95: Sleeping in Santa’s Finest

95: Sleeping in Santa’s Finest

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: It's Christmas!

Sleeping in Santa’s Finest

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things — not the great occasions — give off the greatest glow of happiness.

~Bob Hope

I love Christmas. By late October my thoughts are so consumed by sugar cookies and pine trees that I seem to have entered my own little Christmas world.

I have always been this way, counting down the days until Santa would come for weeks. I love the atmosphere, the music of bells and choir voices that come from every outlet, from churches to shopping malls, the oversized, gaudy-but-beautiful store decorations, the cheesy specials on TV, my family’s traditions.

We have one particularly magical tradition. It all started when I was around five years old. It was Christmas Eve, and I was downstairs excitedly playing with my twin brother, Dan, while the adults talked and laughed upstairs. Dan and I were counting down the minutes until the night would turn and it would be Christmas Day. It was so difficult to concentrate on any game!

Then, out of nowhere, our doorbell rang. My brother and I heard the adults upstairs yell for us to get it, that it must be our aunt, who was arriving late. Obediently we ran to the door, but we were confused when we flung the door open and only the yawning black night stared back at us.

My mother stuck her head out the door, murmuring, “That’s odd,” then gasping with joy as she turned her head to the bench on our front porch. “Dan and Fallon, look over there!”

On that bench was a little Christmas miracle. New pajamas! There was a snowflake-sparkled nightgown for me and red-and-green footie pajamas for Dan. And next to these magical PJs, there was a note! Dan and I squealed and pushed the note into our mother’s hands, begging her to read it. With a wide smile, my mother read the note, which said what good kids Dan and I were and how proud our mother must be of us. The note was signed with a cheerful, “See you soon! Santa Claus.”

Dan and I were obviously ecstatic. Santa had been at our door! He had left us new pajamas! He wrote us a note! We were so thrilled we could not stop jumping.

After donning the new duds and modeling them for the adults in the house, it was nearly time for bed. But, of course, Dan and I needed to make sure we thanked Santa for such nice pajamas! So, along with the normal cookies and milk (both regular and chocolate, because Dan and I could never decide on which), we dictated a note for Santa to our mother, then in our best five-year-old handwriting, signed our signatures. Dan’s was always neater than mine.

That tradition has continued for over a decade. Hearing the doorbell ring and running out to find new pajamas and a note from Santa is as inevitable a part of Christmas as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer appearing on TV.

Luckily, Santa seems to understand how our sense of style has changed as we have grown. Last year, the Christmas when we were seventeen, Dan’s pajamas included a comfortable, sporty, long-sleeved cotton shirt with plaid pajama pants. No more footies for him. And Santa ditched the nightgowns for me; this year, I got a baby blue, short-sleeved top that perfectly matched the blue pajama pants covered in smiling reindeer. The fanfare was nearly as great as that first Christmas twelve years ago, with Dan and I modeling the new pajamas for our mother with great excitement.

At this age, even on Christmas Eve, my mother usually heads to bed before Dan and I do. When she kisses us goodnight and crawls into bed, Dan and I quietly sneak into the kitchen. From a stash of Christmas cookies we choose the prettiest ones for a plate. We pour a glass of chocolate milk and regular milk. We write a note telling Santa how much we love and appreciate him. We sign our names. Dan’s signature is still far neater than mine.

Before I retire to bed, I sneak a quick peek in my mom’s room. She is fast asleep. I smile and gently kiss her forehead, run my fingers over my new pajama pants, then hit the hay.

~Fallon Kane

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