Monday, December 21, 2015

Rumours About Santa Claus

(Courtesy of Sherrie whose friend in Winnipeg sent it to her)

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit it her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: There is no Santa Claus, she jeered...even dummies know that! My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth...and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her 'world-famous-cinnamon buns'. I knew they were world-famous because Grandma said so. It had to be true!

Grandma was home and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. No Santa Claus? she snorted...Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumour has been going around for years...and it makes me mad, plain mad! Now, put on your coat...and let's go. “Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. 'Where' turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days!
Take this money, she said, and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car. Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded...full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few minutes I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill and wondering what to buy...and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew...my family...my friends...my neighbours...the kids at school...the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought-out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath...and messy hair...and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess in the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!
I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it.
It looked real warm...and he would like that.”
Is this a Christmas present for someone? kindly asked the lady behind the counter...as I laid my ten dollars down. “Yes, ma'am,” I replied shyly. “It's for Bobby.”
The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag...smiled again...and wished me Merry Christmas.

That evening, when Grandma helped me to wrap the coat, a little tag fell out of the coat bag, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible. Wrapped in Christmas paper and ribbon, Grandma attached a small gift tag saying...To Bobby, from Santa Claus on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was officially now and forever, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house...she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. All right, Santa Claus, get going! I took a deep breath...dashed to his front door...threw the present down on the front step...pounded on his door...and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together, we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did...and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering beside my Grandma...in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night I realized that those awful rumours about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were...Ridiculous! Santa was alive and well...and we were on his team.

I still have Grandma's Bible with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.”

May you always have Love to share,
Health to spare...and Friends that care.
And, may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

Fact about St. Nicholas Day ~ December 6
History of the Man and Myth: According to Bishop Nicholas of Myra in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), 'Nicholas' was a devout 4th-century Christian figure (of Greek descent) whose charitable acts and compassion for the needy, especially chidren, brought him 'sainthood' as his popularity spread across Europe during the Middle Ages. The anniversary of his death, December 6, 343, is known as St. Nicholas Day...and is still widely celebrated in eastern and western Europe, as the main day of gift-giving and holiday merriment.

The Twelve Days of Christmas...
is an English Christmas carol (published in 1780 without music) that enumerates in the manner of a cumulative song, a series of increasingly great gifts given on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas beginning December 1st. The standard tune, now associated with it, is derived from a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk melody by English composer Frederic Austin.

Here's How Much the “12 Days of Christmas Gifts Would Cost in 2015
(Thanks to Sherrie for this calculation)
If someone bought you all these presents, then that would really be 'true love'!
If one's 'true love' bought all of the gifts mentioned in the song's final verse,
then the bill would come out to: $34,130.99...up from $33,933.22 in 2014 ~
making 2015 the priciest year yet.

Partridge $25...Pear Tree $189.99...A Partridge in a Pear Tree $214.99...2 Turtle Doves $290;
3 French Hens $181.50...4 Calling Birds $599.96...5 Gold Rings $750...6 Geese-a-laying $360;
7 Swans-a-Swimming $13,125...8 Maids-a-Milking $58...9 Ladies Dancing $7,552.84...
10 Lords-a-Leaping $5,508.70...11 Pipers Piping $2,635.20...12 Drummers Drumming $2,854.80.

The foregoing calculations are based on data
from retailers, hatcheries, the Philadelphia dance company PHILADANCO
and the Pennsylvania Ballet Company.
Here's how the Pittsburgh-based bank explained the rationale for some of the notable price changes:
Nine of the 12 items in the index maintained their cost this year. The cost of a 'Partridge in a Pear Tree' rose 3.5 %, primarily due to the Partridges' growing popularity as a gourmet food and in backyard farming. Turtle Doves are up 11.5 % due to increased grain prices... and Lords-a-Leaping rose 3 % due to an increase in salaries.”

Written by Merle Baird-Kerr...November 30, 2015

8 comments:

  1. MEG RESPONDS:" LOL ! I loved the Santa story.
    That is so true. And the cost of 'true love' really
    has risen in price; maybe that's why marriages don't
    last long. These days, the lovers don't put enough
    effort in it at the beginning. Thanks Merle."

    ReplyDelete
  2. As in life, everyone expects it to be easy and fall
    automatically into place. To be successful in anything
    requires time, patience and understanding for the venture to be worthwhile. Many thanks for your comments, Meg.

    ReplyDelete
  3. DEANNA WRITES: "Gave me a chuckle! Thank you...
    and wishing you the Very Best of Everything..always!"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Deanna, your comments I really appreciate...especially at this busy time of year. I also send wishes to you
    for a happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  5. JASMINE WRITES: "Thanks for sharing. Happy holidays!
    Looking forward to seeing you in 2016. Hope all is well."

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jasmine, I am grateful for your response to my Christmas article. Yes, will be wonderful to see you again, also being a Ugandan friend of Dilu's.

    ReplyDelete
  7. SHERRIE COMMENTS: "A wonderfully inspiring Christmas story on your blog! Very touching and memorable."

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  8. Dear Sherrie...this story you sent to me a year ago, I retained to publish at Christmas time 2015. Gratefully, I thank you for it; also the cost of the "True Love Gifts" as they would cost today!!!

    ReplyDelete