Santa is real - Where's my bloody bike!

Ho! Ho! Bloody ho!

Santa is real – where’s my bike?

My Dad, although a serious hard working man and tough with discipline must have believed in making Christmas special; he kept the secret of Santa’s real identity from me for many years.

Xmas 1972

I, Cate believe Santa comes down the chimney and is more real than Jesus.

Xmas 1974

The week before Christmas Mum sits on Dad’s knee and together they read a letter.

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Dear Santa Clause,

How are you? I good.

People say you not real. I know you is and nothin gona to change the real in Santa.

my dog Judy says hello.

i want a bike and a swimming pool.

Pease thank you

Love Cate”

… Dated December 1974.

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Mum mentions my spelling.

“Santa Claus,” she spells out “c l a u s” then tells me there is no e on the end and not claws, c l a w s, that’s a cats claw.”

The card shows a picture of Santa and his kangaroo reindeer. Mum doesn’t bother about the other errors; she smiles and explains Santa cannot give me a pool because we don’t have enough water to fill one.

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Me. Cate.

I have the most important job in the world. I get to place a bottle of beer on the table for Santa and a piece of fruit cake and a glass for him to drink the beer.

Only the red label bottle. Santa doesn’t drink any other. I want to keep Santa really happy so I leave peanuts too. I know Santa loves peanuts just like my Dad. I also know Santa is not my Dad dressed up because Dad hardly ever drinks beer. It is kinda funny this Christmas-eve because Dad is having

Pre-Santa-coming-down-the-chimney beer!

Very strange indeed …

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I lay in my bed clutching at the sheet trying to pretend to be fast asleep. I know the quicker I get to sleep the sooner Santa will come down the chimney and leave my presents.

How can I sleep? I am so excited.

I doze and dream of Santa arriving …

Bells ringing wake me.

Must be Santa!

I realise in frozen fear I am not asleep. I can feel my heart pounding in my throat. Shadows bop as my eyes look rapidly around the room.

What if Santa knows I’m awake? I slam my eyes shut with such force salty water comes from them. My teeth are clenched so hard my jaw begins to hurt.

I hear words from a song.

He knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake. Better not…

What? I ask.

Santa Claus is coming … da da something!

Annoyed I can’t remember all the words I worry some more. I know I have been good. At least I thought I had been good. If I could remember the words to that song I might have more clues on what to do about not being asleep. Then I ask what’s good? What’s bad? A heap of questions toss around in my head and visions of Santa, presents, reindeers, lemonade and lollies keep me awake.

The house is quiet.

What if Santa can see me? I dare not move and try to stay dead quiet. I place my hands over my eyes. Yes. Eyes are shut. I wander if Santa knows the sound of someone sleeping so I search for a way to sound like I’m asleep.

I hold my breath and realise this won’t work for long and try to breath slowly - like sleep. Seconds seem like hours. I open one eye, nothing but shadows and not a sound. I open the other eye. I hear nothing not even the Buffalo breeze which usually wafts its way into my bedroom window to cool me down on hot summer nights like these.

Finally I see the slightest hint of daylight. I must have fallen asleep at some stage during the night I can’t remember when.

I wake bright eyed and bushy tailed, alive, feisty, excited, jump out of my bed. Surely Mum and Dad would be up too. I can see the slightest hint of daylight. I check the clock on the lounge wall. I decide 4 am is a good time for opening Christmas presents.

I dare not peek at the presents. I’m a good girl. Maybe a little look, a feel. I pick one wrapped in blue paper with angels all over and rattle it just a tad. My adrenaline pumps. I carefully place the present back under the tree. I run into Mum and Dad’s bedroom jump on the end of the bed and exclaim,

“Santa’s been, wake up, Santa’s been!” bouncing up and down so hard on the bed no one could possibly sleep, except Dad. He doesn’t even stir. He sleeps through my efforts to wake him. Mum rolls over and lifts her head slightly from the pillow looks at the clock and groans. Her voice sounds unusually deep and muffled. She says,

“C … ate …eee, it’s 4 in the morning, go back to bed. It’s too early.”

“Oh, but Mum Santa’s been already!”

“Now!

You’ll wake your Father” the threat sends me racing back to bed faster than a cut snake.

Back in my bed I pull the sheet up to my neck to stop the mosquitos biting my legs and arms. I take the sheet and wipe the beads of perspiration from my forehead and wonder why I have to wait so long to open my presents.

Eyes wide, I gaze up at the ceiling and see shapes in the shadows as the light creeps into my bedroom. I see scary, spooky faces, kangaroo reindeers mixed with witches holding wands and broomsticks, evil little men, fairy floss and lollies. One moment I’m scared out of my wits, the next I’m excited about Christmas.

My mind reverts back to that important question. What time is it now?

I jump out of bed, go to the clock in front of the lounge and sadly drop my shoulders as I read 4:20 am.

Drats! Still too early.

Back I go to bed.

This continues for the next half hour.

What was wrong with 4 am? It’s now 5 am for sure.

I check the clock again.

Nearly 5 am. Better than 4 am. Off I go back into Mum and Dad’s bedroom.

This time I Sneak up, crawl onto the bed ever so gently, quietly and take a peek at Mum’s closed eyes. Dad mumbles something I can’t understand but Dad’s scary so I sneak back out of the room and wait to 6 am.

At 6 am on the dot I rush into Mum and Dad’s bedroom yet again and know I am safe this time. Dad is always up at six so he would be awake.

I make Mum and Dad a cup of tea and take it into the room. Then I realise my mistake, it may take too long for Mum and Dad to drink the tea so go to the tree and get some of the presents and bring them back into the bedroom dumping them on the foot of the bed.

“Can I open them now?”

“Oh I suppose so” says Mum.

I tear the wrapping from the first parcel. Socks, pants, shoes and a tank top with a card, love from Mum and Dad.

I try to look impressed “Thanks Mum, thanks Dad” as I smile without any real joy in my eyes.

Excitedly I open one present then the next. I look briefly at the pictures of a book and move to next present. A smile lights up my face as I stare in awe at the long blonde hair of a Barbie doll “her legs and arms can bend.” Mum smiles. Then I look up and catch a glimpse of something sparkling out our glass doors.

“What’s that sparkling Mum?”

With an excited emphasis Mum says, “Ewoooh! I don’t know? You better go and have a look”

I run outside and find,

“My bike! My bike! Santa got me my bike” with a smile that could light up a whole world.

The end.
Zakgirl Copyright ... 2nd December, 2004.
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