Here in the states it’s still Christmas eve for another hour or two. My family’s tradition has always been to exchange gifts Christmas Eve, rather than the usual Christmas morning, so I’m sitting in our living room surrounded by piles of presents and the remains of paper that had been so carefully wrapped only hours before.
Tomorrow morning we’ll come down to our stockings, hanging neatly on the mantle. If tradition holds mine will be filled with cooking gadgets, candies, maybe another small trinket or two. Despite what some people have suggested, there will be no coal or switches.
I can almost picture the poor girl who isn’t quite as lucky, sneaking down the stairs on Christmas morning only to find her stocking full of switches. Does she sneak back up to her bed, hiding under the covers until she’s called downstairs once more, her pajamas lowered, and each switch applied to her bare bottom before she’s allowed to join the rest of the family in opening their presents around the tree.
Or is she expected to walk to the corner and wait? The others will come down soon after, gather around the fireplace, and open the gifts in their stockings. Only after will she be called out of the corner to take her punishment. She’ll sit uncomfortably at the breakfast table soon after the switching is done, but she’ll be a good girl once more ready for the new year to begin.