Stirring up memories
Yes, Katy, There is a Santa Claus
December 22, 2005
A good Christmas, I thought. A quiet Christmas, but a good one. Neither son was coming home the
Christmas of 1990. It would seem
strange, they had both missed the holiday, but never at the same time.
we’d have the carols on the Square, and know that on Christmas morning
our daughter Katy, who was then a newswriter for the Post-Searchlight would head to our house from hers in time for
Christmas gifts and brunch.
Saturday morning before Christmas, I headed out early to do my grocery
shopping. I didn’t even stop
to read the paper, before I glugged down the last cup of coffee, grabbed my
shopping list and hot-footed it to the store.
was humming “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to myself when I got
the first inkling that things were not right.
as I reached for a bag of fresh cranberries, a woman I’d never seen
before grabbed the side of my cart and dropped a bag of candy canes into it.
little thing,” she huffed.
“The least you can do is let her have some candy.” She wheeled off toward the meat
mistaken me for someone else, I thought, and shook my head.
I reached the checkout stand, with my overloaded cart, I realized, things were
decidedly wrong. A friend pulled in
line behind me.
I never. I never thought I actually
knew Mrs. Scrooge.”
you?” I asked.
looking at her.” I looked
around. She was looking at me.
she went on, “I guess you have no heart at all—that poor little
thing. Looks like you’d want to make a fuss over her—her being the
only one home and all.”
had I done? I didn’t know, so
I asked her.
the checker chimed in.
doesn’t know. What do you
think of that? Not only won’t
she have Christmas; she doesn’t even read what her daughter writes in the
Katy, Katy, Katy. What have you
No, What have I
done now? I didn’t say anything else. I wrote my check and didn’t wish
anyone a Merry Christmas.
couldn’t wait to get home to get to my
Post-Searchlight and find out.
I dug around in my pocketbook for change and bought a paper from the
dispenser as soon as I had loaded the goodies in the car. (Only those goodies weren’t
looking so good.)
found Katy wearing a Santa hat smiling out at me from Page 10A. Didn’t look too bad. She wrote about the treats she’d
left out for Santa over the years—the cookies, the eggnog. But about halfway through, I began to
understand. What was she leaving Santa this year?
“St. Nick gets nothing. That’s right, the old boy gets
his fault, she went on. It was her
mean parents. They’d (read
Mom, here) suggested that Santa might not come to visit.
deserve a stocking. I’ve
always gotten one, and the boys got one until they were much older than I.
want Santa to visit me this year.
It’s not fair.”
dropped the paper, grabbed the pocketbook, and headed back for the store. I bought everything Santa. Santa candy, Santa stocking, Santa
candle, Santa lapel pin (with a flashing nose), Santa doll, even a pair of
antlers. She wanted Santa.
She’d get Santa.
Eve she consented to sleep over, but it was a cool evening, and not just the
weather. She went to bed early, and
without a comment about the column.
(I hadn’t heard about much else anywhere I went. Mrs. Scrooge was the mildest thing I was
morning was another story. About
dawn I put the tape player outside her door, and turned it up all the way. “Here comes Santa Claus, here
comes Santa Claus,” echoed down the hall. I stood by the Christmas tree ringing
that fine old gentleman? She might
not have left him a snack, but he’d left two Santa cookies and a cup of
eggnog with the note, “for Katy, sometimes, life is fair!”
Santa coming to our house this year?
bet your boots and Christmas stockings!
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Trilla Pando is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance & the Story Circle Network