacefully until the aroma of bacon awoke us.

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