Friday, October 31, 2014

True Yuletide Story

This is a Christmastime story, that for years i thought was cute. But in retrospect must have been scary for my parents.

One year when i was 3 or 4 my brother and i shared a bunk bed in a small house in western Wyoming. It was Christmas eve and we had already read Luke 2, and looked at the red light in the sky (from a radio tower) and confirmed Rudolph and Santa were on the way.

As visions of transformers and Legos and star wars toys danced in our head, you can't expect young boys to go immediately to bed. But i knew if Santa caught me awake, he wouldn't leave any presents, so when later that night i heard noises in the house, I peaked through the hole in my foot board to see what it was. To my young mind I saw Santa turn the corner of the hall with a wooden lantern and glance toward my room. Then leave. I stayed silent and tried to sleep, amazed that i had seen Santa.

Of course this all comes from the memories of two young boys. According to my mom we shared the exact same story, down to the lantern and other details. Mom treated it like a special event and always reminded us of the time we saw Santa, would even have us tell our other siblings when they thought they knew the truth about St. Nick. I have always wondered what happened. Was it my dad dressed up as Santa, did two boys just make it up with their late night talking. With the memories so distant, who knows what happened.

Years later when i was an adult, i asked my mom to tell me more. Finally she dropped the facade of it actually being the jolly old elf.

Even though we were safe, in a new house now, I saw a cloud come over her face as she recounted, how it had been a happy Christmas, with my parents spending too much money, on their children. Her two sons were playing with their new lego set, when we mentioned we had seen Santa. She thought it was just a funny thing at first, but when we described him, he didn't sound like Santa at all.

Separately we both described a man wearing ewok clothes, with a lantern. He wasn't fat, but was actually skinny. Why would we boys think this was Santa, except for the fact that it was Christmas Eve. My mom said she had been a little concerned, but when my dad found that he had left the back door unlocked, and footsteps leading to and from it. They both got pretty scared.

Mom said she didn't know what the guy was looking for. Nothing was taken or disturbed, but someone was in our house that night.