By Merlin Roome – Qualicum Beach, B.C.
I was only four years old, 80 years ago, and that’s the first Christmas Eve that I remember. I can still remember laying in bed and wondering if Santa would make it to our house.
Every sound in the night strained my imagination. Was that a reindeer on the roof? And for sure those were bells on a sleigh I could hear. So I got out of bed, tiptoed across the hall and whispered, “Mom has Santa been hear yet?”
“No! And go back to bed! It’s only two o’clock in the morning!” So back I went for some more imaginary Santa sounds.
Surely Santa has been here by now, and once again across the hall I went. “Has Santa been here yet Mom?”
“YES! For goodness sake son, Santa has been here, go and see what he’s left for you, and then go back to bed as it’s only four o’clock in the morning!”
I remember a few years later going to the 5 & 10¢ store with 35¢ cents to buy mother a Christmas gift.
When I had picked out a beautiful pink necklace the clerk said I was short 10¢. She asked me who the gift was for and I replied for my mom.
She then told me that she’d make up the 10¢ and I could pay her back some time later when I had an extra dime. I never got back to that kind lady with the 10¢, but I remember her name to this day – it was Mary Buckhannon.
As the years slid by, Santa was replaced in many different ways. Some of the most pleasant and rewarding Christmases were the ones I spent watching my daughter grow up with her excitement over the same imaginary dreams I had years before.
Next came the squeals from our granddaughters, and once again we did the Santa thing for a few years with them. Even our dog took on the Merry Christmas glow and seemed to understand it all.
The stuffed stockings, gifts, carols, turkey, Christmas cards, and the church service have not changed that much, and the excitement is about the same as in days past. I do hope it will never change.
Christmas has, and always will be, so very important in our house.