Monica Broussard

Christmas Is In the Heart

 

Who Loves being in the snow for the Holidays? Me Too…..

One Long Weekend--A little over ten years ago--My husband and I decided to take a drive up to the local mountains-- to look for some property to build a cabin.

After looking around the mountain for three days-- without much luck-- We made the decision to head home. On our way out of town, we saw a forested area we had passed the day before. 

We turned off the highway and drove to the end of the first cul-de-sac. A For Sale sign had been posted on one of the vacant lots. The land was covered with pine trees, already fenced and seemed fairly level where our grandkids could play.

A box hung on a tree with the flyers that had the price and description-- 4.9 acres and priced within our budget. We jumped at the opportunity.

 

The second Christmas season after the cabin was built, our son Kevin and daughter-in-law Rebecca planned a holiday reunion with their high school friends and families.

Rebecca, an elementary school teacher, is quite proficient at planning events. She instructed the parents to bring Christmas presents for their children so that Santa could hand out specific gifts.

 She had arranged for her twin sister’s husband, Steve to be Santa Claus. When the time was right he would be sent upstairs to get dressed in a Santa suit. Then he would descend the back stairs and go out into the woods. With a string of bells in hand, he would appear with the bag of designated toys on his back to hand out to the children.

 

I remember feeling relieved that day-- That the skies had been clear. The young families driving up would not have to navigate the mountain roads through bad weather.

Everyone was having a great time --- They rode on the zip line out behind the barn; played in the woods and took hikes down by the stream enjoying the beautiful sunny weather.

Periodically through the day Rebecca would tell the children to be good and listen because Santa was going to be stopping by—

As the day came to a close, she eventually gave the signal to her twin sister, Rachel, to have her husband, Steve, start to prepare. 

Rebecca started prepping the children for his arrival. In a sing-song voice, she announced, “You know Santa is going to be here sooon--” Walking over to one of the windows in the nook she placed her hands around her face and pressed up against the glass. “Is anyone looking out the window for Santa’s sleigh?”

The kids rushed to her side,

“Do you see him? Do you see him?”

“Noo, not yet-- Let’s go look out another window.”  She walked around the table to the window on the far side of the television room.  Looking out past the deck with a trail of little heads bobbing behind her, she said, “Nope. Nothing yet--.”

 

I watched as she turned to cross the room toward the front of the cabin and took a glance at the top of the stairs where her twin sister stood giving her the signal that Santa was ready--.

 

“Okay—wait-- I think I see him--.”

All the kids started to squeal pushing each other for their turn to press up against the glass.

 

“Can you see him?” she asked. “Oh, wait-- I think that is just the neighbor’s wagon with lights on it. Santa isn’t going to come until it starts snowing anyway.” 

 

When she said this, I thought, “Oh No-- Bec-- You shouldn’t say things like that.”

 

She continued, “Okay let’s watch for the snow-- when it starts to snow we know that Santa is here.”

I observed the children start to circle the room in a counter-clockwise motion, running from window to window. The pitch of the squeals and laughter coupled with the excitement in the room was palpable.

Then to my surprise, I could see what seemed to be a small snow flurry outside. I went closer to the window. “It’s snowing!” 

 

Just as I made the announcement, the snow began to come down harder and the kids began to scream, laugh, whimper and cry. 

 

I couldn’t believe my eyes it had been a clear beautiful afternoon and now it was snowing.  As the pitch of the delirium went up the snow came down harder.

 

Rachel stepped up to the big eight-foot slider and opened the door. “Shh-- Quiet” she instructed. “Quiet.”

 

The room became very still. The snow came down in a blanket as we all stood looking out int the snowy curtain in silence. All you could hear was the rustling of the pine trees in the distance. 

 

Then we heard the faint sound of bells. The tinkling became louder--.

 

Then we heard the first sound of a boot on the step. We couldn’t see him-- but we could hear him-- climbing the stairs-- with his bells.

 

We all watched as a man in a red suit with his hair and beard covered in snow burst through the white veil carrying a bag over his shoulder.

Cresting the stairs he crossed the deck into the cabin.

The kids started back peddling as he entered the door. Tripping over each other; one of the little ones fell and had to be picked up.

 

Santa shook off the snow and gave out a jolly, “Ho, Ho, Ho-- Have you been waiting for Santa Claus?”

The children squealed in delight.

 

He reached into his bag and pulled out the first gift and called out the name.

The look on the child’s face was priceless.

Sitting down on the couch he handed the gift to the child and asked him to open it.

“Is this what you asked for from Santa?”

“Yes! Yes!” the child answered.

“Ho, Ho, Ho.” Reaching back into his bag— He said, “Who’s next?”