By Otis Griffin
We were raised to believe Santy Claus was coming to see us if we ‘ack-rite’ and behave ourselves. Boy, you talk about some fine, well-behaved kids in the small community right after Thanksgiving. I mean the manners were so spread on so thick you could wear them. No one is going to catch me doing anything wrong. I was so good that I didn’t even think anything wrong. Lawdy Miss Clawdy, I was so good, sometimes I think it scared Momma.
Looking back I knew over the years that Santy was coming ‘cause I saw him at Mr. Harrold’s store in Millington and of course the big location at Sears and Roebucks. Sure, I believed the little men in green, called elves, were his helpers. Later in life I think they call this ‘dreaming’ after you get a little older, maybe a little smarter. I believed whatever I told Santy I wanted him to bring me, that he would fulfill my dreams and put a big smile on my face. I believed it happened every year with Santy riding in his trusty International pick up sleigh, with four in the floor, gliding in the night pulled by Red Nosed Rudolph. I believed slipping down the chimney with a big bag of toys was no problem. No Sirrrrreeeee!!!
Neighbor, when you are young everyone looks like a giant. I know Arvis, Emerson, Paul and Lynn got to wondering just what would happen if Santy came and couldn’t get down the chimney like we were told he could. Was there a possibility we could be left out? But, I’m going to be real smart and check this out. Back then; Daddy had what was called…a folding ruler… that he carried in his right side pocket of his coveralls. Friends, I don’t think there are too many of those folding rulers left, as most contractors use tapes, laser beams, computers or call Washington as they supposedly have all the answers anyway.
Most of the houses had chimneys with either fireplaces to burn wood, or cinder grates. About the only difference is the cinder grates burned coal and the iron frame bars were bigger. We had two double cinder grates, as one connected the living room and kitchen with the other attaching the adjoining bedrooms. Well, I got down on my hands and knees and peeped up the chimney, not being sure, ole round fur face could descend the black, smoky, soot covered cavern. So I wanted to measure the stone encased area.
Daddy was relaxing in his favorite chair, reading the Press-Scimitar with one eye on the paper, one eye on me and one eye on his favorite folding ruler. I started to unfold the ruler and if you don’t really know what you are doing, consequently the ruler will snap and become kindling. Daddy knew this, but I didn’t. However, as I hopefully started to unfold the ruler, he hollered and woke up the chickens roosting in the elm trees over about Bolton and I dropped the ruler. That was enough playing carpenter that night. Daddy assured me that Santy could and would make the descent on Christmas Eve. Forget it!!! I believed what he said.
When I did wake up, sure enough all my treasures were under the tree like they were supposed to be. I believed Santy had taken good care of me. Another time, I thought I had seen Santy, and ran outside with the lantern swinging in the breeze. There were footprints bigger than a rain barrel right off the front steps. I learned later why they so big!!! I believed Santy had been there. Sure enough!!! Boy, ole Santy was smart as I never did catch that slick rascal no matter how hard I tried. Neither did any of my friends, but we always vowed, “We’d git ‘im next year”.
Beloved, be there for the kids and help them believe in Santy while they can. Dream with me as they circle the Christmas tree trying to decide which play pretty they want to fetch. Hold them in your arms as they grab you around the neck and give you that big hug and kiss, telling you how much they love you and they hope Santy enjoyed his milk and cookies.
No matter how old you are, as you relax in the laid back recliner, drop off into the fantasy world for a short period of time and believe with the little angels and relive how it was when you were all excited about Santy. If you are fortunate enough and all your kids are grown, just take a few minutes and dream with them. Be careful what you dream for, as sometimes dreams come true. Hold ’em, love ’em, dream with ’em and pray with ’em as this is that time of year to Rejoice Dear Hearts!
Let Me Hear a Big OLE Jolly “Ho Ho Ho” Deep in the Heart of Dixie Where We All Say—-GLORY!
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