Gumby vs. Pokey – Christmas Blog Swap

So a group of mondo-A-lister outrageously amazing bloggers decided to do Christmas Memory Blog Swap.

And I totally conned them into letting me play! HA!

Sadly there are  no Martha Points for sneakiness or trick-fakery. (Or, fake-trickery.)

And since there will be no cake in IPoMP land without icing, allow me to present the sweet spreadable confection that I get to host:

Sherri from Old Tweener.

Can we say “thrilled?” How ’bout “overjoyed?”

I knew ya could.

Sherri is totally the icing on my Christmas Cake. (Not to be confused with Crater Bread.)

So without further ado…

Gumby vs. Pokey

When I was growing up we often traveled by car to visit my grandparents for the Christmas holidays. At that time they lived in Albuquerque New Mexico and we were in Colorado, which meant a lot of quality time spent in the backseat of the car with my younger brother.

And by quality time, I mean exactly what you are thinking.

If you have kids of your own, I’m sure you can picture this scene. Except this was pre-video game, pre-cell phone, pre-anything that would make the trip easier. We each had a paper grocery bag we were allowed to fill with toys and games, and these bags doubled as the barrier between us in the backseat. The barrier through which no arms could poke or fingers could pinch.

I often would slowly push the bags closer to him, gaining maybe an inch or two in my own personal space.

It was good to be the oldest.

So we would travel in this manner for hours (seemed like days to me) and arrive in Albuquerque with just the things our car could carry. Two sacks of toys and treasures, a few suitcases, and two small-ish children.

Which added to the mystery of how all the gifts magically arrived at my grandparent’s house.  And how Santa knew where to find us on Christmas Eve.

In Albuquerque.

Christmas morning would come and gifts would be pouring out of our stockings, left along the hearth and beneath the beautifully decorated white flocked tree. Our Santa didn’t wrap the presents because (duh) they just came straight from the workshop, straight from the workbenches of those toiling little elves. Bicycles were assembled, toys had batteries in them already, and everything was ready to play with.

So this sets the scene for my Christmas memory.

One particular year when I was probably old enough to know better, I woke up at my grandparent’s house in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. And while a girl whose name was on the “Nice” list on Santa’s desk would have simply gone back to bed, for some unknown reason I did not.

This was completely out of character for me. I was a rule-follower, a tattler, and a by-the-book type of kid. I have witnesses.

So I quietly snuck out to the family room where the tree was, just to take a look.

I’ll just look. What could it hurt?

Of course just looking from afar turned into looking a bit closer, which then turned to checking out the stash from Santa. And looking in the stockings.

I couldn’t just look at my stuff; I had to be fair and take a look at what Santa brought for my little brother too.

What if it’s better than mine?

And that’s when it happened.

We each had a twistable action figure from our favorite cartoon series, Gumby and Pokey, in our stockings. Gumby was, well that Gumby-type guy. And Pokey was the horse.

I was crazy about horses. But Pokey was in my brother’s stocking.

Oh, the horror.

Santa must have been confused. Why in the world would a horse-crazy 8 or 9 year old girl want Gumby when she could have Pokey?

So I did what any girl on that “Nice” list would do.

I helped Santa out by righting his wrong, by fixing his obvious mistake.

I switched them.

There was no fall-out from my parents the next morning, no why-did-I-get-Gumby crying from my brother. Nothing. I had pulled off the incredible Christmas Eve switcheroo and nobody was the wiser.

But I felt incredibly guilty.

Many, many years later (I think I was in my 30’s) I bought my brother a Pokey for Christmas and told him the story. It was better than therapy, the burden I’d carried for years being lifted.

It may have even restored my standing on that “Nice” list.

Oh Sherri, Sherri…no wonder you never got the Barbie Penthouse Apartment.

So where did I end up, you ask?

And if you did not ask, why the hell not??

I am sharing a memory of a Christmas and the reincarnation of plush white blanket at Ashley’s place, Just Another Mom of Two.

