No one is more a fan of Christmas than I am. I love the decorations, the shopping (although now I do a lot of that online), the cards, wrapping presents, all the preparations and, most of all, the anticipation. Each Christmas season brings floods of memories, all of them good.
My family—although I didn’t realize it until I was grown—were monetarily poor. Not in spirit, though. My favorite Christmases growing up were those when I was small and we lived near my grown half-siblings in California. Christmas meant happy time spent with a large group of relatives, laughter, and presents. My favorite year is the first Christmas I remember. I was three, and that year the Christmas Eve celebration was at our home in Bakersfield. We lived in a small Spanish-style house so that meant we had wall to wall people for dinner and presents, but it was a lovely time. My brother-in-law Buster Reed was one of my favorite people anyway, but that year I learned that he actually knew Santa. Yes, personally! And because they were friends, Santa agreed to fly to Bakersfield and bring our family’s gifts early. Wow! Was I ever impressed.
Buster left after dinner to go to the airport and returned with Santa. Of course, Santa knew all the children’s names and gave each of us a gift. I received a life-sized doll in a rattan baby buggy. It was wonderful. Soon, Buster drove Santa back to the airport to fly to the North Pole in time to deliver presents to all the other children in the world. I was sorry they didn’t have the important connections our family had.
In reality, Santa was Buster’s older brother Roy. Each year Roy slipped away and dressed as Santa to deliver a present to each of us. When Roy eventually died, my half-brother Herschel took over the duty. That Santa suit was so lifelike that when I saw it twenty-five years later, it still looked perfect. The whiskers had been replaced, but the suit was the same dark red velvet/plush. The rattan baby buggy I loved was one from a rummage sale that my mom and dad lovingly refinished until it looked new. I still have the doll, although her face is slightly crazed from being stored at one place we lived.
When I was growing up, we didn’t have much money, but we had plenty of love. My mom made sure I knew there were many children who didn’t have enough food or a safe place to live, so that I appreciated what I had. We gave to the poor, so how could I have known we were the poor? LOL As this Christmas season rolls around, once again I am thankful that I grew up in a loving family with good parents.
That is my wish for every child in the world: A safe, loving home with plenty of food, education, and good parents. In my opinion, that would result in world peace.
Blessing to each of you with a Merry Christmas and a very healthy and prosperous New Year!
Bio for Caroline Clemmons
As long as I can remember, I’ve made up adventures. Okay, I admit the early creative stories featured me riding the range with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and saving the West. What a disappointment to learn that Roy was exclusively committed to Dale! Eventually, my best friend from across the street and I decided to become better detectives than Nancy Drew. We drove our parents and neighbors crazy sticking our pert little noses where they didn’t belong. About that time I started writing down my adventures, but mostly I was a reader. Not until I read Nora Roberts’ early novels did I decide to create my own romance manuscripts. My road to publishing was a lot slower than Nora’s was. No surprise there! I still read Nora’s books—as well as those of countless other authors—but now I write full time. Unless life interferes, that is.
My Hero and I live on a small acreage in the ranching and horse country of North Central Texas. Our two daughters are grown, and supportive of my writing. Living with Hero and me now are Webster, our sweet black Shih Tzu, and our two shorthaired cats: Sebastian, a large black and white tuxedo who thinks he’s our watchcat; and Bailey Erin, a shy apricot tabby. When I’m not writing, I love spending time with family, reading, traveling with Hero, browsing antique malls, and digging into family history and genealogy. Writing about strong heroes and heroines who overcome amazing obstacles to forge a meaningful life together is my passion.
Check out Caroline’s books at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/caroline-clemmons-m-638.html