Monday, December 17, 2012

My Favorite Christmas Memory

When I was little, we spent every Christmas at my grandparents' lovely house in Texas. My step-grandma always made lots of food and cookies and fudge. Their little dogs ran all over the place. Often times there was no snow (sadly).

When I was about six years old, I went to sleep after leaving cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. I woke up in the middle of the night. I heard noises from the roof. I went to the other bed and woke up my sister and we lay there and listened to the sound of reindeer paws until it went quiet. Disappointed that the magic ended so quickly, we crept out the playroom door to the banister at the very top of the stairs.

And heard packages rattling and wrapping rustling from the front parlor where the tree and stockings were. Was it Santa? It had to be.

The house was completely dark. All the bedroom doors along the hall were closed.

We couldn't go downstairs to the parlor though. My grandparents kept their dogs downstairs and they would bark as soon as we got close to the bottom of the staircase. And there was a motion-sensor light at the bottom so they were sure to wake up if they didn't hear us come down.

We stood there listening, excited by the magic and disappointed that we couldn't go down.

Eventually, the rattling stopped. We waited, hoping for more, but it never came. We crept back to bed.

And heard the sound of sleigh bells fading into the distance. We ran to the window, but couldn't see anything in the sky.

In the morning we were so excited about the night before. Santa left a note of thanks for the cookies and all around the kitchen island, on the white tile, were reindeer footprints! It was the best Christmas ever!

About a year or so ago, I asked my step-grandma how they had done that, remembering it fondly. "It was Santa," she answered, like I was still six years old. As much as I wanted to know, (so I could do the same for kids and grand kids or with my niece in the future,) I was glad that that was all she told me. I am happy that there is, even now, still a little magic in Christmas.

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