Worn with years of love, this little man has had a place of honor on our family's Christmas trees as long as I can remember.
I was an Air Force brat, so there were a couple years that we were without my Dad on Christmas. My Nani opened her arm and her home to us ( Mom and kids) and provided a stable and loving home while Dad was away.
I remember one Christmas in particular when I was 8 years old. It was during the Cuban Missle Crisis and my Dad was stationed in a remote base in Japan, so we could not go with him.
I vividly remember trimming the Christmas tree that year. Nani gently unwrapped Christmas balls and little glass houses and a little Santa Claus that was dressed like Father Christmas with her rough, hard-worked hands. We all hung the ornaments on the tree- except for a few precious ornaments- Nani hung those herself. This little Santa was one of those treasures. He hung high up near the top of the tree, centered in the front like a place of honor. My mother had watched Nani do this since she was a little girl.
That year my Dad sent us a Christmas package from Japan. I got a yellow kimono jacket. Each of us got something special from Dad. Eventhough it was very hard on my Mother, I never felt the strain. She had wonderful support from her loving Mother.
One of my very favorite Christmas carols is "I'll Be Home For Christmas", it always reminds me of my Dad.
The little Santa eventually got passed down to my Mom, and she also gave St. Nick the place of honor on the tree, up hight- up front. I remember, as a teenager, loving to trim the tree and watching my Mom unwrap Santa, like her Mother. She carefully hung him on our tree, just like her beloved Mother before her.
Now I have the little Santa. So old and worn and loved!
Just like the two generations of wonderful and loving women before me, I too unwrap the Santa ever so carefully. But when I do, out of the paper flutters memories of Christmases long past. I hang him up high and up front in the place of honor on our tree. My children have seen me do this for years and years. I tell them about the memories the little Santa brings back to me. But his reppertoire has expanded. He now has over 80 years of things remembered and memories to tell. It expands over 4 generations and scores of people!
Nani and Dad have gone to heaven. The little Santa reminds me of them. It is a tangible and visual link to the past. I remember Nani's kind generousity, constant stability and unconditional love. And as for Daddy ( that's what I call him), Santa reminds me of a time when he was very, very far away but still very near to my heart!
Thank you Beverly for hosting Pink Saturday, and asking us to write about a "pink childhood memory".
This was a gift to me- remember family I love so dearly!
Go see all the other pinkies at How Sweet The Sound.