Who? Not all cultures and religions proselytize the tale of Santa Claus.
I was told never to tell my playmates our beliefs about Santa Claus. If I
did, I would hurt their feelings. I never wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings.
So I kept my mouth shut. Nana was a good briber for me doing good.
Mom praised. I sucked it all in.
I was in my teens, I'd finished a number of colleges and disciplines.
Our super, next door neighbors had become family until death parted
all but me and their children and grands.
When the first born was four, his Dad was working nearly twenty
hours a day for all the present buyers from the fur store he was
employed. Little Sweetheart’s Mom was not well enough to fight
the crowds in Boston to take our little love to see “Santa” at Jordan
Marsh Department Store for the photo.
We had an adventure. First we took the bus. I paid and he rode
for free. He was not old enough to pay to ride on the famous
Boston “MTA”. He’d never taken the elevated train into the City that
he could remember. His perspective gave him a new view of Boston.
When the train went underground, he became afraid for a moment.
The second stop was for Filene’s famous Basement and Jordan’s.
We found our way to Santa’s Workshop and all his helpers. Our
little Sweetheart of course was on his best behavior and made
the most gorgeous photo with Santa.
In those days the photos were mailed in a week or so.
After leaving Jordan’s we walked a block to the west to the
Boston Common to see all the lights as we walked along Tremont
as we headed home via buses. He’d see more of Boston as
night was lit by the holiday scenes.
When we did get back to our street, he was having a grand time
recalling what he’d done.
I rang his parents’ doorbell, Mom answered the door.
As loud as he could, he yelled, “Mama, I saw Santa Claus.” We winked
at each other and I left one happy lad with his Mom.
Then I had to tell my Mom, about our exciting afternoon and evening.
He was so good.
He became my “date” for all the office holiday parties. All my hosts
knew I was coming and bringing him. We left home at seven in
the morning. He was dressed like a perfect English lad. Chesterfield
coat with velvet collar and the Eton matching cap, so handsome.
My job had gifts for all the children and “Santa” called each child by name.
Our Sweetheart was now confused. I said nothing, except to open his package
and see what he got. I don’t remember it.
We made other stops and each had gifts for him.
Our last stop was an art studio. One of my college classmates worked there.
That store also taught art. Our Sweetheart had the entire glass room to him
self with every kind of color set and paper imaginable.
While the adults “killed the winter chill”, little Sweetheart was having a blast
with all the stuff on “his” table.
After time had passed and the adults had warmed up, it was time to leave.
My old classmate packaged up all my little date had on his table. I had
a number of reasons to take a taxi home. I used them all at one time or
another to explain my happy grin.
The cab stopped at his parents’ door. As I unloaded him and all his swag, his
Mom opened the door. “Do you know what time it is?”
“You’ve had my baby all day long. What is all this stuff?”
“Sis, you don’t have to buy him a thing for a year”. This loot is from all
She started laughing. She knew most of my pals. She smelled my breath, yep!
Then she smelled her son’s, milk and cookies. He had had decent meals during
I carefully departed her door and steps and met my Mom next door as I carefully navigated our steps for a grand chewing out. I did not care. My little date had a grand time and I had a better time with all the foods and top shelf sips.
I may have seen Santa in my sleep that night.
Patricia Barbee © 2011
Causes Patricia Barbee Supports
Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.
Any effort to aid the elderly, children and enslaved women.