Winner of the signed copy of Sacrifice plus the $25 Amazon gift card:
Thanks, everyone, for sharing your stories here. - DB
The Christmas that made me cry - three times
It was going to be a memorable year for me, but I didn't know it yet. It was right after Thanksgiving.
I was eight years old and had heard a lot of talk at school that Santa Claus wasn't real. To be on the safe side, though, I wrote a letter to Santa during the first week of December. My dad mailed it for me, because there weren't any mailboxes we could walk to, and the post office was far away.
A few days later, I thought of something else I wanted to say. Can't remember what it was now, but it was one of those burning things that had to be conveyed. I went looking for a clean piece of paper in my sister's desk. She was fifteen years old and had stationery with roses on it and stamps in her desk. I intended to make off with a sheet of rose paper and only admit it if she noticed one was missing. (Did I mention we were sisters?)
Inside her desk drawer, I was shocked and surprised to find my opened letter to Santa, along with a half-written reply. How could she have my letter unless...? Crushed by the realization that the kids at school were right, I hid out for the rest of the day and cried myself to sleep that night. Dad caught the scent of trouble the next day, and after I blurted out my problem, he explained that Santa did exist, but not as the man in the red suit. Santa was the spirit of Christmas that made us glow when we gave presents to others and gave to charity. The letter-writing, reindeer, and all that? Something to help the "little kids" until they had grown up enough to understand. I took right to this explanation. After all, I wasn't a "little kid" anymore, and here was the proof! Eight years old might seem like an advanced age to be figuring all this out, but it was a more naive time then. When it came time to tell my sons about Santa Claus, I have to admit I went for the magic. But I talked about the way different people around the world envision Santa Claus, including some stories from other countries, so my kids wouldn't get too hung up on chimneys and reindeer. I actually think they knew at least a year before they asked me.
If only Santa revelations had been the worst that Christmas had in store for me that year! Two days before Christmas, my cat Sugar died. It was some disease; all I knew was that she had been feeling bad, went to the vet and didn't come home. Oh, Sugar! I miss her to this day. She was a sweet, tiger-striped cat with a red nose I'd loved all my short life. Tears poured from me and I couldn't be consoled. On Christmas morning I opened my presents without joy and thanked everyone in a dull voice. It was too soon to be happy. Then my mother brought something in from the kitchen, and I heard a tiny mew. I couldn't believe it when Mom settled a little gray ball of fluff into my lap. I loved Sugar Two from the instant I laid eyes on her. This time there were tears of joy.
The holidays tend to stir old memories and sometimes deep emotions. I'd love to hear one of your old holiday memories.
I've donated Mortal Path Books 1 & 2 for the Grand Giveaway at the end of this very special event. Right now, I'm giving away a signed copy of Sacrifice: Mortal Path Book 2, plus a $25 Amazon gift card so that you can enjoy even more books. I'll choose a random winner from those who comment by Friday, December 23rd. To make it easy to get in touch with you if you're the winner, please leave your email in some disguised form.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night.