Let's see...................a recent arrival of a beautiful car!
Before that, the mysterious movie tickets.
Before that..................all the wonderful friendships I have made here, and the loving support group that helped me through a tough time not too long ago.
I love all of you! You are all my Santas!
I certainly believe in the spirit and idea of Santa when one of my grandchildren climbs up into my bed at about 530 am on Christmas morning , gives me Christmas hugs and kisses and asks to be taken downstairs to see what Santa left for them. There will be nothing but crumbs left on the cookie tray left for Santa and his Reindeer from the night before and a note to Santa will be replaced by a note from Santa. The sights and sounds that follow for the next hour or so as presents are opened and expressions (from a 3 year old) like " this is what I've wanted all my life" are heard. There is no joy like the innocent , honest expression of joy and happiness coming from a child on Christmas morning. It carries me through the next 365 days. How could you not believe in Santa Claus?
I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.
I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.
Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."
"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun.
"Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through it's doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.
I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.
I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he had no good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!
I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.
"Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."
The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat.
I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.
That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons
(a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.
Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.
Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.
Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open.
Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.
I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.
Director/Field Vice President '05
Arkebauer Enterprises, LLC
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I wonder if we don't all have stories about when someone "dropped the bomb" and we had to go to parents, grandparents, whomever to learn the awful truth.
I can't remember who dropped the bomb on me ... but I do remember what happened next.
My mom was, for a rare instance, in her bedroom, reading. It was a place that smelled of powder, her favorite perfume, my dad's aftershave, it was just ... well .. fragrant. And a place of great peace. There were pretty curtains at the windows and her bed was always "made."
"Yes, Honey," she said. "There is a Santa Claus. And Santa just came in the door."
Of course I looked around for a fat guy in a red suit. No fat guy, no red suit.
I was a rather confused seven-year old kid.
She took my little hand and it put it over my heart. "That's where Santa lives, Spookie. For everyone who ever believed in Santa will ALWAYS believe in Santa. Santa is the spirit of giving. That's a secret we grownups keep and it's your gift from Santa. When you give with all your heart, YOU are Santa, too."
Then she gave me "The Mom Look" and said, "Don't tell your brother. It's a secret between you, me and Santa."
I looked at Christmas a bit differently that year. Oh, OOOO, how I enjoyed keeping the secret from my brother.