Christmas is coming. Therefore I thought of telling a few true tales from Christmases past. This is instead of another report on the usual that I just couldn’t do or a short story that ran the risk of a kind of contamination. This may end up being another excuse for a column, but it should be a good one.
If I remember correctly—and it was almost fifty years ago, so the memory is a bit fuzzy—it was Christmas Eve the week or so before the house almost burned down. Nineteen Seventy-Something. Family had come to visit and it was a warm and swell time while it lasted. Very small me was informed, as children sometimes are, that if I went to bed and slept soundly, Santa Claus would visit and leave presents! (Maybe you’ve heard something similar?) I promptly went to bed and dozed off thinking about the old poem and hooves beating on the roof and a loud, jolly, “Ho, ho, ho!”
Deep in the dark hours, perhaps after Midnight, I awoke because I heard what to my young ears sounded like hooves pounding away on something nearby. And while it might not have been “Ho, ho, ho,” loud words were being spoken. ALL excited, I hopped out of bed and peeped out the door. In the hall, all the lights were on. And all the adults were gathered around the door to the guest bedroom which was adjacent to mine. There was a general excitement about something though I can’t say it was the jolly kind. At that moment I didn’t know that someone (no names, no one reading will know and most who do know are dead!) decided it would be fun to take someone else hostage with a knife! Lost in my happy innocence, as I watched my dad and uncle break down the door, I gleefully asked, “Is Santa here?!”
The adults paid me no attention. On my own, maybe when the men carried someone (love ya!) out kicking and screaming, I decided it was a false Santa alarm. About that time, Dr. Wilson rolled up in Mrs. Betty’s sedan, the men placed someone in the back and sat on her, and off they all went to the hospital for some Yuletide sedation. I must have gone back to bed. In the morning, while I can’t remember any presents from Santa, I’m sure there were some. Later, the family departed early. And a few days later, unless it was the next year(?) (or the preceding year??? One of them…), the house did catch on fire.
No, for somewhat obvious reasons, I didn’t really meet Saint Nick. But after all these years, I still find the episode hilarious. And it’s more kind and friendly than the Christmas most children in Gaza can probably expect this year.
There were going to be a few more, but I’m suddenly worn out. I will point out that in Christian Russia, Ded Moroz or Dedushka Moroz (“Дедушка Мороз” ~ Grandfather Frost) comes to bring all the good Russian children presents. By the way, I’m informed that all the children in Russia, like all of them everywhere, are good. While some or many may observe Christ’s birth on December 25th, the Orthodox emphasis is on the Commemorative Feast on January 7th. I’m told Ded Moroz comes around, in between, on New Year’s Eve. I’m not sure if that is to separate the Sacred from the secular, but I kind of like the whole scheme and plan to investigate. How would a Western Christian transplanted to a place like Moscow react to and treat the calendar differences? Well, if it was me, I plan to celebrate both dates and every day between them!
Here’s an astounding walk-around look, from last year, of how they celebrate the Christmas Season, Red Square style:
Here’s a preview of the surrounding streets this year:
Now, we’ll close with a little Christmas music minute!
Next week there may or may not be some Christmas fiction. Stay tuned.
Бог - наш защитник.
Perrin Lovett is a novelist, author, and small-time meddler. He is a loveable, unobtrusive somewhat-right-wing Christian nationalist residing somewhere in Dixie. The revised second edition of his groundbreaking novel, THE SUBSTITUTE, is available from Shotwell Publishing and Amazon. Find his ramblings at www.perrinlovett.me. Deo Vindice!