“His eyes–how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!”

Last night was cold, no way getting around it. It was in the mid-30’s, and that sounds an awful lot like winter to me. I watched the Patriots’ game. I could see their breath, and Brady was wearing his hand warmer, more wintry signs. I figured they must be playing somewhere like Green Bay, but no, it was Foxboro.

Today is on and off sunny and for the first time in days there is no wind. My usually quiet street is filled with the sounds of leaf blowers as yards are being cleaned. I heard the sound when I woke up this morning, and it still continues but from another part of the neighborhood.

I did some Christmas shopping this morning in the warmth of my house without a crowd. My fingers did all the work. I’ve been shopping the last couple of days whittling my list, and I haven’t even set foot in a store.

I don’t remember my parents carrying bags or even going Christmas shopping. We were Santa believers so my parents must have hidden stuff in the trunk until we were all in bed then they’d carry the toys inside and stash them in the attic. When I was older, they woke me up when they were bringing stuff down from the attic so I knew that had been a hiding place. Our attic had hidden stairs. You had to take off the cover in the ceiling then pull down the stairs, and, because most of the attic was unfinished, it wasn’t a place we ever explored so it was a perfect hiding spot for Santa toys. I stayed awake a long while that Christmas Eve and even sneaked down the stairs to watch my parents put out the gifts. We were an unwrapped Santa gift family so that year I watched as the toys were being put under and around the tree. My dad would hand something to my mother who would then artistically place it in the right spot. We all knew our spots. They never changed from year to year.

I must have moved and creaked the stairs because my parents finally heard me and sent me back to bed. I know I fell asleep right away, and I know the morning was quick to come.

That year I wasn’t disappointed at having seen a few of my gifts but rather I felt part of a conspiracy of wonder and joy, of seeing my Santas do their magic.

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31 Comments on ““His eyes–how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,

    We didn’t have an attic, just a crawl space that was usually inhabited by mice and spawns of Satan so my Santas hid their stuff in the upper shelves of closets we children didn’t go into. I did find some of the stash one year but by then I had joined the adult conspiracy so it was okay.

    Speaking of spawns, there is one in the trap. It has been there since 4:30 last night and I am beginning to feel sorry for it. Spawn Removal Man had better come quickly before I weaken.

    Enjoy the lovely day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Call removal man-don’t weaken. You will be but a pawn to that spawn. He’ll know your weakness!

      I found a staxh in a closet when I was older and read one of my new books. I was sorry later as i didn’t have it to read when I got it for Christmas.

      • Caryn Says:

        Spawn removal man finally came at about 6PM. He reset the traps, fixed a one way door to the place where the little spawns were getting in and put lots of squirrel wire around the general area. There was another spawn in the trap this morning plus one more nosing around the one way door trying to get back in. It ran off when I looked out. So, two down, one or two left to go. Happy Thanksgiving, spawns. The traps go back up on Monday.

      • john Says:

        I took my 3d one out for a ride in the country. He’s now about 7 miles from here (hopefully) and there should be plenty of corn for him and a couple of trees by the side of the road.
        I’m gonna start spray painting tails, though. To see if they make the trek back home.

  2. olof1 Says:

    As You know our tradition is a bit different. Most present were placed by the tree as they arrived home, but some most probably were hidden in our cellar because those were the ones the yule gnome would bring to us at christmas eve. Why we celebrate at christmas eve I have no idea.

    So no sant through the chimney here and I can’t remember any one talking about his sled being pulled by reindeers either. All older pictures with him and his sled shows either a horse or a goat. Where came these reindeers from πŸ™‚

    I like many other children were scared to death when the gnome came πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ and it was a huge relief to hear he wasn’t real πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Have a great day!

    • Bob Says:

      All the Santa Claus stuff came from a poem. Here is a portion of the Wikipedia article:

      “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, also known as “The Night Before Christmas” and “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” from its first line, is a poem first published anonymously in 1823 and generally attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, although the claim has also been made that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr.
      The poem, which has been called “arguably the best-known verses ever written by an American”,[1] is largely responsible for the conception of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today, including his physical appearance, the night of his visit, his mode of transportation, the number and names of his reindeer, as well as the tradition that he brings toys to children. Prior to the poem, American ideas about St. Nicholas and other Christmastide visitors varied considerably. The poem has influenced ideas about St. Nicholas and Santa Claus beyond the United States to the rest of the English-speaking world and beyond.

      In your neck of the woods he was a gnome with a goat.

      • olof1 Says:

        Thanks Bob!
        Yes our “Santa” has a bit different origin but looks very similar. Before the Yuke Gnome started to give out the present here it was the Yule goat doing that job.


    • katry Says:

      Some kids are afraid when they meet Santa at someplace like the mall but usually kids love Santa. Who wouldn’t love a toygiver? He did have his list of who was naughty and who was nice so to be on the safe side you had to be good. Getting on the naughty list was really bad and Santa was a great threat for parents to use to keep kids in line. “Be good or I’ll tell Santa,” always worked in our house. We beleiveed he always brought coal to bad girls and boys.

  3. Bob Says:

    It was also colder here in North Texas this morning as a cold front moved south eastward pushing the warmer air out with lines of thunderstorms accompanied by heavy rain and small hail.

