Friday, December 25, 2015

Memories and Magic

"OK now be quiet and sit still," my mother said as she instructed us to take a place on the couch. "He'll be here any minute." We were so excited. The biggest and most important celebrity in all of kid-dom was paying a visit to our house.

My mom had to be very creative during the holidays. As a single mother of four children, we didn't have much and resources were limited. The holiday season was a special time for my family because my Mom found a way to make the magic of Christmas come alive in our home. This year we were going to get a special visit from the Big Guy himself.

"How come he is coming early," one of us asked.
"Well," Mom replied, "He is trying to get ahead this year I guess. All I know is that
I heard he was coming early so I put in a call to his elves and we got lucky."

We sat patiently as Mom put the cookies and milk out on the dining room table. She used my grandmother's good China and a fancy napkin; nothing but the best for our special guest. We whispered with hushed excitement to one another. The possibilities of what we might get were endless. Mom checked the peephole one last time to make sure that he hadn't arrived yet. Everything, including the four of us, was ready.

Like a mist creeping under the front door, he appeared. "Ho, ho, ho!"
There we was in a glorious red suit. He carried a large bag and and had an elf following closely behind him. Santa arrived at our house and he was more than jolly. He was the first and most important celebrity that I would ever meet in my life and he was delivering presents to us personally. Wow!

After we settled down, my Mom escorted him to the dining room table. He ate the cookies and milk while he answered all of our questions about the elves, the sleigh, and Rudolph. No matter what we asked, he had the right answer. His eyes twinkled and his laugh filled our home with love and magic. He was enchanting and everything that my six year old mind had dreamed of. Santa had come to town and we were among the privileged few who had a quiet visit.

He reached into his big bag and pulled out a present for each of us. Laughing with excitement, we opened them in a flash. We each got identical sweatsuits with E.T. on the sweatshirt; my brother's was blue and ours was red. E.T. was very popular then so we were over the moon with joy. Then Santa had to leave. We said "Goodbye" and "Thank you soooo much!" "You're welcome and be good. Remember, I'm watching." With a wink and smile, he was gone. I am sure that I heard the bells from his sleigh as he made his way to the next house.

Years later, I asked my mom about that night. It turns out that Santa and his elf was a nice couple who wanted to reach out to their community. They put an ad in the paper saying they would deliver presents for free. My Mom wasn't sure who they really were but she trusted them anyway. She left the gifts by the door so that he could bring them in when he made his grand entrance. Anything could have happened that night but instead it was a night where two people gave their time and love to strangers. They wanted to make Christmas special. The magic I felt that night was real. Miracles happen in all kinds of ways.

I miss that time so much. I can remember the last time I had Christmas with all of my siblings. I'm sure my mom can't remember either. I love my family and in spite of whatever we have done or said to one another, I miss them and hope that the next miracle is all of us together on Christmas one more time. 

Peace and Love to All