As children, most of us made a list of  the things we wanted from Santa.  I painstakingly  wrote him a letter every year, in fact.  Until grade three, at the top of my list was a doll, and not just an ordinary doll.  I had poured over the Sear’s catalogue for weeks looking at the details of each doll pictured, imagining her in my arms.  My mother was careful to observe my final pick.  Of course I never knew why.  And what a surprise on Christmas morning that Santa had selected the very one I wanted.  I had written sundry other things on the list too but none were as important as the doll, unless it was a crib or a buggy for her to ride in. Santa generally gave me a sweater and some socks but they hardly caught my eye, that is until my mother insisted I put them on to wear to Grandma’s where we got more presents and ate Christmas dinner with all our relatives.

I used to dream for days about Santa arriving at our house on Christmas eve.  It never dawned on me that we had no chimney for him to come down.  I was certain I could hear his sleigh on our roof nonetheless.  And the cookies and milk were always gone the next morning.  He was magic, for sure.  What fun to recall the good memories.

As I got older and my own life took a few bad turns, I didn’t make many good memories for a while.  Getting back on track, where the good memories are getting created again, has been a blessing for sure.  However, I still return to the fond memories of my childhood those last few days before Christmas.  As I sit and enjoy the tree and the lights in my home, my heart returns to the tree of my youth at 827.  I still see the manger we had under our tree.  In fact, I still have the tiny sleigh and cotton Santa we had under the tree as part of my table decoration.  This keeps the good memories intact.  And this is as it should be.