An Encounter with Santa Claus

          All I wanted for Christmas was a doll. I carefully printed my letter to Santa in my best first grade penmanship and licked the stamp myself. On the first day of December I rode to the post office with Daddy so I could drop my letter in the mailbox. After that, I looked over my shoulder often. Since Santa knew who had been bad or good, he must peek through windows and around corners. Being on my best behavior for a whole month was trying.
          Waiting for Christmas took forever. When Christmas Eve came, at last, I squirmed and fidgeted through supper. I was too excited to eat. Daddy settled me on the living room sofa and said he would read me the funnies from the newspaper. I could not concentrate. I stared out the window where snowflakes swirled in the glow of lights on the evergreen bushes.
          What was that? Something red moved past the bushes. I dashed across the room and pressed my nose to the windowpane. I saw nothing but snow and colored lights. I must have imagined someone was out there. 
          Then, I heard a knock on the front door.
          “See who that is,” Daddy said.
          I stood frozen in place. Daddy hurried to the door and swung it open.  “Why look, it’s Santa Claus!” he exclaimed.
          I ran to stand behind Daddy. Peeking out from behind his legs, I could see that it did appear to be Santa Claus, red suit, white beard, and all. Daddy invited him in. I held my breath and wadded Daddy’s pant leg in my sweaty little fist.
          Santa sat down on a chair. Peering directly at me, Santa patted his big, red knee and said, “Come on up here and tell me if you have been a good little girl this year.”
           I knew that I had better say “yes” or the next morning I would find nothing but a bundle of switches with my name on it under the tree. I tiptoed forward. Daddy whisked me onto the red knee and I was face-to-face with Santa Claus. 
          I examined Santa up close and I wasn’t frightened any more. I answered his questions, asked politely if he had received my letter, and repeated that I wanted a doll. From his red bag he produced a neatly wrapped package that felt like a book. He assured me that he would be back later that night after I was asleep. Then with a “Ho, Ho, Ho” and a “Merry Christmas” he was out the door and off into the blustery night. 
          I didn’t bother to listen for the patter of reindeer on the roof. I turned to my beaming parents and said, “That wasn’t Santa; that was Ivan Bates.” 
          Nothing Mother or Daddy said could sway me. I knew our neighbor. I talked to him often. His wife drove my school bus. Yes, it was definitely Mr. Bates.
          In church that night, as we sang the familiar carols and listened to the story of Jesus’ birth read from the Bible, I began to wonder. Was that really Ivan? The Santa man seemed so much bigger and he had all that white hair and beard. Sitting in the dark church I wasn’t so certain any more.
          I crawled into bed that night hoping to hear noises on the roof. I woke at sunrise. The only sound was Daddy’s snoring. I found my robe and furry slippers and tiptoed into the living room. Morning light frosted the dark Christmas tree. Fear and excitement battled inside me as I crept toward the tree. Halfway across the living room I stopped, wide-eyed. A beautiful doll stood in the very center of the packages beneath the tree. 
          Cuddling my prize, I ran to Mother and Daddy’s room. I jumped into the middle of the bed screaming at the top of my lungs, “He came! He really came!”

Published in: on December 20, 2009 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: