|News From The Domestic Church|
Santa’s White Christmas Instead Of Blue! –by George Bonin Sr.
The time-the day before Christmas, and Rita and I were completing some last minute errands coming out of the Apex , delicate flakes of snow were swirling in the air. “We could end up with a white Christmas,” I told my Yuletide spouse. “For the children’s sake, for once, I hope you are right,” Rita replied.. I knew the Christmas holiday season would be well-remembered , as her brother “Chick” had died during the same period last year. This would be another sad season without him,
Rita continued, “I need something to get me back into the Christmas spirit. Without Chick,.I’m left with an empty feeling this year. She.brushed a few snowflakes from her collar.. I sensed her depression. Usually, she anticipated the holidays, but I felt this Christmas might be the saddest of our many years years together,
“How would you like to stop for a sandwich, or a cup of hot chocolate? It might warm us up both up and you wouldn’t have to prepare a meal.” The idea of a warm drink appealed to her and she steered me to a restaurant on Main Street.. We managed to get a booth in the widow that allowed an unobstructed view of heavy traffic and cheery people on shopping sprees.. We ordered our drinks and muffins after the waitress had exchanged pleasantries with us.
“This is real nice,” Rita said between sips of steaming hot chocolate and bites of muffins. “It reminds me of happier Christmas times when my father would take me shopping and we’d stop at the Kandy Kitchen for chocolate or an ice-cream soda. ” But, she added sadly, “this Christmas it just won’t be the same.”.
Outside, a shadowy form moved up to the window from the street side, and pressing his face to the window so see if there was room for more inside. As he opened the door and entered,Rita gasped, “Look at that man coming in. It’s Santa Claus!”
“Cut your kidding,” I said with a smile, “and stop trying to pull my leg, but as I turned better look, I had to agree she was partially right.
A hanging red of silvery-white hair; a round cherubic face was hidden behind a full white beard. He was dressed in what appeared to be a lumberjack’s Clothing. And to complete his outfit-a pair black rubber boots.
He really does look like Santa,” repeated Rita. “Without his traditional red suit, of gentlemen removed the knitted stocking cap and rubbed his large hands to get them warm. His long hair matched his silvery beard.
“Maybe the Christmas preparations have been too much for him,” I said, as though I could read her innermost thoughts, come on George, “where’s YOUR Christmas spirit” Rita asked with a smile. ” I know it,and you know ,that he’s not Santa Claus, but the little girl inside of me wants to believe he is!
Look I said, playing along with her wishful fantasy, “isn’t that a canvas backpack he’s wearing? Nobody but old Saint Nicholas would be out on a snowy night like this with a bag probably full of toys.”
Rita looked at me reproachfully, not sure if I were teasing her or only encouraging her childlike fantasy. The elderly man walked to the girl at the counter.
“Excuse me miss,” we heard him say. “I grateful for a bowl of soup, or something hot.” “Sorry,” she replied, soups a dollar-coffee’s 50 cents.” With a pleading look, Rita glanced my way as she tugged at my sleeve. “We can’t let him down now, without something hot to eat.” “I’m with you I replied, Rita’s persistent ways.
We hurriedly put on our coats to catch the old man before he went out. He was near the door, still holding his dime.Rita was the first to reach him, as he kept staring at the coin in perplexity. Rita bent down to the floor, and as she stood up, remarked casually, “Excuse me, sir. I saw these fall out of your pocket.” The old man looked stunned as Rita handed him two crumpled one dollar bills.
At first, it seemed he wasn’t going to accept them, but almost magically, a smile came to a tear in his eye.
Thank you ma’am”, he said gently. “God bless you both.” and putting a finger alongside his nose, said, May God grant you and yours a Merry Christmas!”
Rita was glowing as we stepped into the street to make our way home, and said,I just remembered what Christmas is all about, and I think Chick would have approved of what I did,”Sharing-that’s the true spirit of Christmas. And then she turned to see the old man at the counter sipping a hot coffee and relishing his hot soup,and she whispered softly and gently, Merry Christmas, Santa Claus!” And yes, it turned out to be one of the best Christmas’s ever!
used with kind permission from the author. Copyright George Bonin Sr. http://home.thirdage.com/Writing/scriberg85/ all rights reserved by the author.
Note: (Editor’s Note: Veteran columnist and friend George Bonin faces another Christmas holiday without his close friend…and longtime companion in marriage, Rita. We dug into the files and offer the following as a tribute to her..and them.)
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