Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Santa, Espionage and Rice Crispy Trees

The Rice Crispy Tree by Spy Santa
This year, for the 12 days before Christmas, we’re playing Secret Santa to a family we sorta know.  This was a tradition that started before my divorce and has lapsed a bit since.  And now that we’re settled, we decided it was time to pick another family and prepare for our first drop.

Since it’s been awhile since we’ve done this gig, I prefaced our Secret-Santa run with a message about the true meaning of Christmas and the nature of anonymous giving.  I may have also mentioned that this was a clandestine operation and that we needed to maintain secrecy.  In retrospect I realize that my kids somehow thought I was giving a timely lecture on spy training. 

I should have known what we were up against when my boys donned ninja-wear before we left.  Zack put on black thermal underwear, the top too short to completely cover his belly, and Kaleb had changed into a dark tracksuit and pulled a black knit beanie over his head. 

We reached our target location, and before I could say ‘covert operation’ my children had bailed from the vehicle and were hiding behind the corner of the nearest apartment complex; I wasn’t even sure where these people lived.  As I walked aimlessly through the parking lot, carrying a mound of rice crispy treats designed to resemble a Christmas tree, my children went about being sneaky behind me.  At one point, Kaleb executed a spy somersault before lodging himself behind a stocky bush. 

What was truly amazing was how much louder they were as spies than as normal children. Leah had a fit of giggles that no amount of intimidation could discourage and Zack seemed to have somehow confused espionage with karate that included shrill cries and grunts.  People began looking out their windows, and I suddenly realized we were just one ski mask away from a visit to the pokey. 

Finally, we found building C, apartment 101.  Our droopy rice crispy tree now leaned precariously, but we placed it on the doorstep anyway and prepared to make our getaway.  That’s when someone visiting the apartment just above stepped out and began coming down the stairway.  My kids, untrained in the fine art of keeping their cool, scattered, one of them yelling, ‘Merry Christmas’ to no one in particular. 

And because I hadn’t prepared them for becoming separated during a mission, it took awhile to locate everyone and get them loaded back into the car.  That’s when we realized we hadn’t even rung the doorbell.  In a somewhat anticlimactic move, I drove up to building C, and Kaleb, now missing his black knit beanie, got out, knocked on their door and ran back to the car. 

With 11 days left until our Secret Santa mission is complete, I’m hoping that we’re not ‘made’ before Christmas.  I’m going to have to search my closet for my own ninja wear, because even if we are, I’ve decided that Spy Santa is much more fun than Secret Santa.

In other news, that same night we got our own Secret Santa gift.  Here's what we were lucky enough to get:

These Santas are authentic--this is the first day of Christmas, minus the partridge (I already ate one of the pears).  Much better than a sugar-coma inducing rice crispy tree.  That's okay.  We still have 11 days to prove ourselves.

We'll keep you posted on our merriment of espionage proportions.  Until then, enjoy the 10th day before Christmas!


Jim said...

Hooray for movie-style operations that never seem to work!

On the plus side, I consider the best gifts at Christmas to be the good sentiments of those I love and FOOD. Thus, Secret Santa operations, comical or otherwise, are my favorite part of the season. :)

shauna said...

Jim, we're really enjoying it this, and it's an added bonus that we have a Secret Santa of our own. It's making the looooong countdown more bearable for my kids (and, of course, moi).