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My Favorite Christmas Memory

When I was around ten years old I decided to write to Santa.  I was always the ‘strange’ child in the family. I have two brothers and one sister and I’m not like any of them. I either had my head stuck in a book, or was writing. At that age I was into poetry. I wasn’t any good at it, but that never stopped me from writing.

Now, I knew that my parents were this mysterious “Santa Claus”.  That was okay with me though. About the week before Christmas that year I thought I would play a game with my Dad. My Dad usually worked the night shift, because it paid more. When you are trying to feed a family of 4 kids and 2 adults you needed all the money you could get.

Anyway, I think I got the idea from watching  a tv Christmas show. Not sure on that one though. The first time I wrote to Santa I got my older sister and my younger brother involved. We each wrote something and asked our Mom how we could get it to Santa. She said Santa was magical and if we left the notes on the kitchen table with some cookies, Santa was sure to get them. So that’s what we did!

My Dad, Russ.
My Dad, Russ.

The next morning I was so excited when I woke up! I got up and flew to the kitchen, and sure enough the cookies were gone! I grabbed our note and saw Santa had actually written back! I got my sister and brother and we read the first note from Santa.

The three of us kids told Santa what we wanted for Christmas. I mean, we were kids, so of course we wanted toys! Santa (Dad) wrote back  and said  that if we did our chores like our Mom wanted us to do he would make sure we got something that we each wanted. We were  thrilled! My little brother still believed in Santa, my sister and I knew better, but we didn’t say anything to disillusion my baby brother because it was fun watching my brother get so excited.

I decided that night to write to Santa again to see if he would answer. Now, knowing it was my Dad who was doing this was for me more thrilling than if Santa wrote me. If you knew my Dad, you would understand why. My Dad was for the most part a quiet man. He also hated to write anything. His handwriting would rival a doctors in how bad it was. I never had a problem reading it though and knowing my father just never put himself out there, it was so wonderful when he actually played along with me!

So I wrote him again and thanked him for the note and asked if he liked the cookies. He wrote back that night that he loved the cookies!  He also said that I needed to stop fighting with my sister  and be good or he would give me coal for Christmas. My sister and I shared a bedroom and usually fought over stuff. Siblings, gotta love em.

I wrote Santa Dad every night that week and every night he would answer. It has always been one of my most treasured memories of Dad. I think he had as much fun as I did that year. Years later I found out that Dad  used to go to work and tell his buddies there all about the Santa notes. He got a huge kick out of it. I’m glad he did.

My Dad died in 2003 of prostate cancer. I never got to tell him goodbye, or I  love you.  My mother and I were not on speaking terms during that time, so unfortunately I didn’t know he had died till months afterward. I hope he knew how much I loved him. I miss him every day, but I enjoy my memories of him, especially this one at this time of year.

Merry Christmas Dad!