Vinnie sits on his bed, his soft grizzly bear pillow bracing his back. Rupert, his stuffed grizzly bear sits next to him, his back against the bed backboard. Dexter lies on the floor at the side of the bed hoping Vinnie won’t finish all of his Christmas cookies.
Vinnie offers a cookie to Rupert. He places it against the grizzly’s mouth, “Here, Rupert, have a bite. Mom put extra chocolate chips in the cookies. She only does that around Christmas time. The rest of the year we get carrots and celery and apples. Jeez, why can’t every day be Christmas, Rupert? If I ever become President, I’ll make everyday Christmas, is that a good idea? Thanks, Rupert. You always think I have good ideas. I think I’ll give a half cookie to Dexter. First, I’ll eat out all the chocolate chips so Dexter won’t get sick.”
A moment later Dexter is licking up the last of the cookie crumbs off the floor. Dexter is up on his hind legs, his front paws on the edge of Vinnie’s bed. Vinnie looks over at Dexter, “Poor guy, Mom always has you on a diet. The vet keeps telling her you’re overweight, but I think you’re solid. Mom doesn’t know I keep giving you food to keep your strength up. Do you want another treat?”
Vinnie picks out the chocolate chips of his last cookie and tosses it on the floor. Dexter scoffs it up and assumes his previous position. He stands on his hind legs and rests his front paws on the edge of the bed.
Vinnie picks up a pair of scissors. He glances over to Rupert, “Rupert, Gramma made my sock for me to hang by the fireplace. It’s too small. Santa can hardly fit anything good in it. I have a better idea. I’m going to give you the stocking Gramma made for me. I took a pair of Mom’s panty hose out of the drier. She won’t miss them. I’ll cut them in half. She’ll be really happy when I decorate them. She’ll have a big stocking just like mine. I bet Santa will be really happy I was so thoughtful.”
Vinnie’s mom calls from the kitchen, “Vinnie, you’re not giving Dexter any cookies. He’s overweight. The vet wants Dexter on a diet.”
“Me, Mom? Why would I share your chocolate chip cookies with Dexter? Chocolate is not good for dogs.”
“Thank you for remembering about chocolate not being good for dogs, Vinnie.”
“Do you think Santa knows I wouldn’t give chocolate to Dexter, Mom?” Vinnie hollers from the bedroom.
“Oh, he knows. Santa knows everything,” says Vinnie’s Mom. “What are you doing in your room? Can I see?”
“No, Mom. It’s a surprise. It’s not a Christmas present, but it has something to do with Christmas.”
“Can I guess?” calls Vinnie’s mom.
“Uh, better not guess, Mom, because you can tell if I’m not telling the truth,” says Vinnie showing Rupert his crossed fingers.
“Okay. I have to go out in a while to do some volunteer work wrapping presents for the homeless. Dad will be home with you. You four boys will have a great time.”
“Can Dad order a pizza and can we watch a Christmas movie. Please, Mom. Please. It’s almost Christmas.”
There is a pause. Vinnie raises one finger after the other, when he raises his fourth finger, his mom says, “Well, it is Christmas in a few days. Only a medium pizza and not an extra large pizza.”
“Thanks, Mom. I’ll make sure Dad doesn’t order an extra large pizza.” Vinnie tilts his head toward Rupert, “I’ll ask Dad to order a large.”
Five minutes later, Vinnie hears his mom hollering, “Has anyone seen my pantyhose. I could swear they were in the drier.”
Vinnie glances over at Rupert, “Buddy, you didn’t warn me Mom might be looking for her pantyhose. If she finds out you cut them in half and tells Santa you won’t get anything for Christmas.”
Vinnie uses his fake Rupert voice, “Mom loves Dexter. Why don’t we blame him if she finds out. Dexter won’t tell on us.”
Vinnie glances over the side of the bed at Dexter asleep on the floor next to the bed. He taps Rupert, “You come up with the best ideas. Now, I got to hide her pantyhose until we can put them in the trash container in the garage.”
Vinnie hears his mom talking to his dad, “Dear, I’m going to stop at O’Donnell’s and pick up a pair of pantyhose on the way home. I don’t understand how I misplaced them.”
“It happens. Don’t forget to give Vinnie a kiss, he’ll be asleep before you come home. You know how much he looks forward to your hug and kiss every night.”
“Rupert, I do not look forward to getting kissed and hugged every night. What’s Dad talking about? I’ve got to move fast, Mom will be in here any second. Where do you think I should hide the pantyhose?” says Vinnie.
“Vinnie, you only have time to stuff the pantyhose in your pillow. Hurry, I hear her coming close to the room,” says Rupert in Vinnie’s falsetto voice.
“Thanks, Buddy,” says Vinnie stuffing one leg after the other of the shredded pantyhose into his pillow case.
A tap on the door, “Vinnie?” The twist of the door nob and Vinnie’s Mom appears in the doorway.
“Hi, Mom. You look great. Goodnight. No need to waste your time kissing and hugging me,” says Vinnie.
“Oh, yes I am going to give you and kiss and a hug,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Mom, how old will I have to be before you stop hugging and kissing me?”
Vinnie’s mom gives Vinnie a hug and then kisses the top of his head, “You’ll never be too old for a hug and kiss from your mom.”
Vinnie’s Mom stood up. Your pillow looks lumpy. Let me smooth it out for you.”
“No thanks, Mom. I like my pillow lumpy. All the guys at school have lumpy pillows, it’s what we talk about at lunch.”
“You do?” asks his Mom. “What’s the scissors doing on your bed. You don’t want to hurt yourself.
Vinnie’s mind was working overtime trying to figure out one excuse after the other. He said, “Awe, Mom, I wish you didn’t see the scissors. I was going to make snowflakes and surprise you. Mrs. Navis taught us all how to make snow flakes. Now, I guess I won’t because it won’t be a surprise.”
“It’s okay. I’ll still love your snowflakes. Where’s the paper your going to use to make snowflakes?”
Vinnie says, “You better go, Mom. You don’t want to be late. Bye.”
“You’re right. Enjoy your pizza with Dad. I’ll peek in on you when I come home.”
“No need, Mom. Rupert will watch out for me.”
Vinnie’s mom leaves the room, walks down the hall. Vinnie hears his mom say, “Dear, something strange is going on with Vinnie. I can’t quite put my finger on it. He’s up to something. Keep an eye on him.”