(This is post 6 in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories hosted by Geneabloggers.com)
December 6 -
Santa Claus -
Did you ever send a letter to Santa? Did you ever visit Santa and "make a list?" Do you still believe in Santa Claus?
I know I made lists, and I probably sent some letters to Santa, but I have proof of the department store visits to him! The photo at left is of me and my sister Karen in 1959. I'm almost 3 and she is almost 2. This must be our first visit to Santa - don't all three of us look a little apprehensive?
We usually went to Foley's (bought out by Macy's a few years ago), and they used to do up nice cards like the one below (from 1960) to put your Santa photos in:
I'm the oldest of five, and there's a seven-and-a-half year gap between me and the youngest. Therefore, I went to see Santa for a number of years. I've seen one picture with my youngest sister in it, and I must have been about 10. I looked too old to be visiting Santa, and I think that was the last year.
Because of the younger siblings, I kind of HAD to keep believing in Santa, even if I had my own personal doubts. I have a memory from around age 12 of awakening at night Christmas Eve and looking out the window. I thought I saw something in the sky that looked like Santa's sleigh and reindeer zigzagging down - the reins made lines that were alight somehow. That was the last time Santa worked his magic on me, though.
I didn't really promote the Santa idea with my son Eric. Some of it was rebellion against the increasing commercialism of Christmas. Some of it was practical - I felt the Santa myth set up unrealistic expectations on the quantity of Christmas presents to be received, and our budget was very tight when Eric was little. His paternal grandmother did take him to see Santa in 1989, when he was three-and-a-half, resulting in this lovely picture.
© Amanda Pape - 2009