Back in elementary school when I had to finally confess that I knew my mom was Santa Claus, I did so with some trepidation. If you remember that time in your life, you recall that childhood fear that, by letting go of Santa, there would be no goodies, no fun.
Understanding that, my mother set out to make my first non-Santa Christmas a different kind of fun. There was a popular song at the time called What’s Behind the Green Door. Taking that as her theme, my creative mother covered her closet door with green paper and pasted question marks of varying sizes all over the door. I knew that’s where my presents were. She made great show of keeping it locked, and she frequently sang pieces of What’s Behind the Green Door. It was a great game.
Until Christmas Eve.
She finally got me to bed on Christmas Eve and waited a sufficient amount of time to ensure that I was actually asleep. It was time to set the gifts under the tree.
It was an older apartment, and the inside doors locked with long, old-fashioned keys similar to the one you see pictured. She had been locking and unlocking that door throughout her shopping season and didn’t anticipate incurring any problems at midnight on Christmas Eve. She hadn’t yet heard of Murphy’s Law.
Mother inserted the key, twisted to unlock the door, and the key broke off leaving a sizable portion of it inside the lock. And there she was – with her little girl’s Christmas surprises secured on the wrong side of that darn green door, and it was the middle of the night so she couldn’t call anyone for help.
She worked for an hour or more trying to extricate the piece of key from inside the lock hoping that she could then use another slender tool to push the lock open. It didn’t work. She was finally left to remove the hinges from the door and, with all 5 ft. 2 in. of her might, pull the door off and drag it out of the way.
By the time I woke up slightly after dawn, the living room was aglow with Christmas tree lights and girly gifts under the tree. I was ecstatic. Christmas was still glorious without Santa Claus.
It was late on Christmas Day when I looked in her bedroom and noticed the dismantled door. We laughed and I began learning about my mother’s great determination.
I actually found Green Door on youtube. Check it out.