Monday, December 14, 2009

A Christmas Memory

I'm stealing this idea from Elizabeth, because her latest post reminded me of one of my favorite childhood memories of Christmas. When we were little enough to still believe in Santa Claus, our parents had a tradition that I've never heard anyone else mention.

On Christmas Eve, after it got dark, one of my parents would take me and DeeBee for a ride around town to look for Rudolph's red nose in the sky. No matter how cold it was, we'd roll the car windows down to listen for the sleigh bells and peer into the sky to find that glowing nose. No telling how many times we'd see a tower with a red twinkling light at the top and mistake it for Rudolph. But we weren't fooled by that - we were out to find the real thing. The adventure was always fun of course, but usually unsuccessful. Except for that one year.

I must have been about 5 or 6 years old, making DeeBee around 7 or 8. I remember that we weren't too far from the house when I looked up and saw a red light descending towards our house! I recall yelling, "Daddy, there it is! It's going to our house! Hurry and get back home!" I also remember Daddy smiling and chuckling and doing whatever he could to delay getting back to the house. (While one parent was driving the kids around, the other was home putting out the Christmas gifts that Santa "dropped off.") I didn't understand this until years later, so I was pretty frustrated that he didn't rush back to the house. When we finally returned home, my mother was there saying "Oh, you just missed Santa!" It was so real and pretty darn magical!

I was so certain of what I saw, that when I tell kids about it today, I don't feel I'm lying. My six-year old eyes saw what they saw. What an awesome memory and creative tradition my parents gave us!

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