Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Thanksgiving Surprise

“And a Snoopy sleeping bag.”

On my 9th birthday, that was what I wanted most of all. The bright red one in the Sears catalog, with an outline of Snoopy lying on his doghouse, wearing a big smile.

“OK!” my parents agreed.

But when my birthday came, my sleeping bag did not come with it.

“We’re so sorry,” they said, “but sometimes mail order items come much later than we hope.”

I tried not to be too sad. After all, I had a fun party and lots of other gifts. And Halloween was only a week away. So I tried to forget about Snoopy and the sleeping bag.

But the next day, and the day after, and the day after that, I couldn’t help but sag at the shoulders when no belated gift arrived for me.

Before I knew it, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving had arrived. The four-day break was about to begin, and we four children chattered excitedly about how we wanted to spend them, starting with what we couldn’t wait to see on the table at tomorrow’s feast. A ring of the doorbell took my mom away from the commotion momentarily. When she returned, she carried a large UPS box. “It’s for you,” she told me with a smile. Since the few weeks had passed like eons of time to my 9 year old memory, I couldn’t imagine what it might be. But when I opened the box, everything came back to me in a great rush of red. I yanked it out, my forgotten but beloved sleeping bag, bigger than I’d realized and just as red as its picture in the catalog. And there on the front, bigger than life-size and smiling as if he was at last as happy as I was, lay Snoopy on his doghouse.

“Can I sleep in it tonight?” I squealed.

“Of course,” my parents said. “How would you all like to have a slumber party in the family room?”

I was never so happy to go to bed in all my life.

And the next morning we awoke to the sounds and smells of a delicious Thanksgiving feast. But before getting up, I lay in my sleeping bag for a moment on my back, perfectly content, like my old pal Snoopy, and smiled.

After 35 years of wonderful Thanksgiving holidays, that memory is still the most delicious one of all.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, feasts . . . and plenty of smiles.


  1. Seems like you have waited for packages before.... I must say this sounds like a fabulous one that you received on the eve of Thanksgiving....

    What a wonderful childhood memory...

    Made me smile!!




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