Santa Lands on E Street
Santa Claus landed on E Street when our family was living with my Grandmother Jessie Jane Dillian.
On that Christmas Eve in Lincoln, it was so cold that the front windows of our house were completely frosted over.
That amazing night of frost only happened on that one particular Christmas Eve.
Never before and never after.
In fact, frosty windows like ours hadn’t even happened anywhere else in the neighborhood, not even next door or across the street.
But our frost was so thick that we couldn’t even see outside.
My parents couldn’t get over it and kept talking about it.
That night, our family sat in front of the tall Christmas tree that stood next to those amazingly frosted windows that faced the front porch.
Then, slowly, as we looked at the windows, I saw a circle of frost disappearing little by little.
The circle got bigger and bigger.
Big enough for two merry eyes to peek into our living room.
The circle got even bigger.
Big enough for a snowy white beard.
Bigger and bigger, until there was no mistake about it.
The white beard, the twinkling eyes, the red cap.
It was Santa Claus.
Santa’s face disappeared and there was a knock knock knock at the front door. My parents encouraged me to open the door, and when I did, there he was!
I was looking up into the magical face of Santa Claus.
He was so jolly! He was so friendly! He even knew that I’d been good!
And most amazing of all, when he asked me what I wanted for Christmas, he seemed to know all about the doll that I’d seen uptown in Demas’ Christmas window!
The one with the pink dress and little straw hat.
Was he going to give that beautiful little doll?
He said I’d have to wait until Christmas morning before I could find out.
Santa Claus wished us all a Merry Christmas and started to leave but I followed him out onto the front porch.
“Where are your reindeer?” I asked, looking up.
“Are they up on our roof?”
“Not on your roof,” he said. “They’re on a roof down the street.”
“Whose roof?” I asked, walking farther out on the porch and looking up and down the street.
“I left them on the Hickey’s roof.”
That was really too bad.
I could see the Procissi’s roof, the Williams’ roof but there was no way I could see the Hickey’s roof from our house.
Then, when I looked across the street at the Procissi house, I asked, “Have you already gone to Carol and Ronnie’s?”
I don’t remember how Santa managed to get away from all my questions or how he got off our front porch.
The last I saw of him, he was walking back down the street toward the Hickey’s house to get his sleigh and reindeer.
I stayed out on the front porch, watching and listening and looking up at the sky but I never got to see the reindeer and the sleigh.
I did hear Santa’s cheery cry a few minutes later, way off behind our house, but by the time I got to our back porch, he’d already flown away.
He may have flown away, but the next morning, I found out that Santa hadn’t forgotten about me.
The beautiful little doll was waiting for me, sitting high up in the top limbs of our Christmas tree!
Later that day, playing outside with the neighborhood kids, I was pretty disappointed in those two lucky Hickey boys who lived down the street.
When I asked them about Santa’s reindeer and sleigh landing on their house, they said that they hadn’t seen or heard a thing!
I couldn’t believe it.
What was wrong with those boys?
All those reindeer and that great big sleigh full of toys on their roof?
How could they have missed it?
I just couldn’t get over it and talked about it all day long.
There was only one other person in the family who just couldn’t get over it, either.
She listened to me all day long, smiling and rearranging her snowy white curls. She was my own Grandmother, Jessie Jane Dillian.
At the Twelve Bridges Library
Free Family Story Time: 3:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays. Includes stories and songs for all ages.
Free Mother Goose on the Loose: 10:30 or 11:30 a.m. Thursdays for kids.
Events are sponsored by Friends of the Lincoln Library. Wheelchairs and handicapped access are available. The Twelve Bridges Library is at 485 Twelve Bridges Drive in Lincoln.
This column is part of a Friends of the Lincoln Library series. To reach the nonprofit Friends, write to Box 1177, Lincoln CA 95648, contact 434-2404 or friendsofthelincolnlibrary.com