Locked up before we open up


Justice Bennett

My family definitely has one of the strangest, coolest Christmas traditions.

Three years ago, I found myself with my hands glued to a personal fan and unable to open all my Christmas presents.

Every Christmas Eve, my parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents lock up me and my cousins in a basement or room together. With duct tape, couches, drilling wood over windows, door knob removing, jingle bells, and everything else you could probably think of. They do whatever they can to trap me and all my cousins in the space.

The tradition started when the parents would try to sneak downstairs and open all the presents before my grandparents even woke up. My grandpa immediately started locking them on Christmas Eve so that he could see that “wow” face when they saw the presents. Now it is just ingrained in the family.

While we are locked up, the parents celebrate over wine and have a grand ol’ time reminiscing over their childhood days and about how the trap they devised this year will definitely be the one the children will never overcome.

So how’d I find myself with my hands all torn up with burns unable to open my Christmas presents?

Well, my cousins and I were all locked in the second floor. We couldn’t figure out how to escape the doorway and so we decided the window on the other side was the only way. I held a closet rack out the window while my cousins scaled down the wall. When I was the last one, I tied a rope around the bowflex and thought I would try to Spiderman-esque-ly go down the rope to the ground where we would retrieve our Christmas presents in the family room through the window we left open on the first floor.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.

My hands, without gloves, started to slip and the friction between the thick ropes and my hands gave me significant burns.

And so I found myself unable to participate in one of the best parts of Christmas – opening up the presents.

I’ll never forget those amazing bonding experiences though – jumping out of windows, unscrewing hinges, karate kicking down boarded doors. One day, I will be the one locking my kids up.

Happy Holidays!


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