...yes, I realize that Christmas has come and gone again, already. But I haven't been able to upload any pictures until this past weekend and there are some things that just need to be shared. Like this wonderful albeit fuzzy picture of my darling grandgirl Maude holding a Santa. And this Santa is the one who gets to have his story told.
Waaay back when my parents were first married (1945) they were young and eager and excited to be starting their new life together. After much confusion with my father's passport and whether or not he could come into the country to wed (he was French-Canadian) they finally had their special day. A very small affair one afternoon in church with only their witnesses there to take part. A few months passed and the holiday season was coming near, like all young couples they struggled to make ends meet and had few luxuries. My father worked three part-time jobs and my mother worked full-time so they could save money to buy a house, yet things were still difficult. I can only assume they had a "Charlie Brown " Christmas tree and a few decorations, that I still have, but were still full of the Christmas spirit. Living in New York...what could be more festive at Christmas?
As I said, my father worked three part-time jobs one of them being a banquet houseman at a uppity up hotel in the city. Banquet housemen set up banquets, set the tables, acted as servers and then cleared up afterwards. Oddly enough when I first met my husband to be he was working as a banquet houseman in a fancy schmancy hotel in our big city! Anyway, after this particular Christmas party was cleaned up these Santa Claus were sitting on the tables. They had been part of the centerpieces along with flowers, candy canes, and small toys. The man in charged told my dad that if he wanted to take one he could, otherwise they would be thrown out. (!) And so we had a Santa, my parents first real decoration who was carried to dozens of different houses and set up every single Christmas. He is made of wood, meticulously carved with wonderful facial features. A small turned up nose, rose cheeks and of course sparkling eyes. He has a 'real' beard which has turned it's own special colour over the years, a big round belly, black boots and the red outfit. He really is a treasure and everyone of us kids loved him.
We used to joke with our parents that they needed to put visitation directions into their will because non of us would ever want to share him. And true to form we tried to act like grown ups and decided he would rotate around to each of our houses alternating every year. As you can see I have him, he lives with me...not for the reasons that seem obvious though. That's another story.
This picture means more to me than any words I could say. My parents didn't live to see their grandchildren grow up and have their own families. Maude would be their great-grandchild, or as she says, 'gamma-gamma.' My lovely son's girl holding the Santa that brought so much joy to our family...my parents would be over the moon. As for the grandboy? He ran screaming from the room and wouldn't come open presents until Santa went into the closet for the afternoon. Maybe next year.