Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas long ago

I vaguely remember a time when I believed that there was a Santa Claus.  My parents never let on that the fictional character wasn't real and until I was in first or second grade I waited anxiously on Christmas Eve for Santa's visit.

I recall vividly one such Eve.  I was being a pill.  My mom wanted me to get to sleep so she could do what parents do to keep the sprite elf's visit a mystery, and told me if I didn't get to sleep there would be no visit from Santa.  The threat of getting a lump of coal in my stocking was real, as we still has a coal-fired furnace.  Poor dad.  He had to go down and bank that thing every night and then stoke it first thing in the morning. 

I digress.

So I weedled her into allowing the shade that was pulled down on the window next to my bed to be raised all the way to the top so that I could watch out that window for Santa and his sleigh to arrive.

Of course, I soon fell asleep.  All I needed was a reason to really keep my eyes open, and then the lids slammed shut faster than a rabbit runs into his hidey hole.

The next morning I found a doll -- my first -- which I still have.  It had the kind of eyes that close automatically -- quite a treat for me.  I held that doll all day long on Christmas day.

One more thing.  This must have been before I was 5 because my sister wasn't in bed with me yet.  She was still in a crib. 

Ah, memories!


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