Wednesday, December 23

Wed. Dec. 23rd... Only Two Days Before Santa Clause Comes Down the Chimney...

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I remember life in rural Pennsylvania around Christmas time...As a boy of ten years old... waiting for ol' St. Nick to stuff presents under our tree on Christmas Eve. It always amazed me how Santa would never come while we were up, but would come when our parents, aunts and uncles were still there. It was like on Santa was watching in the window...just waiting for us to be hoosied up the steps, against our will...always being threatened with Santa not coming if we weren't fast asleep in our beds. Oh yeah, it seemed that everything hinged on us......being in asleep...visions of sugar plumbs, etc., etc.... Such bunk... We all knew there was no such thing as Santa......(crossed fingers here) All us kids balked at the stupid prospect of an old geezer popping down the chimney with a bag of toys, for all those good little girls and boys! What Bunk...simply stupid that grown-ups think we would believe such crap! (More finger crossing...just to be safe, you know...) I remember all the kids in the neighborhood...boys and girls...six to sixteen....sled riding in the dark in my grandparent's back yard. This was permissive then, because our yard light shown brightly on our flat yard and my grandparents slightly sculpted, downhill yard next door. We were in the Barrens area of rural Centre County, Pa. and there were nothing but old strip mines, woods and animals for miles around, except for the neighbors in our little community of Marysville. We all enjoyed sled riding on Christmas Eve, because it seemed you couldn't do anything else but go to bed! Parents and grown-ups didn't want a thing to do with kids on this particular evening for some odd reason. They all seemed to be short tempered and worn out...all wanting to sit around and talk and drink coffee and partake of other delights. As soon as you walked into the house and said anything about Christmas, they would say, "Well I'll tell you one thing....Santa isn't gonna stop here if you're up like better get to bed." They all started with that crap long before it was even dark, as I remember. It didn't matter if you were at a friend's house, their parents would tell you that you had better get to bed if we wanted Santa to come. I used to think they were telling us all to go to bed, whether it was our house or not...all us kids...boys and girls bed in whatever house we were in when they said it! We just all thought Christmas Eve had a strange effect on grown-ups.
I remember one time in particular that I was in bed on Christmas Eve, and I heard all this laughing and banging...sounding like metal pieces clashing together... like a sword fight. I thought..."Man, if they keep it up with this noise, how am I supposed to sleep and when will Santa ever have a chance to come, unless he just rips the door open (we had no fireplace) and stomps in telling everyone to shut up until he does his work and leaves...and "Ya better hope the kids don't get awake and come down here or it's your faults!" I crawled out of bed and quietly slipped down a few of the steps and peered into the living room, at the Christmas tree...just to be sure Santa hadn't already come by. HUH! WOW!!! I was amazed...because there were presents all over under the tree and my Dad and uncle were tangled up in a pile of pipes, wheels and stickers... They were putting a race car together, as my Mom and aunt were watching and laughing. I watched for several minutes and almost laughed out loud, as my Dad banged my uncle on the head with a pipe thingie, which in turn made my uncle drop a wheel on Dads fingers... All of a sudden, my aunt happened to look over my way and saw me peering out from the corner of the steps and started laughing... as she tapped Mom on the shoulder,pointing to me, while laughing. Mom gasped and everyone got extremely quiet and just looked at me before saying..."You better get back up there and into bed before Santa finds out and comes back to get this stuff and leaves you coal!" I slowly turned and went up the steps...just to please them and their stupid threats, as I said "Everyone knows there ain't no Santa Clause", then listened quietly... before going into the bedroom with crossed fingers on both hands......
Just In Case ya know....

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