I was a true believer! If ever there was a believer in Santa Claus it was, and is, me! In the weeks leading up to Christmas the days passed ever so slowly. While other families had their trees up and decorated, my mother refused to put our tree up until a week before Christmas. This only added to the agony! Once the tree was up the whole house seemed to fill with heavenly scent of fresh evergreen. We could "feel" the cold of the tree as it was brought in from outdoors and placed in that old red and green metal stand. The entire family helped decorate it, but my mother always insisted that she do the icicles (I find that a lot of kids today don't know what icicles are--they're long, slender strands of shiny silver that hang over the tree branches). She wanted them to hang perfectly. Of course we had Christmas music playing on the old stereo and my joy was complete. Then--more waiting!
On Christmas Eve I could hardly stand it. The minute it started getting dark I was perched at the living room window watching the night sky for any signs of Rudolph's blinking red nose. I think Rudolph must be pretty sneaky, because as hard as I tried, I never could see him. My father or mother would read from the scriptures about the birth of the Christ Child--the Savior of us all. We'd have a quick gift exchange and then back to the window I went. When it was time for bed, we'd all quickly find the biggest stocking (always my father's) and set it on the couch for Santa to fill. I remember laying in bed trying so hard to fall asleep, but no sleep would come. In the middle of the night I'd get up to see if Santa had come. I'd quietly turn on the tree lights and lo and behold--what a glorious spread! Each gift was wrapped (some were partially wrapped and the exposed side was pushed up against the wall), but I'd scurry around the tree trying to find a package addressed to "Deonne". Then I'd hear, "Get back in bed." Snooping time was over--I had to wait until we got the "ok" to get up. We each got our own apple, orange, tangerine, nuts, and candy--now that was generosity! That Santa Claus--he's quite an amazing fellow. Can't wait for him to show up this year! Merry Christmas to All . . .