December 19, 2008
I grew up as an only child. My parents divorced when I was young and I was raised by my father. I don't recall sharing Christmas with my mother, father, and half-sister but I know we did because I have seen the pictures in our album. I was wearing a Santa hat in all of them and you can tell they were taken at night because the Christmas tree was lit ,casting a rainbow colored glow throughout the photos.
My dad and I lived in apartments most of the time, but when I was six or seven we rented a house on a busy corner. I remember sitting in front of the Christmas tree one year with my dad and asking him how Santa got into homes or apartments that had no chimneys because every kid knew that's how Santa got in to leave the presents. He looked at me and said that Santa could get in through the windows. That his magic let him walk right through them.
He and I would put out cookies and milk for Santa. Sometimes even carrots or sugar cubes for the reindeer. I chuckle now, as an adult, knowing that it was my dad who took the sip from the glass of milk the night before. And it was he who ate the cookies and removed the carrots and sugar cubes. Wasn't it so exciting to see that Santa had actually drank your milk? The milk you left for him?
I loved Christmas as a kid. All the anticipation leading up to that one special morning when you wake up and see what Santa left you under the tree. My dad and I always opened one or two presents the night before. Then he would send me off to bed and of course I wouldn't sleep. How could I? In the morning there would be the unwrapped presents that Santa brought in the middle of the night sparkling under the Christmas tree.
I think my favorite Christmas present I got when I was growing up was a bicycle. It was my first bike that had hand brakes and I loved it. My dad and I, we did pretty good during the Christmas season for two people who just had each other. And I think that was the best gift every year...each other.