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40 comments

  1. That is one awesome Christmas story. You are a sneaky sneaky little girl! We did the same road trip every Christmas to my Grandma’s and my sis and I also shared the backseat where we spent the whole time asking, “ARe we there yet?” and hollering, “Mom, she’s touching me.” “Mom, she’s looking at me.” “Mom, she’s breathing on me.” I’m sure it was good times for my parents.

  2. I would’ve done THE EXACT SAME THING. It’s a good thing Santa didn’t wrap gifts. I’ll bet there are a lot of people out there who wish THEY’D thought of that!!

    1. I think they must have been so tired from all the driving, they randomly tossed things into the stockings.

      Which might explain the Bonne Bell lipgloss my brother got.

  3. Christmas swappery! I never would have placed you as a toy swapper, Sherri.

    The horrors.

    And I am sad to say that I am of the same generation as you that actually watched Gumby and Pokey in its original format. Sigh.

    Happy holidays!

    1. Gigi, I knew you would know which characters I was talking about….

      My kids can’t believe this was actually a show that people would watch. I guess in hindsight, I can’t believe it either!

  4. Hilarious!AS a parent, we stuff so much stuff into those stockings..Im sure your parents either thought they got the stockings confused or didn’t even notice:)LOL I totally would have done the same thing.In fact, I may or may not have been guilty of sneaking into closets and unwrapping gifts to see what me and all my brothers and sisters had gotten before Xmas. Hell, I couldn’t run the risk of them getting better stuff than me..I was the oldest:)That tom follery wouldn’t work today though.IM pretty sure we’d be caught on a nanny cam!Busted! Happy Christmas!

  5. I have stuff like this too. Although my sister would’ve thrown that pokey promptly in the trash so I tell myself it’s not worth it. Sometimes, it’s still good to be the oldest.

  6. Santa wrapped our gifts, but my sister still managed to find out what everyone was getting the day before. And she would tell us. While we were falling asleep on Christmas Eve. I wasn’t surprised on Christmas morning until they stopped putting us all in the same room.

  7. Bwahaha. That is awesome. I love that you carried the guilt around for 30-ish years. Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving!

    Oh, and my childhood Santa did not wrap presents, either. My husband’s Santa did wrap. Great controversy in our house when children came along. Guess who won? Yep. My kids’s Santa doesn’t wrap. ;)

  8. What a great story!! I, too, am an oldest, rule-follower, and I distinctly remember the one Christmas I peeked. Didn’t swap anything though – my cousins, sister and I all peeked together. It ruined the surprise the next morning. Never did it again.

  9. Yegads – Sherri at Lori’s place? This is like a reese’s peanut butter cup, without the horrific anaphylactic reaction.

    LOVE this story, Sherri! So funny how guilty you felt! I remember finding my chanukah gifts stashed away in my parents’ closet and then feeling disappointed when I got the gifts since I already knew what I had. I learned the true meaning of good surprises!

    1. Mmmmm…..peanut butter cups…….you distracted me, Cheryl….

      It is such a big bummer to KNOW what you are getting! I guess if we don’t have that one time when we peek, we never know how it feels.

  10. And the replacement Pokey still hangs majestically from the windshield frame of my old truck. I share this story with everyone who asks about it!

  11. What a fantastic story!! I remember one year I went snooping too and saw everything my parents had gotten me for Christmas in my mom’s closet. I was very careful not to move things and otherwise give any indication that I knew, but somehow, my mom knew anyway, and chastised me on Christmas day. Haha. I never did it again, either.

  12. Great story Sherri! Sibling rivalry at its finest. Makes me think of my own two children (big brother and little sister) who spend hours in the backseat as we head over to the grandparents for Christmas.

    I love that you finally confessed. Everyone must have gotten a good laught out of that!
    Merry Christmas!

  13. I always used to wonder how all the gifts magically appeared at my grandparent’s house at Christmas, too. I can’t believe you succeeded at your Christmas switcheroo – too funny!

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