I can’t believe how quickly this year seems to have come and gone! So many changes, so many new things, so many blessings! I don’t want the year to end. Not that I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. In fact, this Spring was quite the challenging time in my life and I’d rather not experience some of those things again. But, the fact is, those things have somehow made all the sweetness even more sweet. The good experiences are so much more welcome, so much more profound and blessed. I am more grateful for the good things.
Kinda like peppermint kisses.
But we’ll get to that in a minute. First, let’s talk about Santa! Here’s a great story I received earlier this week from one of the groups I belong to and I’d like to share it with you . . .
I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” she jeered. “Even dummies know that!”
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her “World-Famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were World-Famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.
Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. “NO SANTA CLAUS?!?” She snorted… “Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let’s go!” “Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second World-Famous cinnamon bun.
“Where” turned out to be Kerby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. “Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who needs it.” “I’ll wait for you in the car.” Then she turned and walked out of Kerby’s. I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.
The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering. . . what to buy, who on earth to buy it for? I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, and the people who went to my church.
I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s second grade class. Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; what he didn’t have was a good coat.
I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.
“Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. “Yes, ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.” The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.
That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, “To Bobby, From Santa Claus” (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible.) Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa’s helpers.
Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. . . Then Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.” I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally, it did, and there stood Bobby.
Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, hiding behind Bobby Decker’s front walk. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were:’Ridiculous’
Santa was alive and well, and WE were on his team.
I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside:
Yep, I believe there is a Santa! 😉
And I think he likes peppermint kisses too.
Did you know Hershey’s makes peppermint kisses? Oh my goodness! My mom brought some over the day and they actually have little bits of peppermint candy in them. Wow are they ever good! But I had to hide them from the kids. They come wrapped in silver and red striped foil and if you aren’t paying attention, you’ll eat the whole bag before you realize it. It’s a good thing Christmas only comes once a year or I’d weigh more than Santa.
Well, that’s all for now. Check back soon!