So yeah, I’m back on the bandwagon and participating in MamaKat’s pretty much world famous writers workshop. If you want to join in head on over there and grab a prompt!
This week I chose the prompt Share a favorite Christmas Memory.
When I was young, we always had huge Christmases. My Aunt and Uncle would always come to our house in Tennessee from North Carolina bringing my cousins with them. They usually arrived a couple of days before the big day in order to spend plenty of time with the family. Of course there were plenty of cookies, cakes, candies, and other treats to be had as my grandmother (who lived right next door to us, conveniently) loved to make sure her grandchildren were thoroughly spoiled during the holidays.
One year in particular, I believe I was six or seven, the adults all gathered in our living room to put together the “Santa” gifts. Of course, there was alcohol involved – rum spiked eggnog and some Budweiser for the guys… I remember laying in my bed and being awakened by the sound of laughter from the living room. As any young child would do I assumed that my parents were partying with Santa and I was missing out… so I crept from my bed and hurried to the door, determined to catch the big guy in the act of depositing gifts under the tree with my delighted parents offering up the carefully placed cookies and milk and laughing gleefully at his carefully chosen gifts. I quietly opened my door just a crack and peeked out to see… my wonderful Aunt peeking back at me! Apparently the stealth with which I had crept from my bed and to the door was somehow not so stealthy… they had heard me! Foiled again! I told my Aunt that I had to go to the bathroom in a valiant effort to see if the jolly Claus had left anything behind. Desperately hoping for a preview of the delicious loot left behind I was unceremoniously picked up into my Aunts arms and my eyes covered (oh the indignity) as we trekked across the house to the bathroom, where I was deposited and informed I should go ahead and go… because she wasn’t going anywhere till I was done. I tried in vain to peek through her carefully placed fingers to see what was under that tree…
Alas, my Aunt, the apparent victim of one too many eggnog’s was not as careful on our trek back to my room from the bathroom and I was able to steal a peek on my way past the tree – and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but my father, wrench in hand putting together what looked to be the most beautiful bicycle I’d ever seen – exactly the one I had asked Santa for just days before.
Not wanting to spoil the fun the adults were having, I returned to my bed and somehow managed to get myself back to sleep. In the morning when I woke – sure enough that bike was sitting beautifully under the tree with a tag that read “From Santa” in big bold lettering. Now, just how did that happen? I wondered… and then I realized – Dad was really Santa! Far from being disappointed, I was elated! Imagine the jealous look from the other kids at school when I went back and informed them that I knew the big guy personally; in fact I lived with him… He tucked me in, and read me stories EVERY NIGHT!! What a lucky kid I was!
I cherished that thought for several hours on Christmas day, until I could hold onto it no longer and had to share my new found knowledge with my cousins. Cousins who were ten years older than me, and in fact knew the true identity of Santa… and they informed me that yes, indeed, my dad was Santa! Just like every other kid in the world’s dad or mom was Santa! I was astounded! How could this be?? Surely they were not telling me the truth! I had to be the only kid Santa had! Not wanting to believe these hideously mean boy cousins of mine – I chose to ignore them. I also chose to keep my mouth shut to the adults – no sense getting the boys in trouble, after all they were family.
So, I quietly kept the secret… for at least two more Christmases I kept silent about being the daughter of the one and only Santa. The memory of that year is one of my favorites… I will never forget my Daddy working on that bike – the last one he ever gave me. Little did I know then that in just a few short years, my dad would no longer be with me. I will treasure this memory of Christmas for as long as I live. I have shared it with my kids, and will share it with my grand kids when they’re old enough. The year I discovered that I was Santa’s daughter!
Santa Claus (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)