December 18, 2008
I have had so much fun reading through everyone's advent postings. You all have had wonderful post and great blogs. A very big thanks to Kailana at the Written World and Marg at Reading Adventures for putting together this fun advent. I will be honest and tell you that this is not a book blog. While I am a total read-a-holic and spend a lot of time stocking your blogs looking for book suggestions, by the way thank you for all the great suggestions, I have hard time reviewing books. Instead I ramble on about my life and ask important, life defining questions, like, "What is on top of your Christmas tree?" I really do like to know these things. So thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy my post.
The following story is true.
By the time I was thirteen the magic of Christmas had all but been lost to me.
I had defiantly entered that stage of life where Christmas was about gain. What was I going to ask for? What was I going to get? How much was I going to get? That Christmas the only thing magical in my life was brand names and the power they held to make me popular.
As it does every year, for children, the holiday season dragged on and on. It seemed like forever before the date on the calendar read December 24. Every year we celebrated Christmas Eve with my Grandma and my Mom's brother's, sister and their families. It was always a fun evening filled with good food, holiday cheer, and a wild game of Bingo and of course Grandma presents. We looked forward to it every year and were never disappointed.
After returning home that evening my youngest brother Jakie had decided that he would spend Christmas Eve in my room. I was cool enough to be the proud owner of a day bed with a trundle. My parents had just finished off the basement of our home and my younger brother and I had moved downstairs. Leaving the youngest upstairs with my parents.
The Christmas tree had been set up downstairs and with all of his 7 year old heart Jakie wanted to be where Santa would soon visit.
We retired that evening with heart and head full of the coming day. My brain was a buzz with all that I would soon get. Jakie's heart was full of Santa and the spirit of Christmas.
That night as I slept the restless sleep of excitement. My little brother tossed and turned and danced with anticipation. Soon, soon Santa would be there. As the night crept into the early morning hours of Christmas he woke to the sound of pattering feet on the roof two stories above.
He couldn't be sure, maybe he thought it was just his imagination, already the shadows of doubt had started to enter his believing heart. He sat very still and very silent and listened with all his being. Soon the faint jingling of bells startled Jakie. It was, he knew now, he knew it was Santa. He sat very still debating what to do.
He knew that if he tried to creep out of the room there was a chance that Santa would leave. Taking all the presents with him. However, if he didn't sneak out would he miss his chance to meet the jolly old fellow?
Soon the bustling in the other room settled the question. Presents were much more important then meeting Santa. He lied down, closed his eyes very tight, and thought of what a Merry Christmas it would be.
He continued to lie there with his eyes closed tight listening to the bustling of Santa. After a few moments he couldn't hear any noises and decided he would take a peek at what Santa had left. As he opened his eyes he was shocked to see that Santa sat at the foot of his bed. He looked over at me hoping that I was awake and I too would see Santa. However, I slept oblivious to the encounter.
Before my little brother could say a word Santa put his finger to his lips, indicating that Jakie should be quiet. He then winked, smiled and in a blink was gone.
In the next few hours the rest of the house awoke. The traditions of opening presents, having a big Christmas breakfast, visiting family all took place. Meanwhile, Jakie held the secret of Santa and his morning visit. In fact, Jakie would not share the story with any of us until the following Christmas.
He once again wanted to spend the night with me. He thought there was a chance that Santa would again visit him. However, he felt he should be in my room since that was where he was last year. We all giggled, laughed and thought it was a great story. I gave in and let Jakie spend the night in my room and didn't think of the story again.
Several years would pass Jakie went from being called Jakie to being called "big Jake." Before long my baby brother grew to be a man that towered over me at 6'4." He played football, and grew from a typical all American boy into an all American man.
Last Christmas as I visited with Jake I asked him about the story of Santa and his Christmas visit. I asked him after twenty years if he still believed that it was Santa. He was thoughtful for a moment and he said; "I know that who I saw was Santa, I have never doubted that it was Santa. I guess if you needed another explanation, other then Santa, it was my guardian angel, showing himself in a form that I would find safe. But I believe it was Santa." He shared some other personal thoughts of his beliefs and the magic of belief that has always surrounded Jake.
It was after that conversation that for the first time in twenty years I too believed that my little brother had met the real Santa that Christmas night so many years ago.
Do you believe in Santa?
One more little update. Before I posted this story I asked my 27 year old brother if it would be okay. He laughed and said, "How many times are you going to ask me, if I still believe before you believe?"
I'm done asking, "I Believe."