Memoir: The Paranoia Before Christmas-Maddie D.

Maddie Deeley


ILA Period 8


The Paranoia Before Christmas


I sit on the floor and half of my presents lay in front of me. My paranoia finally erased from my head. The presents lay in front of me were neatly organized in an arch, each one in reaching distance from where I was sitting. I shuffled around the boxes in chronological order from the one I wanted to open first, to the one I wanted to open last(Usually the one that I thought was unusual, if it be its heavy weight with it’s small size, or it’s uneven warped sides) I get up and search for the rest of the presents with my name on the tag. I reassemble my presents.


After I have opened all my presents, I watch my parents open theirs. I love seeing the expressions on their faces. I sometimes feel that it makes me happier to see people like the presents I give them, then me like the presents I received. When we were all finished my dad  got up to get a garbage bag(the bad smelling lemon scented ones) to put all the wrapping paper in. We stuffed all the paper in the bag when my mom told me I have one more present.

“Where is it” I said a little too loudly for that early in the morning.

“You have to look for it”my mom said, happy that I was so excited. 20 seconds from when I started looking, and I saw it and I was so happy. …….




It was late at night. It was also Christmas Eve. Me and my parents were sitting in the living room and we were almost halfway through watching all the movies in the lord of the rings series. “I was so tired, yet still wide awake, it was just one of those times where you are so excited you can’t help but not fall asleep. I sat sideways on the couch with my legs straight out in front of me. On my legs was my cat, Mini, her tail moving side to side. She was always  small cat. We got her when she was four(in human years)and she was so small. We thought that her growth was just stunted but she stayed the same size, never an ounce over 5 pounds. My eyes stared directly at the tv. I heard the exact words the movie was saying but they didn’t process in my head. I just sat there, unaware of the world surrounding me. For a few minutes it had to be, I fell asleep because when I opened my eyes, my mom was putting part 2 into the disc player.

“Hey dad?” I asked

“What?” he replied

“Could you get me water please… with ice?” I said being the lazy child I am.

Ok, but this is the last time, and I know that in the future you will get ice water for me, when I am too lazy to get up.” “Punk” he said in a joking kind of way, making a funny face at me to make me laugh.

“Thanks dad”

I know that I should stop being so lazy, but I never did and I am living proof. Kind of bratty of me. Bad habit too. My dad came back with my ice cold drink. I sipped it down till there was only ice at the bottom. The cold water felt good against my dry mouth.

I found myself dozing off again as I strained to keep my eyes open. All of the sudden, I woke up to the loud sound of the music accompanying the credits. The humming of violins, the banging of drums, and the whistling of the wood winds was overwhelming at the time.

“Sorry Maddie, didn’t mean for it to startle you like that” my mom said. She grabbed the remote and turned down the volume to a more calming level.

I walked into my kitchen. The soles of my bare feet touching the ground.

I never liked the tiles in my kitchen. They are an off white color, with a rough surface and black grout in between each one. They always bothered me for some reason. And it is a reason I am still unsure of. I got a glass from the cabinet, and poured myself some water to bring upstairs with me.  I walked back into the living room.

“Good night, I am going to bed, I wouldn’t be able to last five more minutes down here. I would be asleep in seconds as soon as I touch the couch. “ My parents both kissed me goodnight. And I headed up stairs. I made my way through the dark hallway after I was unable to find the light switch. Being around 6 or 7 years old at the time, and the frightened little girl I was, I was super afraid of the dark. I leaned my back up against the wall to ensure myself that there could be nothing behind me. I turned the corner and made a run for it to the stairs. I run up, quickly, but swifty, being careful not to spill my glass of water. I turn on the light that is at the top of the stairs and go into my room to turn my light on. I go back in the hallway and turn that light off and begin to get ready for bed. The soft comforter felt warm in the cold frigid air. I cover myself up, and then I hear the heat turn on. The warm air started blowing through the vents.


My eyes open, and I get a rush of disappointment. It already had taken me awhile to fall asleep the first time around and now I have to do it again, because it isn’t morning and I am awake.

I couldn’t fall asleep. I tried everything. I changed my position. I tied breathing out my mouth. I even had some water to sooth my throat(good call on my part). Nothing was working.

I tried thinking about what the next day would be like. But all of the sudden I started thinking about bad things. What if tomorrow wasn’t going to be fun? What if I was going to make a fool out of myself in front of my family when they come over later in the day. What if I don’t get the bike that I wanted for christmas. More and more thoughts rushed through my head like waves coming in at high tide, and each one get bigger and bigger until there are huge waves crashing down into the sand. I fell asleep. I wasn’t sure when, but I know that wasn’t going to be the last time that I woke up during the night.

I was right. Was it that I was excited or worried? I didn’t know. I just wanted to get up in the morning and have a good day, where nothing bad happens.

Again. Why was this happening to me. Was the world mad at me? Did I do something wrong to deserve this? I didn’t want the answer. My only goal was to wish my worries away and sleep. Restful and Peaceful.

My eyes didn’t open because I didn’t want it to be the middle of the night again. I start to open my eyes, squinting. It is dark, but it is morning the dim light was shining through the curtain and a rush of relief ended my ongoing paranoia. But it was christmas, and I should be happy right. But just then I remember the bad thoughts, the things could happen that day. They seem silly now but my wild imagination made the simplest of things seem even more terrible than they actually were.

I put on my slippers and walked out my bedroom door. The floorboards in the upstairs hallway are so creepy when you walk on them, but through all the days with nothing to do I would run around upstairs and I memorized all the spots where it doesn’t make sound. I hoped from each spot until I was at the top of the stairs. I walked down the side of the stairs, knowing that the middle of each step would make the smallest sound possible to wake up my parents. My house has thin walls. So almost every little clink or clank that happens in the kitchen down stairs can be heard in a bedroom upstairs, on the other side of the house, with the door closed.

Shuffling my feet I maneuvered my way into my living room where I knew all my presents would be, under the tree.

The christmas tree was a sight that i knew I would never forget. The rainbow light gleamed of of the crystal clear ornaments shining all around the room. I peer around looking at all the wrapped presents and I can’t wait to open them. I ran back upstairs not caring about the noise I make because I was going to wake up my parents.

“Wake up, wake up” I whispered through my parents door.

“Ok Maddie, we will be right down” my mom said in a voice not so ready to wake up yet.

I run back downstairs and start finding all of the gifts with my name on it. I here footsteps making their way towards me from the hallway. My dad is in the kitchen. He turns on the coffee pot.

“Don’t peek, but get all of our stockings from the fireplace and put them all down where we are going to open our presents. “

“Ok” I said. I peeked. Just the top. DIdn’t see much.

My mom came down just a few minutes after my dad, and they both got some coffee and came into the living room. We opened our stockings. Mine was filled with chocolate and taffy(my favorite), and lots of little trinkets. I was so happy and my fears were no longer in mind.  


After opening presents, my mom gave me my surprise present. A New Bike. It was the best thing that I have ever got for a present to that day and I was so happy. But one thing was still bothering me. I wasn’t as happy to open my gift, as I was to see my parents open their gifts. It’s their happiness and smiles that make it all worthwhile.

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