Posted tagged ‘Captain Gallant’

“Fall on your knees. Oh hear the angel voices. Oh night divine, oh night, when Christ was born.”

December 24, 2013

I’ve been watching Cozi TV, all in B&W. Yesterday it was Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion, a program from 1955. Cuffy went out on his own to find the caravan carrying the tree and his presents. Captain Gallant, Fuzzy and the men, all volunteers, went after him. He was, of course, found. His uncle, Captain Gallant, said Christmas was more than a tree and presents and then told Cuffy all about the first Christmas and how Joseph and Mary had ridden across the desert just as the legionnaires had. We saw Joseph pulling the donkey with Mary riding on it across dune hills. The three Wise Men were also riding camels across the sand. Today I saw Robin Hood save a boy’s goose from being Christmas dinner and the Lone Ranger and Tonto finding a boy’s father in time for him to go home for Christmas. Both were from 1955. Right now I’m joining Ozzie, Harriet, David and Ricky for Christmas in 1952. These are wonderfully innocent and fun to watch. I can imagine myself sitting in front of the TV, far too close for my mother’s comfort, and watching all these programs and getting excited for Christmas.

Christmas Eve was always the longest day for us. We had to last until bedtime then we could sleep away the night while Santa made his rounds. We’d beg to go to bed early, as early as after dinner, but my mother kept us up until our usual bedtimes. Even then we had a difficult time falling asleep. We’d talk down the hall from bedroom to bedroom until finally we’d drift away.

One Christmas Eve day my mother once sent me to the white store, called that to differentiate it from the red store a bit down the street. She wanted something as mundane as bread. I remember riding down the grass hill in front of our house and thinking my mother didn’t get it. How could she send me to do an errand on Christmas Eve? Magical days aren’t for errands.

A TV station from New Hampshire had Santa Clause on every night starting a few weeks before Christmas. He’d read a letter or two, tell some stories and sometimes read a book. On Christmas Eve, he’d talk about how the sleigh was being filled right that minute and that he’d soon be on his way. He’d take our leave with great ceremony and tell us he’d be by our houses later and we’d best be asleep. With a wave he was off on his rounds.

On Christmas Eve, we’d open our new pajamas and slippers. The slippers were sock slippers with leather soles. I still have a pair I got for Christmas a couple of years ago, and they keep my feet toasty warm. We’d leave out milk and cookies for Santa then hang our stockings from the oldest down to the youngest on the bannister then we’d drag ourselves up to bed hardly able to wait until morning. I don’t remember sugar plums in my dreams, but I have to think those were the best dreams.