On the Twelve Days...: Can't Wait 'till Christmas by Mike Huckabee
Christmas was Mike's favorite season.
He loved making his wish list, decorating the tree, and eating as many cookies as he wanted.
Mike even had fun trying to be good, but it was hard, especially when his mom and dad put presents for him and his sister under the tree early--two whole weeks early.
But Mike's pleadings to open just one present--the one he just knows holds the longed-for regulation J. C. Higgins football, fall on deaf parental ears. Mom pretty much tells him to suck it up.
"I'm pretty sure you'll survive until Christmas," she observes wryly.
Mike needs an ally, and he finds one in his older sister Pat. Pat is sure her carefully wrapped present contains the chemistry set she is longing for as well, but she feels that it's her sisterly duty to prevail on Mike to follow Mom's orders.
But Mike senses an opening, and comes up with a novel gambit.
"This is the real twelve days of Christmas," he points out.
"Christmas will last twelve days instead of just one."
Pat likes the idea of observing the old English tradition, Besides, she can't wait to get her hands on those beakers and chemicals. They agree on a plan: Pat will carefully unwrap the two presents whenever Mom and Dad are safely out of the house and will use her big sister dexterity to re-wrap them so that their parents will never know the difference.
And it all works like a charm: every time Mom goes out leaving Pat in charge, the wrappings come off and the two enjoy their toys. Then Christmas morning itself rolls around. Mike and Pat carry off fake surprise and delight when they unwrap the two gifts like practiced professional thespians, but Dad gets a little suspicious when he notices Mike trying nonchalantly to remove a smudge of mud he missed on his "used" football under the pretext of "buffing it up" like the NFL guys do. Pat, however, is not quite so glib when Dad notices that one of her beakers is definitely dingy and some of the chemicals are half used up. It looks like the jig is up on this twelfth day of Christmas act!
Mike Huckabee's Can't Wait Till Christmas (Putnam's, 2010), illustrated in slightly retro style by Jed Henry, agreeably recounts the almost universal story of sneaking a peak at the presents. Who hasn't snooped in the closets and under the beds or stealthily pulled back the Christmas wrap just a smidge before the big day finally arrived? Of course, the Huckabee kids get busted and convince their parents (and themselves) that they've learned their lessons, but the two of them never forgot the year they actually got their own traditional twelve days of Christmas.