CHRISTMAS FEATURE – It was Christmas 1962. We lived in a small apartment in the projects of Boston, Mass. There was my mother and six of us little urchins, while my dad was serving in the Army in Okinawa. I was 3 1/2 years old.
My mom had done her best to decorate the tiny living room that housed the sofa she slept on and our sweet Magnavox console. She’d set up a cardboard fireplace and put our stockings on it, and for years we had the red taffeta tabletop tree with little decorations on it. We also had a real tree that year, courtesy of one of my many uncles.
My mother encouraged us all to go to bed early that night, even though The Outer Limits was going to be on. It took a while for us to settle down and finally fall asleep, but at some point in the middle of the night, I climbed out of the bed I shared with my sister. I’d heard a noise and wanted to see if everything was okay.
I can remember very clearly walking down the short hallway in my footie pajamas and standing at the entrance to the living room. My mother was asleep on the sofa, pink curlers in her hair, and there stood Santa Claus, just getting ready to leave the apartment. I gasped and whispered, “Santa!” He turned to me and smiled, then put his fingers to his lips and said, “Shhh..!” and motioned with his hand for me to scoot, then he went out the door. I turned and ran back to my room, scrambling up into the bed and pulling the covers over my head. I fell asleep at long last, and was the first one up in the morning, shaking my mother to tell her I’d seen Santa Claus.
I had that experience over 50 years ago, and it’s been as crystal clear ever since then. Was it real? It certainly was then, and I’ve never doubted it for a minute!
Submitted by: Ellen Lambert
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