Thursday, December 20, 2007

Uncle Santa Claus

I do not remember how old I was exactly, I am guessing 8 or 9, when my Mother took me and my older cousin, Lynn, to a local store. The store called More Value was somewhat like Wal-Mart before they became huge. I remember the store being located back in the corner of this parking lot in my Grandma’s town. She lived in a small town where everyone knew everyone (believe it or not she actually did live out in the woods).
More Value at the time was the biggest store to do (non-grocery) shopping in.
This particular day my cousin, Mother and I all went there to see Santa Claus and for Mom to do more Christmas shopping. After we had hustled and bustled around the store for a while, we got our chance to see the Big Man.
I remember my cousin went first…knowing her probably pushed her way first…..but none-the-less she got up there and gave Santa her big ‘o list. It seemed like it took forever. Then it was my turn.  I climbed up in Santa’s lap and nestled myself right there to let him hear my wish list too.  Mom was standing by Santa and grinning from ear to ear as I continued my list.  I remember that Santa’s eyes twinkled and his grin was so nice as he listened intently to me.
As, I got down from his lap, I heard my Mom say to Santa, “Thank you, Santa.”
In return, I heard Santa reply, “I will see you later, Sis.”
Could it be I heard right? Did Santa just call my Mom, sis? Nah, surely not!
After, we visited Santa, my Mother took my cousin and I back to Grandma’s house. My cousin and I took off into the living room to have a heart to heart discussion. She proceeds to tell me that she heard what Santa said to my Mom. I told her I did too but how could it be possible that Santa was actually our Uncle Jim! No way! After all Santa lives at the North Pole! Our Uncle Jim lived with my Grandma and this just could not be possible. Our conversation continued for a while and we eventually convinced ourselves that it could not have been our uncle. The truth is I was never really sure! However, it was the day I started to not be so na├»ve…at least when it came to the Santa thing.
 Lynn and I never spoke about it to our parents or ever had a conversation about that incident until we were much older.  Years later, I told my Uncle Jim about that day. I told him how Lynn and I figured out that he had been playing Santa. I told him my memories of that day.  He told me, that he thought I would figure it out once I sat on his lap but was relieved when I did not. The funny thing is he never realized what he had said to my Mom.
More Value is now nothing more that a run down empty building on an old empty parking lot but every time I go by there, I remember the day I spoke with my Uncle, Santa Claus.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Santa, My Son &; the keys

When my son, Josh was about 4-5 years old I was going to one of our local laundry mats about once a week. This particular day I took Josh.  I remember it was cold, snow was on the ground and it was sometime around December ( I do not remember the actual date). It just so happened we were the only ones in the laundry mat at the time.  We had been there at least an hour I suppose, when a very nice older looking gentlemen and his wife walked in. At first I did not see them but Josh sure did! He got VERY excited! He exclaimed, "Mom, look it is Santa Clause!" I looked up and sure enough looked like Santa and his wife to me.I mean red sweat outfits...even the man had a white long beard and white hair (both real). I also noticed the couple had grins on their faces.
So, Josh of course wanted to go talk to them.  I told him he needed to leave them alone because they had come to do their wash. Josh could hardly contain himself though because he had a burning question.
That was....Did Santa have magic keys to get into people's house that did not have chimneys?  You see we (Josh, his sister, Natasha & myself) all had the discussion previously because we did not have a chimney and they wanted to know this all important question. After all, Christmas was coming!
After a little while longer, I finally went to the nice couple and told them my son thought they were the Clause's. He grins and  replies, "Well, we are!" My son's eyes lit up!!!
I told him my son had not seen Santa this year to let him know about his list and that he had a burning question for him. So, what does this guy do? He sits down and Josh plops in his lap. I was near folding clothes.  All of a sudden, I see my son, jump down, and run out the door with this set of keys in his hand. He was laughing and throwing snow and jingling these keys. I ran after him of course and asked him what in the blazes was he thinking!
He screams, "Mom, MOM, I got Santa's magic keys!! He did have them. He did!"
I said as calmly as I could without laughing, " Well, now you know Josh, but Santa needs them back because he has others that don't have chimneys."
Josh reluctantly gave them back to me and I took them to Santa.  I told the gentleman that he made my Christmas and certainly my son's and thanked him.  He promptly told me that he and his wife go all over the county doing parties for needy children. He often has children come up to him as Josh did. He was happy to listen to Josh as well. The only thing he wanted to know was about the keys. You see Josh just asked if he had keys, he never told him why he wanted to know. I explained and the couple just laughed.
The year that Santa and Mrs. Clause came to the laundry mat will forever be etched into my memory.
Peace and love,