Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

I haven’t posted in a while because here on the home front, beyond politics and Covid-19, I’ve been riding the roller coaster of Life. I’ve been hanging tight… It wouldn’t be Life if we didn’t have a few lessons to learn, right?

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year 2021! And without further ado, here’s a happy memory from Christmas week, 1966.

“I was sixteen. I was driving myself to Denholm’s Department Store in a city twenty miles away on a school night. I must have told Mum and Dad what I was up to because I had to ask permission to borrow the car.

As proof of my emotional immaturity—and my hesitation to leave childhood behind—I was on my way to fulfill a childhood fantasy. I had always wanted to have my picture taken with Santa Claus.

On the second floor of the store, I saw Santa sitting on a golden throne in the Toy Department. His throne, hung with fragrant evergreen swags and a string of twinkling white lights, was the centerpiece of a green-carpeted platform placed three shallow steps above the rest of us. I joined the line of small children and their mothers, and they paid no attention to me. Well, maybe they did.

I was wearing an A-line, mint green, silk shantung dress. It was the prettiest dress I have ever owned in my life—bar none. I even felt pretty in that dress.

I was a little nervous and somewhat intimidated. I had my coat unbuttoned, ready to shed it quickly as I got closer to Santa.

When it was my turn, I handed my coat to an elf. I tiptoed up the steps to Santa and sat on the edge of his lap, just barely touching his red velvet thigh. I told him I didn’t want anything for Christmas except the photo, and I directed one of my rare smiles towards the elf with the camera. Santa didn’t say too much. Maybe he ho-ho-hoed. After the camera flash, I stepped down from the Santa throne and a few minutes later, my Polaroid was ready and Santa’s elf handed it to me in a Merry Christmas photo card.

I liked it. I did. There I was—carefully seated with Santa in my pretty green dress. My long brown hair looked just right. It was perfect. Even in my self-conscious state, I couldn’t find anything wrong with it. I stared at the photo as I rode down the escalator and floated out the door to where it was snowing lightly, just a scattering of fluffy flakes under the street lights to dust this fairy tale evening with Christmas magic.

I drove home on auto-pilot, parked the car in the driveway and before anyone had time to question me, I hung my coat in the hall closet and made my way upstairs to bed. I never shared that experience with anyone before now. Maybe I’ve always been a little embarrassed at being so lonely and emotionally withdrawn, but having my photograph taken with Santa Claus at age sixteen had given me Joy. I’m glad that I was brave enough to realize that it’s never too late to make something right.”

Summersea, Linda. The Girl with the Black and Blue Doll.

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