Christmas when I was a kid was always fun. I look back at it now and while it may not have been sleigh rides to Grandma's and big family gatherings, it was full of fun and some crazy goings on for a conservative, midwestern state. I'm sure the nuns would have been mortified if I'd shared a few of the stories from the Santa's Reindeer files.
I got the Beany doll from Santa Claus , of course. Beany and Cecil was an animated show. I don't remember anything about it except that Beany always was in some kind of trouble, he was almost always happy and smiling, and he could fly with his Beany. I wanted a flying Beany so badly!
Every Christmas eve, Santa would come to our house to make sure we were ready for him to come during the night. He was huge! His red suit was bright and clean and his belly did shake when he let out a loud "Ho! Ho! Ho!" He'd bring us one present or two. Then sometimes he'd remember something about when we'd been bad or good during the year. Sometimes he'd make a joke with the adults, particularly any visitors, about something they'd done bad or good. I didn't get why they'd laugh but I was glad that everyone loved Santa coming to our house. When he'd leave after a few minutes, (He had to get to your house, too!) Santa would take us to the door. He'd tell us to listen for his reindeers' sleigh bells. We'd stand at the door in our pjs and after a few seconds we'd hear real, honest to goodness sleighbells! He'd tell us to go to bed and he'd be gone. It was magical!
As I got older, and figured things out, I insisted we continue with the tradition. I know my folks thought "There's something wrong with that boy!" But I insisted. It was all EXACTLY the same Everyone knew this was Santa. Now, I would get the jokes with the adults but otherwise nothing changed. After Santa left, brother Chris and I would put on our coats and gloves & go out the other door. We'd head out to the driveway, where Santa, his daughters Sue and Nancy Adams and my dad were waiting in a steamed up car that smelled of hot humans, beer and Christmas! We headed out to stand around the corners of other houses all over town. Nancy, Sue, Chris and I would listen for the door to open, wait for our cue and ring the heck out of those real, honest to goodness sleighbells. Then we'd get back in the car and drive to the next house. Santa might enjoy the beer the dad at the last house handed him. We might get some treat they sent to the reindeer but it was great fun. We were packed tight in the car, getting hot, jumping out into the piles of snow, laughing, trying to be quiet and had some real magical once in a lifetime moments.
One time, as Santa was getting into the car, someone pointed out there was a little boy looking out the door up the hill at his house across the street. Santa grabbed up something, got out of the car, talked to the little guy, gave him some trinket and, as he was leaving, the mother touched his elbow and said, "I don't know who you are, but, bless you, sir." I do know who he was and he was Santa. He did have an alter-ego disguise that was pretty convincing. He'd act a little gruff and scary 364 days a year in this "Clark Kent" disguise but I know that was all an act.
You can ask my brother or my mom or anyone else who was
lucky enough to have him come to their house.
Just look! Can't you tell?
This must be a costume! Who'd dress
like this for real? It's just a
distraction to hide his true identity!
Bless you, Santa!