It was Christmas Eve 1956, in a little town called Shelby Ohio. A small 1950's town when times were good, streets were safe, crime real crime not heard of very often, town population around 8,000 people. I was nine years old and my little sister cathy was 6 and my big brother 14. We lived in the downstairs of an old victorian house, our rent 19 dollars a month. of course minimum wage then was $1 per hour , Familys were close. I had so many cousins on my moms side of the family I barely knew some of them even though we lived in the same small town. On my Dad's side only two cousins and we were all very close more like brother and sister than cousins. But I regress...
My brother, and sister and I shared one bedroom. Mom and Dad the other. Brother had a single bed against the the far wall of the big bedroom sister and I shared a double bed together.. A livingroom dining room and a small very small kitchen made up our home. We had our Christmas coco which was a treat because mom had bought some marshmallows for it !!!
It had been snowing all day and outside everything was so quiet people were in their homes not going out after dark in the now foot deep snow. It was so quiet you could hear a slight whisper outside as the snow continued to fall. and the wind blew softly piling it up into deep drifts. Our town had 2 snow plows and our street had not been plowed all day as we were on the edge of town within a stones throw to the corporation limit signs. As E. Smiley ave became East Smiley road.
It was bedtime and we were excited as we were tucked in our beds and brother had fell asleep eariler as he had delivered his newspaper route having to walk the route which was over a mile long through the deep snow. It was after dark when he got home around 6pm. And he went to sleep very quickly.
Sister and I were way too excited to fall asleep right a way. We kept teasing each other by putting our cold feet on each others backside and then giggling. Daddy had to come settle us down twice. Then we knew we just had to whisper because we needed to stay awake because we were determined to actually see santa clause when he came to our house. At nine I only half believed in Santa but wanted to make it fun for my little sister and wanted to make it fun for me.
But we fell asleep... Then my brother came over and shook my shoulder and said Susie wake up.. I hear jingle bells. I opened my eyes and listened YES I heard the bells too. So I got a grip on my little sister and woke her up and then all three of us ran to the double windows that faced the road. Brother managed to get the window raise up.. and then we could really hear those bells, We were standing there with the winter wind rushing over us sending goosebumps all over us... and a spray of light snow blew in the window but we were not about to leave that spot. Comming down the road from out in the country was 4 horses 2 white draft horses and 2 dark draft horses decked out in harness with bells on them. And pulling a big black sleigh!!! The two people in the front of the sleigh were covered with a big quilt and they were dressed in red. with long red stocking hats on their heads. WE knew right then it was Santa.
And Santa and Mrs. Clause kept right on going past our house. going toward down town. My brother being the wise one at age `14 said.. You guys better get to sleep now because Santa will stop back here on his way back from town. and if you are still awake he won't come in with the toys. We quickly ran and jumped into bed shaking the little bit of snow that was on our nightgown off onto the floor.
The next morning we woke up and Santa HAD stopped and left some toys under our tree. !!!
Years later my mom told me Mr. and Mrs Clause was really Mr and Mrs katichin from a near by farm. And it seemed that Christmas Eve They made sure they traveled up and down all the streets of Shelby.because of the deep snow . And when we finally went back to school in January many of us kids shared that experience of actually seeing Santa Clause for real !!!!!
My sister is now gone but my brother called me tonight to wish me a Merry Christmas..and he brought up that wonderful night. No matter how old we get or how many miles apart He and I will continue to share that feeling of magic that night created in our hearts. forever.
Tags: Christmas Santa Eve Children Family Sisters