20131222-053346.jpgWhen I was in second grade we still acknowledged that Christmas exists in public school. We had our halls festooned with brad-articulated Santas, Christmas was included in the curriculum and no one ever thought anything of a real, live Santa marching through the hall (I actually remember having to change the door decoration in 6th grade to say ‘Have a cool Yule’ instead of ‘Have a Cool Christmas’. That was the year it all changed. 1983-1984… ). I was sitting in my second grade classroom, at my desk, minding my own business, doing my work or picking my nails or something when this tall, slender man comes trotting into our classroom wearing a red suit, elf hat and big black buckle. Santa! Santa? He looked awfully familiar, sounded familiar and when his eyes met mine, I knew exactly who he was! My Grandpa Tassie was in town and he had that suit on! My face must have said a lot, because my grandpa still likes to tell the story of how he saw me recognize him and how proud he was of me that I didn’t say anything to any of the other kids. I waited until I got home to ask many questions about how he ended up in that suit, but more than anything, it was pretty cool to be inducted into the club of people who get to keep Christmas magic and Santa alive through their combined belief and assistance.

After telling my kids the story about my own Grandpa being the Santa at my school I asked them if they knew of any Santa-like men in our family. They immediately lit on my dad who has recently grown his own, very Santa-like, beard. He’s been telling stories lately about the way little kids are looking at him with big questions in their eyes once they take in his big, white beard. It takes just a little bit of time before my dad is asking if they have been good and he says the kids just come alive in front of him, warm and happy and, of course, on their very best behavior.

This is my brother, Bruce, and me
Santa must have seen this because he asked my dad to help him out and come check on a few kids in our neighborhood. Gigi and Jude were thrilled to be in on the secret- imagine- their very own Bop-bop in leagues with the real Santa! Their next jump was to turn to their own Daddy, look at his mustache and beard and ask if he will be Santa’s helper someday too? They started seeing a tradition that I had never even considered.

Santa came to our place last Saturday, in the heart of my dad and all the little kids who lined up to sit on his lap and tell him their wishes. It was lovely.



This was the Santa we saw in Disneyland.


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Friends in High Places


Gigi Said

  • Topless Tapas 2012-11-03 18:44:52-

    Tami was leaving to go out with her friend and the kids begged to go with her. I said, "you don't want to go with mom, she is going to the Tapas bar and we are going to stay here and play games."

    Gigi stiffened, "That's weird", she said as she blushed. I processed fast and realized the problem. "TAPAS bar. It means 'small plate', not TOPLESS bar!"

Jude Said

  • Nicknames 2013-01-04 21:30:33-

    The checker at the store asked our always conversational little boy what his name was. He replied "Jude" then added "but sometimes they call me pumpkin brown". LOL.

    And they are right. We call him that after the folksong that we sing sometimes.

A long time ago…