Santa who?

I never really believed in Santa Claus. My parents never tried convincing me there was a fat old man that was going to try and scooch down my chimney to bring presents. There was that one christmas when I was probably five or six though…

We were celebrating christmas at my grandparents house with my twenty-something cousins, twelve aunts and uncles, the two boston terriers and one great-aunt. (No, my grandparents weren’t mormons–they were a medium-sized catholic family growing up in the fifties).

All at once, all the aunts and uncles sent the cousins upstairs because Santa was about to bring the christmas presents to the christmas tree downstairs. Santa Claus? In this very house? We sat on the couch choking back excited giggles while we listened to him down stairs. It. was. magical. We could hear everything–the bells jingling on the reindeer harness, the thump of the presents under the tree, and Santa himself shouting “Ho, Ho, Ho–Merry Christmas!”

As soon as it stopped all the other cousins ran to the window to see if they could see him leave. Apparently we were supposed to be looking for something called a rudolph with a bright red nose. From the top of magnolia hill in Seattle, we had a great view of the city and sure enough my cousins soon started yelling.

“I see Rudolph!”

“Really? Where?”

“I see him too!”

“Me too!–wait, thats just a car.”

“No, wait! There he is!…no, another car.”

That’s right. They all saw Rudolph’s nose while all I saw were red brake lights.