Thursday, December 20, 2007

Uncle Freddy & Santa

This is a true story as best as I can remember since I was a 4th grader.
It was getting to be that age where Santa was questionable.
My schoolmates of course had told me there was NO such thing as Santa.
I was one of those modest, quiet types in school ... but this generated a call to arms and resulted in some punches being tossed and a trip to the Principle's Office.

That Christmas Break we traveled North to where Grandma and Grandpa lived. A long trek in the 60's.

That Christmas Eve we went to Aunt Marian's house to stay. I can remember groaning a bit at first, then getting excited for the opportunity to spend time with my two girl cousins! The only drawback to the whole scenerio is that my aunt and uncle had not yet put in 'indoor' plumbing. The outhouse was a long walk through deep snow.

The tree was magnificent of course, it must have been 100 feet tall. [kid memories are distorted, you know].
Our mom's could barely get us to bed, we were so excited! But finally under some sort of threat, we ended up in the bedrooms, each of us bunking with a cousin. Of course we couldn't go to sleep right away, we were too excited.

We listened to the adults talk downstairs through the heating vents.
Then IT happened.
We heard sleigh bells. We looked at each other wide eyed! Jingle Jingle Jingle.
Then the tell tale: *HO HO HO, Merry Christmas!*

We leaped out of our beds and ran downstairs. There he was as big as life itself. Santa! He had a sack of toys that we ripped into all the while watching him grin through his beard. [If memory serves me correctly, I think my Dad was somewhere with his camera.]

Too quickly Santa told us that he had other children to visit and needed to go. His reindeer were pretty fired up and wanted to get going.
We heard more sleigh bells and hollers of *HO HO HO!*

While we sat on the floor and played with our toys, Uncle Freddie came in from the barn, his face flushed from the cold. We excitedly told him WHO he had missed! He seemed amazed by it all, why Santa must have come while he was working in the barn!
In fact, that would probably explain all the reindeer tracks around the house.

We of course had to go see. And in fact, yes there were reindeer tracks in the yard!

I went back to school 'all knowing'. I'd seen Santa for real, heard his sleigh bells, and seen the tracks. My belief in Santa had been renewed.
And I made more trips to the Principle's Office for fighting about it.

What I didn't know at the time:
Uncle Freddy had dressed up ... he was not working in the barn. He led two of his tame heifers around the house to make 'reindeer' tracks. He was the Santa. How could we have not known?
All it took was a little magic and we believed.
The kid in me says--it wasn't Uncle Freddy, it really was Santa.

And I'll fight anyone that says different.


  1. Anonymous9:48 AM

    Such a wonderful story excellently told. My Grandfather played the part on Christmas Eve followed by my father for his grandchildren. Magical. Thanks for the great memories.

  2. Your welcome Niki!!


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