As a kid, I’d walk around my neighborhood and there would be an endless array of Christmas trees and lights in people’s apartments.
It was beautiful going to sleep and miraculously finding presents under the tree the next morning. Thank you, Santa!
But we didn’t have a fireplace for him to come down, so we apartment kids were told that Santa had a special key to get into all of our homes. One year I heard a noise about two in the morning and crept out to peer into the living room.
I watched as my oldest brother and my dad played with some of the toys.
Santa must’ve come early, I thought, as I returned to bed. I awoke in the morning to find toys and clothes wrapped underneath the tree. I was told that Santa brought the wrong batteries and that my brother and dad had met him and they were appointed his elves that year.
I strained to stay awake the following year but again Santa had come and gone in almost an instant.
One year I was so excited upon getting a garbage truck. Perhaps my dad was preparing me for a city job?
One of my aunts would always give us clothes. One year it was socks, another year hats, and the following year gloves. By the fourth year, it was socks again.
I have 12 nieces and nephews. Although some are first cousins of my nieces and nephews, I consider them family. I guess that’s the true gift of Christmas: family, friendship and love.