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I got coal in my stocking.

For some reason, this story popped into my mind as I was thinking about stocking stuffers for my kids this year. I laughed out loud. By myself. Which is how I knew I had to share this story with you! Enjoy...

I honestly don't remember how old I was when this happened, but I would guess I was seven. Why seven? Because that's how old my daughter is right now, and I can one-hundred-percent see her doing the exact same thing.

I lied a lot to my parents as a kid. I like to pretend it was an overactive imagination, though that's being generous. I also just really wanted what I wanted when I wanted it, and lying was a quick and easy fix. After what I'm sure were many desperate attempts to stem the flow of unending falsehoods spewing from my mouth each day, my parents turned to the one they knew could strike fear into my heart. Santa.

They warned me for weeks that coal was a definite possibility, but I was sure they were bluffing. Santa knew my heart, right? Heck, he probably lied to his parents when they asked him if he'd eaten candy out of the storage room when he was a kid (because he definitely ate a lot of candy). And how would Santa even get coal anyway? Elves definitely don't make that in their workshop.

I had reasoned myself into a false sense of security, and when I woke on Christmas morning to find a fist-sized lump of coal at the top of my sock, my heart just about stopped. Thankfully, my siblings were too involved in their own stockings to witness my shame, and since my parents hadn't come down to the living room yet...I'm sure you know where this is headed.

I grabbed that hunk of black rock and took it immediately to the trash, then walked back to my stocking as if nothing had happened. That's right. I lied about the lump of coal I received on Christmas for lying! The best part is that I was SO sure Santa was real, I was completely convinced I'd gotten away with it.

I remember my parents coming down and asking something like, "Are you sure you got everything out of your stocking?" and I nodded emphatically yes. My mom asked me at least three times, and at that point, I started to worry. Did Santa tip them off? Did he alert parents when coal was being deposited in their children's holiday stash?

The whole ordeal was stressful, to be sure, and I can't remember if I ever came clean or not. So, 2020 is the year. Y'all, I got coal in my stocking for being a little stinker as a seven-year-old. The secret's out.

I still have so many questions, like where in the world did my parents find a lump of coal? Did they drive to the local power plant? Did they hijack a Thomas the train engine?

I may never know, but at least now I can sleep with a clean conscience. 😂

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