“Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus! There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.”

Today is cloudy, but a few patches of clouds are backlit. That’s where the sun is hiding. The day is damp as it rained during the night, but it’s warm, the last warm day for a while. I went to UPS and sent the packages for Colorado on their Christmas trek. That was the most important item to cross off my to-do list. The other items have no time constraint other than the big day. My back is a bit iffy today so I’ve decided today is my do little or nothing day.

I remember one Christmas Eve when my mother sent me to the corner store, probably for bread. I rode my bicycle so there wasn’t any snow. I remember riding my bike down the grass hill beside the steps leading to the street, something my father always hated us doing, but it was fun so we did it anyway hoping not to get caught. I was going to the white store, the closer store. I never minded doing bike errands for my mother, but I was annoyed that day. It seemed to me my mother was taking the day far too lightly. I couldn’t believe that she would actually send me to do an errand on Christmas Eve. I thought it odd she didn’t realize Christmas Eve is one of the sacred days for kids, not a day for errands. It was a day for dreaming and for hoping to fall asleep as early as possible.

When it got dark, we always got restless. We watched the clock and waited. My mother let us open one gift on Christmas Eve, and that one gift was always new pajamas. Every year we argued that we should pick the gift, but it was inevitable that we’d get stuck with the new pajamas.

Back then Santa Claus was on TV every day in the late afternoon starting a few weeks before Christmas from a station out of New Hampshire. He was in his workshop and had one elf. Every Christmas Eve, the last show, we’d watch as he filled up his sleigh and we’d listen to his reminder about being fast asleep before his arrival.

Bedtime was never more welcome than it was every Christmas Eve.

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13 Comments on ““Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus! There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    The excitement for the arrival of Father Christmas was overwhelming. My sisters and I laugh when we remember that our Mother used to give us dispirin to try to make us sleep.
    As we got older, the role of Television increased and around this time of year the Radio Times, the guide for the BBC television and radio, would issue a two week special edition, as would the ITV. We would spend hours pouring over the programming to be enjoyed over the holiday season.
    Morecambe and Wise on Christmas night, Mike Yarwood, Dad’s Army and, of course, a one hour Disney show on Boxing Day
    This year we will all be together. My sister flew in from London last night and joined the two of us that live in Michigan. We will laugh, we will remember, we will miss our Mum.

    • olof1 Says:

      I never miss when they show reruns on Dad’s Army 🙂 and we had one hour of Disney on christmas eve 🙂
      Christer.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I think I would have loved be given something to sleep.

      How wonderful you’ll be together for Christmas. That is the holiday I most missed being with my family when I was in the peace Corps. After, we’d all get together at my mother’s house to celebrate. Now it’s phone calls and gifts through the mail though as the day approaches my sister will call almost daily from Colorado to chat. She’ll fill me in on the doings sometimes in between making batches of cookies. I really enjoy those calls.

  2. olof1 Says:

    I can’t remember anything open at christmas eve here when I was a kid. Even though it isn’t and never has been a holiday still no shops were open. It is different today though, all stores seems to be open and all day as well, sad really!

    I can’t remember if I felt the same on the day before christmas, I think the exitment started on the eve morning, We were allowed to open one present of our choice if it was one of the smaller 🙂 The big ones had to wait a while. After that we looked at cartoons on tv, they always had an hour of cartoons back then, I guess they did so just because all mothers should have some free time before the stress started :-)Present opening started an hour or so before Donald Duck on tv 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      We only opened pajamas so we’d look good for pictures the next morning. To us they never counted as gifts.

      It was never a holiday here either, but we were already on school holiday so that seemed to make the day special enough.

      WEe opened our gifys as soon as we woke up when we were little. When we were older, we’d open a couple then get something to eat before we opened any more.

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    Christmas Eve at our house was watching one of the Christmas stories on TV. We kids loved Scrooge so we could use our swear words at him “old goat” comes to mind. And sometimes there were skating shows, first time I saw Peggy Fleming, WOW. I wrote her a letter after Christmas asking her to marry me. Never heard back but I’m she got many letters after that performance. We also had loads of treats, cookies, candy and leftover cakes from adult parties. My Dad settled in with a hi ball and was soon asleep in the Lazy Boy chair. He always missed what we were watching. Bedtime was peeking down the stairs until we gave up.

    • Kat Says:

      Z&me,
      I love watching A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim, the best Scrooge of all, on Christmas Eve. Last year I reread the story and realized how much I still love it.

      I laughed at your mention of a hi ball as that was what my parents drank as well. I think a few of them helped my father from getting too frustrated putting together stuff on Christmas Eve.

      My mother always put a dish of those hard candies out on Christmas Eve day which signaled the start of the festivities for us.

      I always wanted to catch Santa but always fell asleep before I could.

  4. J.M. Heinrichs Says:

    Just another reminder:
    http://www.noradsanta.org/en/

    Cheers

  5. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    Sorry I’ve been out of the loop. Our pool, unless we hear from the judge in our favor has closed and we had a funeral for it on Wednesday. I did very nicely go before the city council ( I felt like I was sitting on Santa’s lap– which I’ve also never done) and in my sweetest voice said that all I want for Hanukkah is for them to keep the pool open 4 more months. Then I said how good I had been this past year ( paws crossed ) and told them the fine work they had done and wished them a joyous holiday season. Then I jumped off Santa’s proverbial lap, went outside and screamed.
    It’s a warm day here, I took Meow outside with just a tee shirt and light sweater. She is howling at me now ordering me to do something for her. I am getting vague memories of writing all the things I wanted for Hanukkah to present to my parents.
    Tired Waves,
    Lori

    • Kat Says:

      Lori,
      I am so sorry about your pool. I know how important it is to you and how helpful physically it has been. I was afraid it would close based on everything you said and the budget issues they kept mentioning.

      It’s getting colder here. There may even be flurries tomorrow night, but by Monday it will be in the 50’s again. The weather has been crazy.


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