1946 : I was 8 and firmly believed in every aspect of Santa Claus. ” ( We were much more innocent in those days!) I was sure he was “making a list and checking it twice to find out who was naughty or nice.
I am embarrassed to admit that as my father characterized me I was a “street angel” but a “house devil.” It wasn’t so much that I did naughty things, but I was impudent and disrespectful, especially to my mother. Practicing the piano was always a battle royal.
However, keeping Santa’s list in mind, along about the first of December, I tried to act like the model child. To this day I recall the effort that took, but it was all worth while when I woke up on Christmas morning and found the lavish array of gifts under the tree. Since I was an only child, the presents were not wrapped, just displayed in all their glory. I’m sure I got more than one doll, doll clothes, games, a number of books, some dollhouse furniture , and a dress or two. As soon as I had checked out everything, I just fell apart, right back to my old ways. Maybe I was even worse because I had tried so hard for so long to behave.
By early evening, my mother said , “Dorothy, you know, on Christmas night Santa Claus makes the rounds to take back the toys from children who have been naughty that day.” Panic set in. I began crying as I hurriedly gathered together everything I could find and then took it into my bedroom and hid it all under the covers as I jumped into bed. I lay there for a long time, feigning sleep but really listening intently for the sound of hooves on the roof. I might even have been hatching a plan to negotiate with Santa should he come down the chimney and appear in my room. Needless to say I was very relieved when I woke in the morning to find I still had all my loot, and maybe I tried a little harder to be a nice little girl – at least for a few days.
Dorothy C. Judd © 2016
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