December 24, 2008

A repeat of something I wrote two years ago. This year we have two of our grandchildren with us for the big holiday. I got some comments on the remembrance, so I thought I would repeat it. I hope you enjoy it.

I wish to make a confession. A confession designed to be read by grandchildren I have and those yet to be born who will not know me other than the grandpa who lives in Ohio.

I would like them at least to know that I too was a child once and the excitement of this season now upon us was almost too much for me to bear. I was an only child, I had no brothers or sisters. I guess my mother decided after having me that she could do no better or, and this is more likely, she said, Oh no I'll have no part in bringing another one like him into the world.

I liked it. If I ever thought about it, it didn't take me long to decide that I was absolutely happy being an only. The one thing it allowed me to do was let my imagination soar free. With a brother or sister I would have been criticized for being stupid, or a dreamer.

So I could let my imagination fly, and around Christmas time, I sure did. I loved the holidays from Thanksgiving through Christmas. I would get so excited on Thanksgiving that for years I would get sick on the big eating holiday. But I quickly recovered and started carefully preparing my gift list for Santa Claus. Advantage for the only child. Unless you asked for something really dumb, like a real airplane, or a horse, you get the idea, I had a pretty good chance of hitting the jackpot.

Now here we get into some sticky territory. I was a true believer when it came to the legend of Santa Claus. But just in case I had gotten some faulty information I tried to cut my losses and would tell my mom what I had asked Santa for.

Now I am going to tell you a secret. A secret that only Grandma Hazel knows. On a Christmas eve night, I was trying very hard to fall asleep so the morning would arrive, and I could get to the serious business of gift receiving. Kids at the age I was had not yet learned that the idea of the season was to foster the exchange of gifts which originated with the Magi's bringing gifts to the newborn Jesus. But like most all the children in the world I was not into that part of the season yet. That came later in life, but at least it came.

It was late and it was a Christmas card night, it had snowed, but the night was clear with the moon and stars bright against a black December sky, as I got out of bed once again. I was not allowed to leave my room on Christmas eve after I was sent to bed, so I got up to get a book when I glanced out of the window and couldn't believe what I saw. I saw in the distant sky the familiar scene emblazoned upon millions of children's minds, Santa Claus and his reindeers high in the black star bright night flying away toward the full moon. I don't remember what I thought or did, except I never told anyone before except Grandma Hazel and now you our grandchildren.

I never knew why I was allowed to see this magical person, most kids don't you know. Perhaps it was because children and grandparents share a common experience, the experience of discovery. The discovery that there are things out there that we don't exactly understand and maybe never were meant to. Some things just have to be taken on faith. So enjoy the discoveries and have a wonderful and happy life. It will make grandma and grandpa very happy if you do.

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