As I am contemplating the weekend and finally- maybe- trying to- sort of -eventually- think about packing up Christmas, the Julian calendar allows us another peek at my favorite holiday. Tonight is Christmas Eve for the Greek Orthodox church, and tomorrow is their Christmas. Along with it will come another bout of Christmas snow, as special as the first we had only two short weeks ago. Rather than visions of sugar plums tonight, however, many of my students will be wearing their PJs inside out, flushing ice cubes down the john, and doing their version of a SNOW DANCE in an attempt to insure a snow day from school tomorrow. I may need to do a little dance myself.
With snow on the way and another Christmas Eve at hand, I am afforded the pleasure of again sitting by my still decorated tree remembering past Christmas Eves when my children were younger. As a toddler, and well into high school, my son was a fast moving whirlwind of energy that my then OB/GYN had dubbed "Action Jackson". On one particular Christmas Eve when he was perhaps 3 or 4, my husband and I were having trouble getting him to bed so that Santa could bring all those gifts he had asked for.
Chris was in his jammies, teeth brushed, story told, but too excited to climb into bed, nevertheless settle down to sleep. As one of Santa's elves, my husband felt it his duty to let the big guy know one of the children on his nice list was pushing the limits a bit.
Any child that is warned Santa would know if he was misbehaving generally takes pause to wonder if indeed this was true. Chris didn't pause long enough for much of anything, but didn't want to take any chances. When my husband told him Santa was outside, Chris flew to the window at the sound of a booming voice from the backyard saying, "Ho, Ho, Ho!" He tells me he remembers seeing Santa out his bedroom window that night. What he doesn't recall, is what I will never forget....the wide eyed surprise on his little face just before he bolted the 6 feet across his room and dove into bed. We didn't hear a peep out of him the rest of the night.
Here we are some twenty years later, and I was just told Chris finally learned the true identity of our friendly neighborhood Santa Claus. Since I have already shared that I DO believe in the spirit of the man in the red suit, I won't be divulging his identity. (Sorry!) I will say though, that my son's memory of that night has now been made that much sweeter.
A second Merry Christmas to you!
A warm country hug to all,