I’ve probably posted about this before but it is my most favorite Christmas memory, so I remember it again.
I was young, don’t know how young, but I don’t believe I was attending school yet. There were three children. My little sister, now a double grandmother, was the baby. She was at least toddling.
Dad was stationed at the Pentagon, I think. We were living in Virginia. Christmas was coming. We, the children, were very excited. I remember that the basement was finished as a game room. Along the stairs going up was a laundry room. Off that laundry room was another small room. In that small room, my older sister and I found the Christmas treasure. She had actually found it but left me to explore it.
Oh, the toys. I remember my excitement and delight. There were so many toys in there.
Then – disaster. We were caught. Mom came in to do laundry. She was forever doing laundry, transferring clothes from a basket to the washer, from the washer to a dryer, or to lines to dry, then fluffing, ironing and folding, and carrying them off and putting them away, returning with more. That and cooking seemed to consume all her hours.
My sister and I knew our exploration was a risk. My older sister was supposed to be the sentry. Clearly she’d failed and could no longer be trusted.
Mom pulled us from the room, locking the door and lecturing us about not getting anything for Christmas. I wasn’t certain that she was telling me the truth. She was Mom. Mom was my protector and saint. But she always told the truth.
The wait until Christmas was agonizing. Beautiful, white thick snow fell, invigorating our hopes that Santa would still bring us something. I don’t remember going to bed but I remembered waking up. I could hear bells, I swear to all I hold dear. They were jingle bells. Rushing to a window, I heaved it up and peered into the sky.
Frigid air blew in. Thick snow obscured everything. Santa could have been out there but you could never tell with that heavy snow coming down. I tried leaning out to look up on the roof. Everyone knows Santa lands on the roof.
Commotion below drew my attention. The front lights were on, illuminating the snow filled front yard. And there was Mom and Dad going through the snow, carrying things from the car. I think I was excited and yelled something about Santa Claus.
We were noticed then and ordered back to bed. I think Mom returned to enforce the order and close the window.
But, oh what a magic. I still believe Santa was out there somewhere, at least on that night.