Friday, December 24, 2010

All Awaits Santa's Arrival

Saint Nickolas soon will be here! Our 2010 Christmas Tree is ready!

Though there are no little children nestled in bed, the stockings are hung with great care in hopes that Saint Nickolas soon will be here!
by Charlie Leck

All is ready on this peaceful Christmas Eve in Minnesota. To all of you, my faithful readers, I wish you, so sincerely, a very happy Christmas Day (whether or not you celebrate it). It is a big occasion in our household. I expect it is I who makes it so. Christmas morning, when I was a child, was always a big deal to me. I've told the story here before about my sleepless nights as I lay in bed wide-awake, waiting and listening for the sound of jingling bells and the laughter of old Saint Nick. As hard as I fought it, sleep always finally came and I would only awaken when I heard the calling voice of my father from down at the bottom of the stairs.

"Santa has been here! It's okay to come down now!"

My sweet, now departed sister, ten years older than I, as the eldest of the children, always led the procession down the stairway that opened into our kitchen. My two brothers followed after her according to their ages and I, the youngest, came last. From the landing and the final two steps that led into the kitchen, I could see on into the living room where the big, lighted Christmas tree stood. The spread of gifts beneath it always took my breath away.

My mother would be standing near the tree, dressed in a long, fluffy bathrobe and cozy slippers. The smile across her face was enormous and only at her signal would my sister and brothers open a pathway through which I was given a full view of the wonders that Santa had wrought. I would run into the living room and, in great glee, slide on my knees up to the pile of gifts stuffed beneath the tree. I wondered, almost in agony, about which gift to open first. I believe the largest one alway won out.

I've never been able to duplicate that Christmas sensation for my children, even though I've tried very diligently to do so.

And now, there are no children here and there is little eye-popping wonder in the eyes of our mature, childless kids when they arrive from their own homes for a very late morning brunch and, eventually, for the opening of the gifts.

"Oh, hum!"

There is no going home again, indeed! Yet know this: The excitement when I rise on Christmas morning is still there. Even though I did every bit of the decorating of the tree and put every gift in its place beneath it, I still rise and go to the living room and feel a 65+ year old sense of surprising thrill as I look upon the wondrous tree and the pile of gifts that I insist must be enormous.

"Oh, Christmas Tree! Oh, Christmas Tree, much pleasure doth thou bring me!"


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1 comment:

  1. Charles: I love your childhood memories of
    Christmas..It is one of the wonderful
    moments of yesterday that we can only
    relive in our fleeting reverie.