Mum-of-three and writer, Sarah Cottrell was just like every mother on Christmas eve.
She and her husband were struggling to get their eldest, 8-year-old Finn, to bed. Who could blame him, with the excitement of Santa's immanent visit?!
Sharing on her Facebook page, Housewife Plus, Cottrell recalled how exhausted she was that evening:
"After bribes, threats, and straight-up pleading, my husband and I finally got the boys to sleep," she wrote.
"Then we got to work. We did all the stuff that parents do on Christmas Eve while kids are sleeping. It’s not easy making a basic living room into a magical wonderland by dawn. But we do our best."
Collapsing into bed, Cottrell was woken by her eldest just minutes later, wanting to see had Santa come:
"He was inches from my nose so I’m glad that when he startled me awake I didn't actually bolt upright because it would have knocked one of us out. “Mom! Is it Christmas yet?!” I tried to get him to go to bed but of course, that wasn't going to happen without a veritable ton of bribery."
So Cottrell offered to cuddle him back to sleep, but the excited eight year old was having none of it. He wanted to look for presents, get a glass of water, go ot the bathroom- basically everything that involved not sleeping.
By the time 4 am rolled around, she was "exhausted and desperate for just six minutes of rest."
Suddenly, her coffee machine started automatically brewing, and the quick-thinking mother decided to make the best of it:
"I turned my face towards my son and I whisper-screamed, “OHMYGAWD!!! DO YOU HEAR THAT?!”
His eyes got huge. The coffee maker was making these low rumbling sounds that with a little bit of suggestion sure did sound an awful lot like a big fat jolly elf rummaging through a sack of toys.
He laid there with huge eyes and a wide open mouth. He squeezed my hand and I was trying as hard as I could to not die laughing. It was super sweet and funny."
Thanks to the coffee machine and a bit of suggestion, Cottrell finally got a whole 12 minutes of rest. Until the machine's buzzer went off:
"Then the coffee-maker bell went off. Dammit…I forgot about the bell. “What was that?!” He whisper-screamed at me. “Oh! That was Santa’s pager! It means his time is up and he has to get to the next house.”"
The boy leapt out of bed and ran to the window. The family live close to an airport, so catching sight of red lights in the sky, he knew it must be Santa.
"He looked out the window and saw “Santa” with blinking red and white lights flying low in the sky. “MOM!!! MOM!!! MOM!!! I SEE HIM! HE’S RIGHT THERE! OH, MY GOODNESS!!! I SAW SANTA! HE WAS HERE! HE WAS HERE!”"
Cottrell, while she didn't get any sleep that night, knew that at least her coffee machine had made Christmas a bit more magical for her eldest.