OK, I admit it. I am not, by nature, a "good" person, and the strain of being good up to Christmas to make sure I was still on the list, ground me down. I cracked at about 07:30 a.m. and reverted to type. 07:30, is when Mum wakes up, as bright as a button, and starts prodding Dad and whicpering sweet nothings in his ear about Santa having been.
This is the family cue to round up cups of coffee, any dogs who have wandered downstairs in the night, and any prezzies left around the place by the aforementionned red-suited, bearded gentleman. It came to pass that all three dogs got prezzies. For me, the clever old sleigh-rider had bought a rubber ring for chasing in the park - he obviously got my letter about the death of the yellow frisbee.
For Meggie and extremely squeaky ball. Everyone knows Meg is mad for a squeaky toy, and can actually keep one intact for years, ceaselessly enjoying the squeak and never doing that bad-dog thing of chewing it up to kill the squeak. When she was a pup, well before my time, her first Christmas present was a rufty-tufty mince-pie shaped squeaker and Dad tells me she had that thing for about 6 years, still squeaking till it got left out in the garden and filled up with water, which rusted the squeak into silence.
For Haggis (who lives in mortal fear of the sting of being thwacked in the side by a kicked tennis ball, thanks to Dad when he was a pup (Pure accident, pleads Dad - I didn't expect him to run that direction!) a soft-toy "ball" on the end of a throwing "rope", with a rubbery handle. Also, by chance, a squeaker in the end of the ball, but not as in-yer-face as Meggie's.
So where do I come into all this? We got these gifts at 07:30. My throwing-ring was great but that squeaky ball of Meg's bored into my consciousness like the "Ring" for Smeagol (Gollum from Tolkien's books). I needs it. I wants it, My Precious.......... The craving! I had to endure it for one minute, two minutes, three!......At about 25 to 8, I saw my chance and whipped in and nicked it, racing downstairs. Dad saw me and ran down after me, retrieved it and gave it back to Meg.
The 2nd time, though, he was not so vigilant, and before he could realise, I had it downstairs and chewed great holes in it. The squeaker stopped working. Megan (ha!) was powerless to do anything, as she can't get down stairs. One-nil to me, I think.
Later that day, I spotted a chance to nick the H's throwing toy, and very soon had that dismembered too. No more squeaking for that one either. I am that BITCH. Two-nil
A good couple of days, even so. On the big day we're down at Pud-Lady's and with the Pud Lady not to sure on her pins at present, Dad does a good chunk of the cooking (plus Mum and Dad wade in with some general house-keeping type help. Pud Lady is delighted and is pleased to report that she's had the "Laziest Christmas for about 50, no maybe 52.... no it's 55 years"
Now we're all back here and Mum and Dad seem to have forgiven my indiscretions of Christmas Day (though I suspect I may be on the "other" list next Christmas) and we all get a lovely walk in Challock Forest. The house is full of Westie stuff. 2 different people independently give Mum and Dad each a nice Westie mug, there are westie diaries, Mum has westie socks, we have a proper westie calendar, and we have a "water-ski-ing westies" calendar, which is quite fun.
Merry Christmas everybody.