Sunday, December 27, 2009

Another Memorable Christmas

It was just about the time when suspicions about Santa Claus being real began to surface in my awareness. I had an inkling that it was really my parents who would bring the store bought stocking and place it on the foot of my bed during the night. Well, this Christmas Eve I would stay awake and test my theory.

I lived in the corner room of our apartment in New York and so it had windows facing two directions with venetian blinds as coverings. They let in just enough light from the street that I could see in the dark. My bed was in the other corner with the door near the foot of my bed. Between the bed and the door, I had a large doll’s baby carriage. On the wall across from my bed were two closets. The one on the right was my toy closet and the one on the left was for my clothes. However, the clothes closet had a low shelf where my dolls were all lined up. They waited there (unless I was playing with them, which was often) until nighttime. Then they would come alive and enjoy their room until morning, when they would go back to their closet.

So, I forced myself to stay awake that Christmas Eve and, sure enough, the door quietly opened and my mother placed the stocking on my bed. After she left, I turned on the bedside light and examined my stocking. It was the same as every year. There were peppermint pinwheels wrapped in cellophane and activity books and crayons. Those were to keep us occupied until my parents had recovered from an all night gift-wrapping session. Being satisfied that I had uncovered the mystery, turning off the light, I lay down to sleep. In a minute, or so, I heard the unmistakable sound of cellophane being unwrapped. Raising my head, I saw a shadow rise up from the doll carriage at the foot of my bed.

“Who’s there?” I croaked, jumping under the covers and pulling them over my head. Then I heard the patter of tiny feet, going from the carriage, across the room, to the doll closet.

In the morning, when we arrived at the Christmas tree, there was a walking doll, almost as big as me. I am sure, to this day, that she paid me, and all my other dolls, a visit in the middle of the night.

Prema Rose

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