Christmas Shenanigans with Stanley December 28, 2020

 Sundays on the Porch with Stanley December 28, 2020

Me: Hey Stanley, how are you doing?
Stanley: I’m doing fine. Enjoying a slow lazy day after all the holiday shenanigans.
Me: What kind of shenanigans were going on down there?
Stanley: Well, it all started on Christmas Eve when we do our gift exchange drop off for everyone. Our tradition is to leave our gifts for others on their doorsteps around sunset on Christmas Eve while everyone is inside getting ready. After we open our gifts, everyone gets together for a big party down by the campfire with lots of food and beverages to celebrate.
Me: Wow! While that definitely sounds like fun, it doesn’t sound like shenanigans to me.
Stanley: Hold on. I’m still getting to that part. This year when we all opened our doors to bring in our gifts, most of us were completely surprised to find no gifts on our doorstep! Everyone was sort of shocked! We called out to each other to see if anyone knew what had happened. And no one did.
Me: Oh no Stanley! That must have been terrible. Did you think someone took the gifts?
Stanley: We didn’t know then. But we did figure it out later when we got to the campfire.
Me: Oh good! So what did happen?
Stanley: Well, here’s the short version. We have a small gang of young raccoons who thought it would be fun to “take” everyone’s gifts as a little prank and give them all back later in a “fun” way. Can you see where this is going now?
Me: <smiling and shaking my head> Uh huh. Okay.
Stanley: Well, that’s where the shenanigans began. After the ‘grand gift heist’, we didn’t want to spoil Christmas Eve, so everyone agreed to go ahead with our plans to meet up at the campfire and just celebrate anyway. When we got there though, we were happily surprised to see an exceptionally large and beautifully decorated Christmas Tree with a huge pile of gifts underneath. It was just incredible, and everyone was clapping and cheering. What we didn’t know then but quickly figured out was these young raccoons didn’t think to put names on the packages they were picking up, so we had no idea which gift went to whom. Do you see the predicament we were in?
Me: <laughing> Oh my gosh, yes! What a mess that must have been. What did you do?
Stanley: Well, “you know who” came to the rescue. <grinning> Actually, I remembered you telling me about the game you and the family love to play at Christmas. I think you called it Dirty Santa?
Me: Oh yes. We love playing that. The one where everyone draws a number and picks a gift and then the others with higher numbers can take it away from them. lol That one?
Stanley: Yes! I suggested an edited version for our situation. Cuz, you know we must have had over 100 gifts under that tree. Playing the game the way you do would have taken us days.
Me: <laughing> Yes, you’re right. We sometimes have to set a rule about the number of times as gift can be stolen.
Stanley: Exactly. So after I explained how this works, everyone got into it and we all agreed to do it and allow only one “steal”.
Me: Wow! That’s great! How’d that work out?
Stanley: Well, I’m not sure. I don’t actually know how it all went down for everyone else. Here’s what I do know. Instead of drawing numbers and doing it one at a time. we decided each critter would pick a gift and we would all open them together. Then we would put the gift in front of us so others would have an opportunity to see what it was and could chose to trade if they saw a gift they wanted more or that was more suitable for them. Cuz, you know a spider has absolutely no need for a bag of acorns, right? In theory, this should have worked. I envisioned a calm and easy process with all of us walking around, visiting with each other, looking at the gifts and choosing what we liked and offering trades. However, I forgot we were dealing with a lot of critters who are all different in age and size AND we had no one there to manage the situation.
Me: Wait! What about you managing the situation. Weren’t you supposed to be in charge?
Stanley: Well, that’s possibly where it all went wrong. As I looked over the gifts, I spotted what looked like it might be a wrapped bottle of Dragon Lady’s Homemade Special Eggnog! And somehow, I lost all track of the “being in charge” part. <shaking his head> As soon as I blew the whistle, I did my own “dive and slide” to try and snag that bottle first!
Me: Uh huh. And so did you get it?
Stanley: Yes, I got it. <smiling> Rocky the Raccoon was also taking a dive for it, but his foot slipped and he was a little slower than me on the pickup. I grabbed the bottle and jumped up going right into the champion’s stance. You know the one, raising my arms and the bottle high over my head and doing a little happy dance around. My celebration was short-lived though as I looked out and saw Rocky sitting up, shaking his head and beginning to look around for me. And that’s when I remembered the “one steal” rule so I knew I had to do the only thing I could at the time to protect my “treasure” and took off for my humble abode running as fast as my frog legs would carry me to my hide out. <hangs his head> I admit. It wasn’t my proudest moment.
Me: Oh no Stanley! That surprises me. You just left??? Didn’t you also vote to honor the” one steal” rule?
Stanley: Yes. Yes, I did. And I felt pretty bad about the whole thing and how it went down later. At least my part in it. Apparently, it all turned into a real mob scene. But before you start getting all judgy on me, let me tell you that yesterday, I ordered a case of Dragon Lady’s Special Eggnog delivered to Rocky right to his doorstep. And I used his favorite peanuts and wrote “I’m sorry” in BIG letters right on top.
Now, tell me, am I still your favorite frog?
Me: Yes. Yes you are Stanley.


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