My Son, the Grinch


Good teenagers are a lot of fun to raise. (I know that sounds strange to a lot of people, but we had kids for their entertainment value.) One of our very good teenage sons punked Christmas morning three times. He’s now way out of his teenage years but continues to be a threat.

1. Christmas is stolen

Grinch stealing tree drawing

We had a big house and two Christmas trees, one very formal on the main floor in the living room and one the kids decorated downstairs in the family room. We had stayed up to the normal 2 a.m. typical-Christmas-Eve witching hour to finish wrapping gifts. Everything looked warm and wonderful. We left the tree lights on all night just to honor the holiday.

When we came down in the morning, everything was gone. Strands of the tree decs were in tatters on the window frame as if the entire tree had been dragged through the window. All the gifts were missing and so was all the rest of the decor.

After a short hunt, we found the entire kit-and-kaboodle (a slang expression, dating back to the mid-19th century, meaning “everything” or “all of it”) in a daughter’s small bedroom. We all piled in there at once and had a very cozy Christmas morning experience.

2. We is po

OK, so it wasn’t the best of times but we still had managed to put together something like a middle-class American Christmas morning. Same downstairs family room, same typical all-nighter wrapping gifts. Yada, yada, yada.

When we came down in the morning there was a pretty artistically-done banner at the bottom of the stairs:

Christmas banner

We had a 7′ artificial tree that had been artfully separated. The lower 2/3 was sitting in its assigned place on the floor, but the top 1/3 was somehow hanging from the ceiling. And most of the presents were also attached to the ceiling. As we laboriously got them down, we noticed that every single gift had our son’s name on it. It was quite the experience opening presents that morning. We’ve never been able to match it.

3. Barbies on Tatooine

Barbie Star Wars

As the family grew (and our son never outgrew his teenage ways), we decided to have a sleepover for Christmas Eve at our oldest daughter’s house. This would be a huge multi-family Christmas morning, so more gifts than usual. Giant family room downstairs. Big tree.

We woke up to discover that a collective of Barbies had joined the Dark Side and enlisted some nasty Star Wars villains to help attack the tree and carry off the presents. Barbies and Star Wars characters and vehicles were in formation on the floor and in pursuit mode up the tree. It took some time to find all the presents they had carried off and because we had a number of families to account for, things looked like the clone wars for a while.

Has anyone in your family punked Christmas? Let us know in the comments.

Gale Boyd is the managing editor for She is a Jewish convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has lived all over the world. She has raised 6 Third Culture Kids and is always homesick for somewhere.