You want to know my Christmas memories? Well, you have come to the right person. Old Santa has been delivering presents to children all around the world for too many years to remember. And, I must have a million stories about things that happened in that time.
Santa has come across all kinds of animals on his Christmas Eve rounds, but I especially remember one event on Christmas Eve of 1854. I had just slipped down the chimney of a mountain cabin in Colorado, hopped over the fire in the fireplace (Santa does that well) and was greeted by a pair of cat’s eyes staring at me from across the darkened room. Now, Santa loves all animals and never has trouble with dogs and cats, but this cat’s eyes were about six inches apart, so the cat was really big. I lit a candle and it turned out that a mountain lion had found his way in to the cabin, because the door had not been completely shut. The lion wasn’t doing any harm, and was just looking around. I looked at the lion, the lion looked at me and then he just came over and rubbed up against my leg like a kitten might. As I said, Santa loves all animals and all animals love Santa, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all be very careful around animals we don’t know, especially wild ones. So, I gave him some of the milk that had been left out for me by a wonderful child, and then showed him the way out. After shutting the door, and locking it, I filled all the stockings, dropped off the presents and jumped back up the chimney to my sleigh on the roof.
Another surprise I get when I come down a chimney (or through a door, window or even under a door, if there is no chimney) is children waiting for Santa. Oh, this happens all the time.
Now, children are curious, and that is okay with Santa. After all, if they weren’t curious they might stop believing in me and we wouldn’t want that to happen. Well, this one time many years ago in a little town near London, England, while I was in my green Father Christmas outfit, I came down the chimney and landed in front of not one, not two, but eight staring young faces. Now, I think you know that Santa is an elf and, therefore, can change into lots of different shapes to get into houses, and even make himself invisible to everyone – except Mrs. Claus, which is unfortunate when she is trying to get me to do something and I would rather take a nap. Usually I make myself invisible before I slip down the chimney, but this time it was getting late and I simply forgot. Anyway, I immediately made myself invisible to the staring eyes of the children and went about setting out the presents, while they just looked at each other, wondering what they had first seen when I first arrived. Fortunately, it was late at night and they were all very tired. I am sure they thought it was a dream. But then, it is not all bad if children occasionally catch a glimpse of Santa. It keeps their belief in me alive.
Then there is one of the times a few years ago that I landed in the fireplace and found a father in the middle of the room busily trying to put together two bicycles for his children. One was a beautiful pink girl’s bike with a white basket on the front and the other was a black boy’s bike with racing stripes and a loud horn on the handlebars. Poor dad had mixed up the parts and was having a terrible time getting the two bicycles completed. And, he was not happy, which is a no-no around Christmas, and, for that matter, anytime.
Now, I should pause here for a moment to explain that Santa does not bring all of the presents that are found on Christmas morning. Why if I did, there wouldn’t be enough room in the sleigh for everything. People who love you also give you presents, and often give Santa credit, just to keep my spirit alive.
Well, back to the man with the two half-completed bicycles. I just happened to have one of the elves from my toy factory at the North Pole along with me that night because one of the reindeer – Dasher, the fussy one – was acting up.
That elf had put together thousands of bicycles in his lifetime, so I yelled up the chimney and down he came. In the wink of an eye he put the two bicycles together, tied beautiful bows on both of them and rolled them over near the Christmas Tree. Dad, who didn’t know what to say, just stood there in awe and looked at us. I grabbed one of the cookies that had been left for me, tossed one to the elf, took a sip of the cold milk that was with them and headed for the chimney. I stopped for a moment, winked at dad and made him promise not to tell what had happened. It was easy to see that he believed in Santa Claus, and will forever more.
Speaking of cookies and milk, Santa gets lots and lots of treats left for him by the children and he loves all of them. His favorite is soft chocolate chip cookies and a small glass of cold milk (low fat please, Santa has to watch his waistline, Ho, Ho, Ho.) Sometimes children even leave something for the reindeer. Santa occasionally finds things like dog biscuits or maybe some oats left for them and, believe me, they appreciate it. Flying around the world on one night takes a lot of energy. However, if you get up on Christmas morning and find that Santa or the reindeer did not take what you left, don’t feel bad. Santa cannot eat all of the cookies and things that are left, and often just grabs one now and then. The same goes for the reindeer or the elves that sometimes accompany Santa. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop leaving them. Whether or not Santa or the reindeer eat what you have left for them, he still feels the love that left them there.
Well, there seems to be a problem in the toy factory, at least that is what Mrs. Claus is telling me. So I have to finish now and sort things out. I have to make sure that all of the toys are ready on Christmas Eve, but I am glad that I was able to share some of my memories with you.
Remember, love each other, take care of each other and be good. Oh, also remember its soft chocolate chip cookies and milk that Santa likes.
Have a Merry Christmas……
Love, your friend, Santa Claus