    The whole idea of exchanging gifts at Christmas is a major ploy on the part of retailers and is a stretch of the imagination that it has anything to do with a religious holiday either Christian or Jewish. It’s now such a big business that anyone who is in the retail business can’t do any kind of promotion during the entire rest of the year to make up for a poor holiday season.

    We have essentially removed anything religious from the holiday. Nonsense such as Santa, Christmas trees and lights are all throwbacks to the European pagan winter solstice holiday that preceded Christianity. I propose that we return Christmas to a celebration of the birth of Jesus, although he was really born in the spring, and celebrate the New Year by exchanging gifts as well as getting sauced at midnight. In the South it’s traditional to eat black-eyed peas for luck. Therefore, everyone could take advantage of the reduced prices offered as “after Christmas sales”.

    • katry Says:

      I love finding just the right present for people. I shop at odd, out of the way places, including fun, little catalogues, and know when I find that present. Christmas can still have all the beauty and magic and can stay as centered around the birth of the Child as we chose to make it. None of us have to fall prey to the hype.

      I’d be find with exchanging presents to celebrate the New Year though I’m not so sure about the sauced part. I don’t recoup like I used to in my younger days. My sisters and I have all said the same thing about taking advantage of after Christmas sales. Last year I bought five shirts from a favorite spot for the guys on my list for this Christmas.

  4. Zoey & Me Says:

    That’s pretty cool. We never caught our Santas, they out smarted us and we weren’t happy either when the news that they were doing all of Santa’s shopping arrived. I think for me it could have gone on forever. My anticipation of turning that corner of the living room and seeing a bright lit tree with packages all around was the surprise worth waiting for all year long. I will never forget my first bike. An English racer burgundy and out front of the tree with just a ribbon on it. I was ecstatic. And Dad always said, “you’ll have to ask Santa for something that expensive”.

    • katry Says:

      Even though I was older and already knew there was no Santa, it was still a thrill to watch my parents.

      I always loved the view of all those presents under the tree. When we were older, my mother wrapped everything, even the stocking stuffers. It made the morning great fun.

      As adults, we’d start with mimosas, Christmas music then while breakfast was baking, we’d open some presents. WE always had the best Christmas.

  5. Hedley Says:

    My kids admitted that they explored all known hiding spots to find their Christmas presents. I assume that one did the hunting while the other stood guard. We were disappointed but it was years before we knew !
    So now I continue my romance with amazon to make sure that our Christmas is special…but what do I buy the Prince who is five, what I haven’t purchased before (no, Zoey and me I am not going cat)

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I love the album! Thanks for telling me about it. I’ve played it twice!!!

      I looked only once. The night I wrote about today was just a single happenstance. I heard the music from a toy and that’s what woke me up-the attic was outside my bathroom door. The one year I looked I found some books and read one of them. I was disappointed later that I had as on Christmas I didn’t have ome of my new books to read.

      My sister’s Prince is also 5 years old. Since he was little, I’ve aIways given him the new Hess truck, a book, an ornament and other neat, little things I find.

  6. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    Since I’m Jewish, there wasn’t a Santa. Chanukah has nada to do with Christmas, it just falls around the same time. We did write a list of what we wanted..I always loved lighting the candles.. For a while I felt left out Christmas Day, because my friends that celebrated Christmas, never invited me over on that day.. so no one to play with. Whenever I see something that someone may like for the holiday season, or birthday, I buy it and save it for the right time. My very favorite gift one year was a large toy electric car that I could actually drive. When I outgrew it, it went to my younger cousin. I would like one now, that I could drive around town.
    Waving from my electric car,

    • katry Says:

      I bet your friends didn’t think you’d feel comfortable with Christmas. If you all had been older, 20’s older, I bet they wouldn’t hesitate.

      I’m the same with buying presents. If I see one perfect for someone, I buy it. I know from experience I may never see it or anything similar again then I want to kick myself for not buying it.

      You can but your electric car now, just a whole lot bigger!.

      • Lori Kossowsky Says:

        And a lot more $$$$$$. Did you mean buy or but, or butt– (which is a whole lot bigger now). πŸ˜›

    • john Says:

      how do you think poor Jesus felt. Having his birthday so close to Chanukah, and all. ΞΆ:-)>

  7. katry Says:

    My Dear Hedley,
    I love watching falling snow, and I usually have something quiet in the background playing as I watch. The review is right.

    I’d probably like Hexbug.

  8. J.M. Heinrichs Says:

    Other Desk Pets: http://www.mydeskpets.com/


  9. Kat Says:

    Hi Caryn,
    If you were Granny Clampett, you’d have your Thanksgiving meal and plenty for all your neighbors!

    • Caryn Says:

      I was thinking about that. They’d be black walnut fed,too. Upscale brunswick stew. πŸ™‚

      John, here we have to kill the little spawns we catch. It’s against the law to transport them elsewhere because of rabies. I’m not happy about that but they shouldn’t be chewing into my pantry either.

  10. Kat Says:

    That would be buy!

  11. Kat Says:

    I swear they come back-painting the tails might be a great idea! Pink would be my choice of color.

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