Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Eve

"I guess Santa isn't coming this year," I said to Da Kid a few minutes before midnight. For an instant, my soon-to-be 25-year-old son looked at me as if I'd lost my mind. Then the realization hit. "I guess not, Mom, or we would have heard him."


It's 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and all good little boys and girls are now tucked in their beds or heading there quickly and without argument. I kid you not.

I don't know how many years ago it started but we've been out here now for fifteen. It's getting too big out here too fast but it's still nice to know some things have remained the same.

The distant wail of a siren and the screech of brakes signal the beginning. Children head out the door or are carried outside by their parents. Next, a booming amplified voice. At first it's not clear what's being bellowed but it doesn't take long. "HO! HO! HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!"

Then the flashing lights atop the biggest engine from the volunteer fire station. On its back waving, hanging on for dear life clings Santa. Down every road, some dirt, his cry continues until it finally fades away, until next year.

"HO! HO! HO! ONE LAST CHECK, BOYS AND GIRLS, TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE ALL BEING GOOD! MERRY CHRISTMAS! SWEET DREAMS BOYS AND GIRLS! HO! HO! HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

"NOW, GO TO BED!" doyle - December 24, 1999
It's hard to explain the look on his face, but he knew as I did, that Santa had been been outgrown by the area in which we live.

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