November 29, 2011

Santa Comes on Christmas Eve?

I must have really always thought that I was right about everything, until I learned different. Santa was late, or just missed me, that was my logic. I was not too bad for Santa to bring me toys? The year that I worried and argued with the little girl that lived next door to us, on Morley was when I really realized, maybe I wasn't that good or smart either. It was so cold in Wayne Michigan, that Santa coming was a small thing to a father that had lost his job. He had two children, a wife and a wine habit to deal with. The house was still foamy from the fire he started trying to light the coal oil heater. Christmas Day arrived as it always did. To my parents I believe they were so into the level they had reached, that this was just another day. I at the age of six was really worried about the magic of Santa being able to leave my brother and I toys as he had as long as I can remember. This time was different. The usual Christmas morning was different for me this once. I jumped up sure that it did not matter that we had no tree, he would still find a place for me a doll of some kind. To my surprise there was nothing there. This was odd, but maybe I had gotten mixed up on the days. Thinking and worrying was something I always have done. He probably came tonight, instead of the night before Christmas. Even as a child I tried to have hope. I was hoping that I was right; that the next morning was the morning. When I was outside that day I was shocked to hear from the girl next door that she had gotten lots of toys for Christmas, that morning. Still being the know-it-all kid, I held on to the idea he would bring mine that night. It did not matter that she had gotten a doll on Christmas morning, I was not giving up. I was not going to give in to the fact that I was so bad, that Santa did not come on Christmas. Even if I was so bad, he still should have left my little brother something. Hoping for the best I got up the next morning to nothing being left that night, either. I came to the conclusion that it was because we did not have a Christmas tree. It was not that I was bad. Funny, when you are older and find out the whole truth about Santa, it makes Christmas not nearly as fun. It really is heartbreaking, but I did realize that it was not my fault at all, that year that Santa did not come. It had nothing to do with me at all. Daddy must have hated that more than I will ever know. In the years to follow, there were boxes delivered. I am sure from the Salvation Army or something along the lines. When we moved to Alabama, my nosey little self heard the adults planning for my uncle to give Daddy money for our Santa stuff. That was one of the greatest Christmas' ever. I got that metal kitchen that I loved so much. Santa even knew where to bring my little brother's and my stuff. The year of the metal kitchen was the year we were living at Aunt Nell's. That was the year that the old house had burnt. Grandmother and Granddaddy went to their daughter's house and we went to my daddy's brother's. I still think I should have gotten to stay in the same place as Grandmother. I was stuck with them three mean boys. We were there on that dirt road until way into the spring that year. Finally it took an axe fight between my daddy and his brother for Grandmother to come get me. Well, she didn't just get me; she took the whole family back to the new house. I was in hog heaven to be in that new brick house. I wondered if hoping for this finally made it come true. The deal was that we would stay with my daddy's brother until Daddy found a place for us to live. We weren't supposed to move back with Grandmother. This to me was terrifying. I did not want to depend on Mama and Daddy taking care of me. My grandmother did a much better job feeding me than Mama ever had. Deep down I wished that there was a way for me to get to live with Grandmother again. I finally got my wish and would stay with her until I was grown. Being thankful for a fight that could have been really bad is something I am a tad bit ashamed of, but that was the day Grandmother decided that her son's really could hurt each other. The two men that at times worried about how they were going to buy Santa were the same two men that stood in the yard hiding weapons behind their backs. An axe or butcher knife was the worse two things I ever saw, but that was bad enough. Grandmother always said that she didn't think they would really mean to hurt one another, but that day she did get them in separate houses.

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