I remember Dad and Mom telling me about Santa being about the spirit of Christmas and parents providing the presents and baby Jesus being our reward for being faithful to God which provided a lot of thinking for the about six year old who was me.
I immediately started thinking how to get up on the roof to make the clip clopping sound of reindeer because my younger sister and brother must always believe in Santa and presents. I decided to include baby Jesus as soon as I mastered God. Dad and Mom said that was okay and they would ask my grandparents to help.
Dad and Mom thought just making my tracks with Mom’s boots would work if I did a really good job with the tracks in the snow.
My mom always thought that since my sister loved dolls, I would secretly love dolls too. My Dad knew better. He got me a small sled. I would take the sled out into the darkness of winter moonlight and make paths in the towering snow drifts. Yeah, I still think like that.
You must understand that I was an only child for five years, give a year or two, and I had to cover all the roles — of the oldest, trusted child, being the baby part of the time when they thought of it and even a middle child sometimes if they were comparing me to one of my cousins.
I think I was lucky. They mostly thought, if I thought I could handle outside in the dark, winter night on my sled, I probably could handle it.
Right after I left the house, of course, Dad put on his real rubber boots, just in time to dig me out of a snow canyon. One night, after Christmas, I was sledding along and almost ran over him. With a full moon you can see pretty good, but I didn’t see him until I ran up over his boots. He said, “You wanna have a snowball fight?” I looked up at the moon and down at all the snow. I said, “I think it is time to go in, Dad.”