Monday, December 15, 2008

Flash Back- What? No Santa?!

I came across these great retro images in one of my vintage recipe pamphlets and it made some old Christmas memories start to bubble up in my mind.
You see, my Mom always made the Christmas season seem so effortless. I mean the whole thing...from decorating, to inviting everyone for Christmas Eve, to celebrating my oldest brother's birthday on Christmas day, to all the cooking and baking and present wrapping and well- you name it- she seemed to be all pulled together.
I must admit there were many times in other months of the year she seemed much less than together!! Why did the end of the year festivities seem so smooth running? I wish she were here so I could compare notes with her, now that I am the wife/Mom in charge of it all.
Time is running out again this year for me to get it all pulled together and try to look somewhat organized, enthused, and timely.

This is a flash back to the Christmas I found out there was no Santa.
Actually that would have been much less of a shock and disappointment if I had just FOUND OUT on my own.
I'm afraid I was TOLD there was no Santa. Yep! My brother, the youngest of my 3 older brothers (I have no sisters and I am the baby by many years difference!) decided that it was his duty -and his thrill- to tell me point blank...and on Christmas Eve!

(1970- Grandma with my cat Pepper and her kitten. Grandma always loved playing with the cats.)

We did all our Christmas stuff on the 24th since the 25th is my brother's birthday.

Every year our Christmas activities went like this: Mom would have just about every inch of the house decorated and on Christmas Eve have the ham dinner with all the goodies that go along with it all ready. There were always assorted Christmas cookies -home made of course- and hard candies set out. There were already some wrapped gifts under the tree from Mom and Dad .

Grandma and Grandpa (Dad's parents) always came for Christmas Eve. I would anxiously wait for them both to come in the back door- one carrying the fruited Jell-O mold and the other carrying the aluminum cover cake box that safely transported home made German Chocolate cake with the thick, sweet coconut frosting.

While Mom and Grandma finished up the last minute dinner preparations in the kitchen, I was kept in the bedroom with my brothers. We would be wrapping a gift for Mom or some other set up activity to keep me from the "action areas" of the house. This was when Santa would visit our house!! Grandma would come and open the bedroom door in breathless excitement and announce that Santa was just here and left some gifts, "He couldn't stay because he had to hurry along, but he did ask for a quick drink and a few potato chips (potato chips? I guess he gets tired of having to eat all those cookies!) as he rushed out the door!!"

Then I would have to wait until after dinner to open everything. The next morning there was usually a small gift or two that Santa apparently found with my name on them in the bottom of his sleigh as during the night he circled the world on his route. So Santa always came TWICE to my house!!

One year, I guess the little devil sitting on my brother's shoulder got the better of him and he just couldn't resist spoiling the magical fantasy for me. That was the year he took his opportunity and ran with it.

There we were in the bedroom doing the set up activity while Mom and Grandma supposedly finished with the dinner prep. My meany brother told me, " Grandma is going to tell you that Santa just came and he had a snack too, after he left the gifts. The reason you always miss Santa is that there is NO Santa! You're SO DUMB! It's just Mom making it all up."



Then Grandma came to the door..." (breathlessly) "Amy, you just missed Santa! He left some gifts and said he was sorry he couldn't stay. He was hungry so I gave him some egg nog and a handful of chips! I called for you to come out of the bedroom, but you must not have heard me."

My heart sank. I decided that I couldn't let on that my meany brother had just wrecked Christmas, not just for that year but every year forever until the end of the WORLD!! That's how dramatic it was!

I wanted to be a tattle tale, but then I couldn't try to pretend for Mom and Grandma's sake and most of all- FOR MINE- that everything was right with the world. I wanted to have that anticipation all through dinner wondering what SANTA had brought to me inside that Christmas wrapping. I wanted to wake in the early morning hour and find a tiny gift or two under the tree with my name on them that during his first visit slipped under the seat of the overworked sleigh with a zillion sky miles on it!!

I don't know?! Maybe the egg nog and chips should have been a tip off for me. Honestly, who would want egg nog and chips together as a quick snack??!

I hope your Christmas is filled with a little bit of magic and fantasy this year.
And remember, when Santa comes to your house and is hungry, go ahead and offer him some chips. He gets entirely too many cookies.
And maybe he needs a good stiff's ok, after all, Rudolf is his designated driver!!

In a previous post, you can see a picture of me as a child at Christmas and also my daughter wearing that same dress at Christmas .


I still believe said...

psssstttttt....your brother was wrong.....Santa IS real...don't ever stop believing in the magic of Christmas...

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

Great post...m...

The Vintage Kitten said...

Hi Amy, Thanks so much for your lovely comment about my blog........ I really enjoyed this post, but your brother is mistaken, Santa is real! Honest! Hope you have a wonderful christmas, Mandy X

Laura said...

What a charming little family history essay. I enjoyed reading it.
Merry Christmas.

The Urban Chic said...

Amy, your beautiful story left me in tears. Even though I am ready for Christmas, it just won't be the same. Wish I could tell my stories the way you do. I just love reading them. Best Wishes for a Blessed and Merry Christmas, love and hugs, Pat

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

Amy, Did you get even with the meany?
I can't believe he did that to you. That's what older brothers are for huh? LoL
Wishing you a Merrry Christmas.. love Nita