"" Writer's Wanderings: Christmas Memories

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Christmas Memories

The first Christmas with Cheryl and Don in our home (see Williamsburg Christmas blog) was an exciting one. Cheryl and Don had been in 7 foster homes within 6 years and we were the third home they came to that year. Cheryl's anxiety level rose as Christmas neared and over and over we heard how Santa never came to see them.

Each Christmas they were returned to their biological home but it was social services that provided a truck and a doll sometime during the season. Cheryl recalled asking to hang stockings one year and being told "Santa doesn't come to this house." That stuck in a six year old's memory.

My reassurances that "Santa always comes to this house," seemed to go unheeded so I decided to enlist a friend who did Santa visits every year for the neighborhood. Christmas was on a Sunday that year so we decided to move our celebration to Saturday morning. We'd be able to attend church without a fuss from the kids and it fit in with our Santa plans as well.

Friday night, Santa rang our doorbell and Cheryl was so ecstatic she couldn't talk--really something for a "motor mouth." After opening the small gift he brought, he told Cheryl and Don, "I know where you are going to be now. This is your 'forever family'. You moved so much before I had trouble finding you. That won't happen again. But you better get to bed 'cause Santa can't work his magic if you're awake."

Of course my husband couldn't let Rich off the hook that easily so he quipped, "Hey, Santa. Who's going to clean up that mess the reindeer leave on the roof?"

Before Rich could give his come-back, Cheryl jumped up and down yelling, "I will! I will!" She didn't want any kinks in this Christmas.

Needless to say, the kids were in bed early--even the older guys--and Santa worked his magic that night.

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