Was That A Letter From Santa?
Christmas was a magical time for us as children, with the thoughts of Santa Claus coming to visit on every special Christmas Eve night. Thinking back, I remember waiting to visit Santa in the line up with all the other children.
We eagerly waited for our chance to sit with Santa, to give him our list for Christmas and to express how we were all good boys and girls that year. I remember visiting with Santa a number of times as a child but nothing was more memorable as one 37 years ago. At the time I was 7 years old and my sister was 5. It was a special year with my Mom, Dad, Grandfather (Papa) and Grandmother (Nana).
We all helped to get that special Christmas tree, hang the lights and decorations just right, while listening and singing to Christmas carols. Christmas eve night was now here and my excitement was topped by the hope that Santa would remember everything I had on my list.
That night, papa and nana came over to babysit us as our parents attended a Christmas party in town. It was getting dark and the Christmas lights were glistening around the house with the wonderful sounds of Christmas carols everywhere. As my sister and I got into our pajamas, papa waited to tell us some special stories of Christmas before our bedtime. My papa was always a very good storyteller, but there was one particular story that really stood out. He explained that Santa Claus had a very busy night on Christmas eve, and on his journey, if he stopped by, it was important that he have some milk and cookies so that he could continue on. After the story, my sister and I, scrambled to the kitchen, climbed up onto the counter to get a dish and a glass. My sister filled the dish with special shortbread and chocolate cookies while I filled up the glass with milk. Papa told us exactly where to place these special items so Santa would see them in plain view. We wanted to make everything just right for Santa! Nana and papa tucked us into bed, wished us a good nights sleep with special dreams of Santa’s surprises for us in the morning.
Early the next morning, Christmas Day, before any stir of activity in the house, my sister and I jumped out of bed and immediately ran towards the kitchen. I noticed the empty plate on the counter along with a half finished glass of milk. All the cookies where gone (my sister had left about 5) except for some crumbs that were left on the plate. Next to the plate was a sheet of paper with a picture at the top, of a man with a long white beard. I hopped onto a chair next to the counter and could plainly see the handwriting that said ‘From Santa’. Being so young, we had trouble reading the letter in its entirety so we jumped off the counter and went to our parent’s room to show the fabulous find from Santa. We made sure that our mom and dad were awake fairly quickly by jumping on their bed because we really wanted to know what Santa said to us. “Wake up! Wake up! A letter from Santa! Can you read this to us Mom?” I passed over the letter. Although my mom was not quite awake, she turned on the light and said “let’s see what we have here.” Mom started to read the letter out loud. “From Santa, Thank you for the milk and cookies. The journey from the North Pole is a long one, and although it’s late, I still have many more stops before I go back home. The cookies were yummy, and the milk was refreshing. Your snack will help me finish my long but exciting job tonight. I have left a special present for each of you for being such a good boy and girl this year.” Our eyes glistened with each word read by our mom hearing that Santa had really been here!
Now, 37 years later, I don’t remember all the gifts at Christmas time and but I do have a special memory of a letter from Santa!