(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."
NO, I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT!
NO, I WOULDN'T BELIEVE IT!
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??!
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 .