12/20/2005

Santa's Gift

When I was 9 I heard Santa Claus on the roof of our house. I stayed up all night waiting to hear those reindeer or catch a glimpse of Santa. I remember my mom coming in my room to check on me and I laid perfectly still so she'd think I was asleep. She touched my cheek to see if I was warm enough then gently kissed my forehead and tiptoed out of my room satisfied that I was off in dreamland. As I lay there contemplating my 9 year old life while trying desperately to stay awake, I heard tiny little scratching noises on the roof of our house. I was convinced it was Santa so I climbed out of bed, put on my pink barbie slippers and quietly shuffled across the room sneaking out into the hall way. I never realized how dark our house was at night, there were no soft moonbeams dancing across the walls, just dense blackness. Suddenly I remembered that I was scared of the dark, my heart began to race, I wanted to retreat back to the safeness of my bedroom but the anticipation of seeing Santa was enough to keep my feet moving onward. Slowly I felt my way along the wall and finally made my way to the living room. There were more windows so finally the moon cast a glow and illuminated the fireplace mocking a stage where the show was about to begin. I stood in front of the fireplace running my hand up and down the cool stone, it was rough, would Santa hurt himself as he slid down the chimney? I planted myself on the floor, the dying embers of the fire still allowed a bit of warmth to penetrate the knobby knees barely hidden by my nightgown. I was warm but I was so tired, maybe I could just lay down in front of the fire for a few minutes, surely Santa would be coming soon. My eye lids grew heavy and as much as I tried to force them open, I could not stay awake. I tucked my knees under my nightgown and curled up in the fetal position, warm and safe I drifted off to sleep. I dreamt 9 year old dreams, running through the pastures behind our house as my horse Snow chased me, building a fort out of pillows and sheets - hiding for hours until my mom called me for dinner, failing a test at school and being sent back to kindergarten, watching my father's face harden with disappointment. I felt someone brush my bangs off my forehead, slip their arms underneath my limp body, and carry me away. Soon the warmth and heaviness of the duvet on my bed was cradling my body like a glove on a hand. Was it Santa, I tried to force my eyes open but the lids were so heavy as if ten million pins held them shut. Something soft brushed against my face like the velvet feel of a kitten's fur. My mother is calling me, is it morning? Did Santa come? I jumped out of bed and raced across the room and down the hallway. "Mom, mom, did he come, was he here?" As I bounded into her arms she held me tight to her chest, "yes NWC he did come and last night I heard a sound in the hallway so I got up to see what it was and do you know what I saw?" "What, what mama, what did you see?" "I saw Santa carrying you back to your bed." I gasped with shock, "I knew it, I knew I saw him." "Yes NWC, you saw Santa." I looked at my mom, her hair in curlers, her bathrobe pulled tightly around her frame, she smiled at me and in that instant I loved her more than anything on earth.

I will always remember that Christmas not because I saw Santa, but because I saw my mother loving me and me loving her. I will carry that moment with me for the rest of my life. Every Christmas I still race down the stairs filled with anticipation at seeing what Santa left me, and every Christmas I'm thankful that right there next to that decorated Christmas tree, is my mom, grinning from ear to ear, holding her arms open welcoming me home.

13 Comments:

  1. k o w said...
    Absolutely lovely.
    Tosa said...
    What a great Christmas memory! Hope you have a great holiday with your family and tell your mom I said hi.
    Sky said...
    What an awesome Christmas memory!
    Anonymous said...
    Amazing story!! Thanks!
    Chuck said...
    I hope you pass that one on to your little one. It would make a good short story. Do you draw?

    btw, I changed my url - wuzupchuck.blogstop.com
    Da Gal said...
    What an amazing story - you just brought tears to my eyes... misty lil tears. you have a wonderful style of writing. Thanks for sharing the story and Merry Christmas to you and yours!
    WDKY said...
    Families... memories... Christmas.

    (Sigh...)
    FunkyB said...
    Honest to God, that's the first bit of Christmas spirit to penetrate my frosty exterior.
    You've given me the gift of your childhood, and for that I say, Merry Christmas.
    kimmyk said...
    Yeah for mommas!!!

    Yeah for YOUR momma NWC!!
    Jaimie said...
    Nice memories NWC. My mom always made Christmas special for me too. It was just me and her. There's nothing like a mom.
    Joe said...
    What a beautiful story, NWC. I really do love the way you write.
    texsinger said...
    beautiful - really makes me remember wonderful christmases with my mom.. how i miss her so very much..

    merry christmas to you
    ... jacek ... said...
    NWC, that was absolutely goregous :) thanks ... thank you so much :) wow... im really speechless... i felt all fuzzy inside :P

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