You could say I was one of the lucky ones. I knew Santa. I shared priceless moments with him once a year, every year, for about a decade. The scene was always the same. A party at my grandparents' home with family, friends of family, and friends of friends of family. Typical party fare, the usual chit-chat with the not-so-usual special guest. Sometime in the middle of merry-making there'd be whispers that Santa's bell was just heard from a distance. There'd be a hush in the room and I would get butterflies in my stomach. The excitement too much for someone so little.
Check out the look on the kid's face. That's BigBro behind shocked kid looking pretty star-struck too
As the sound of the bell clanging would get louder and louder, our grins would grow wider and wider. Santa's "helpers" would open the garage gate and there he'd be. What a vision, I tell you. Snow in his boots, trademark white beard, sacks filled with presents, a twinkle in his eyes and the sweetest smile you ever saw. I could have sworn I knew those eyes and smile from somewhere.
Santa and me (at 2 years old). That's oh-so-glamorous original Nana having a holiday drink, by the way.
Some years later when a certain grown-up-who-gave-birth-to-me slipped big time and told me a little bit more about Santa than I cared to ever know, I became his helper. I was suddenly the little elf with the big job and the biggest secret. I still got butterflies in my gut when he came. The excitement still a tad much for someone not-so-little.
Finally Santa's helper. That's me in the white dress taking my job a little too seriously.
Dear Santa, I wish the Mak-Tatos get the chance to know you the way I did. I wish my dear old Abuelo (who always had to rush out suddenly for work those afternoons) could have met you. You would have gotten along brilliantly. And I wish you got my letter thanking you for the memories.