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My Favorite Christmas

The music you hear is had a bad day from American Idol.

(The true story of my favorite Christmas)

by Lamar W. Cook

Copyright © 2006 Lamar Cook All rights reserved

      Allow me if you will to tell you a true story of my most fond memory in life.

       One day, while in school a friend told me there was no Santa Claus. This was not something an eight year old wanted to hear or believe. I began by telling him about the reindeer and the presents under the Christmas tree and of course most of all about baby Jesus.

      He replied by asking me two questions. “If Santa is real how does he go into every house all over the world in a single night?”

      I smiled, I knew the answer to this one but he continued. “If Santa is real, why do you see different Santa’s in stores during Christmas time?” I sat in my chair and lifted my head up with pride because I knew the answer. Innocently I replied, “Santa is magic.”

       As the day became night and I sat in my grandmother’s house I reflected on the questions my friend had asked. There was one person who would tell me the truth; she would never lie to me. My father was having some financial difficulties at the time and we were forced to live with my grandmother.

      Standing in the doorway of her bedroom I saw her. She sat quietly on her bed reading a book.  “Granny?” I said as if I was asking a question.

       “Yes dear? She softly replied.

      I told her about my day and what my friend had told me. I was sure she would give me an answer to take back to my friend, so I waited for her words of wisdom. Gently she laid the book down and motioned for me to sit on the bed next to her. With her voice soft and quiet and almost in a whisper she began to tell me the words that would change my life.

       “I was hoping you wouldn’t have to hear this but there is something you must know. Your father has been laid off from his job and times are hard. I hope you will not be disappointed when you cannot have all the things you want for Christmas. But know this, your father loves you very much.” Gracefully she pulled me into her arms and hugged me with a hug that only a loving grandmother can give. Whispering into my ear as though she knew her words would tear into my heart she softly spoke with so much emotion in her voice that she could hardly speak. “My dear, every child should believe in Santa, you are too young to have to bear this burden but I know you are strong. There is no Santa Claus.” I knew my grandmother would never lie to me and from that day forward I knew there was no Santa.

       Christmas was approaching I had not let my parents know of my discovery. We had found a small home to rent. We were poor but happy. The day came when my mother would take me to see Santa. I sat in his lap with a concerned look on my face not sure what I should do. It was the mind of a child and I was lost between despair and bliss. In some way, in the back of my mind, I wanted to believe but I couldn’t. In his usual jolly way Santa asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I could see out of the corner of my eye that my mother was listening intently to every word and to make sure she could hear I spoke with clarity.

       “Santa,” I said proudly, “I would like a pair of gloves for Christmas.” Quietly I whispered into his ear that my Dad was out of work and I knew he could not afford to get me very many things this year. I didn’t lie. You must remember the mind of a child at work here, for some reason I wanted a pair of gloves for Christmas and I wanted them badly. Of course I wanted something else but I knew that was impossible. Santa handed me a piece of candy and my mother smiled as she took my hand and we left for home.

       Years have passed now and I don’t remember a lot about that Christmas, but I do remember every single minute of Christmas Eve. It was 2 in the morning and my dad woke me from a restless sleep. He had a huge smile and glistened with a gleam in his eye I will never forget.

       “Son, Santa just left…”

       That was all I heard, I was out of my bed in a flash and I ran into the living room where the tree stood. On the end table sat a half empty glass of milk and the cookies I had laid out for Santa. Dad stood next too the milk and cookies, and as he rubbed his stomach he told me Santa didn’t’ have time for the cookies but he said the milk hit the spot.

       Under the tree sat four presents, two for my sister and two for me. I can’t explain to you what I was feeling at this moment, all I remember is I was happy and sad at the same time. I opened my big package and it was a new suit to wear to church. In the other package was a pair of black tight fitting gloves, which was just what I wanted. I knew times were hard but at the same time I was sad because I didn’t get what I wanted most of all.

       I thanked my mom and dad and told them I was sleepy and I went back to bed. I wasn’t sleepy. I just didn’t want my dad to see me cry. I didn’t want him to know how disappointed I was. Unable to sleep I lay in bed for several minutes looking at the full moon that glared through my bedroom window. Suddenly my dad came bursting in, “Son,” he said with excitement, “Are you going to bed before you open your last present?”

      “What last present?” I replied.

       “Come and see,” he said with a grin.

       As I stood in the living room I saw the most incredible thing I had ever seen. Sitting in that little living room with one couch and a 13” black and white television was the most beautiful go-cart I had ever seen.

       Later I discovered what had happened. My dad’s heart was broken after I went back to bed.  Somehow he knew I was trying to be brave and he couldn’t stand the thought of his son going to bed on Christmas Eve thinking he had let me down. He had planned a big surprise for me on Christmas day; he wanted me to see the go-cart on Christmas morning but once he heard his son crying, alone in his bedroom, he brought the go-cart inside.

       I don’t remember exactly when I found out. Looking back I  think it was the day after Christmas. As I played outside I saw my dad walking to work. Even an eight year old could tell something was wrong. When I asked him why he was walking he replied that it was good for people to walk and he needed the exercise. What I didn’t know was my father had sold the only possession he had left. He had sold his car so he could give his only son the greatest Christmas present in the world.

       Yes there is a Santa Claus I told my friend at school and he walks to work everyday.

       I hope you enjoyed this story, it is true and it is my most fond memory in life. When times are hard and things aren’t going quite like I would like I remember that Christmas and it warms my heart.




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My Dad died this year the year of 2005. So this story has special meaning to me.

You are welcome to share this story as it is in memory of my Dad.

Copyright © 2009 Lamar Cook All rights reserved



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