As much as I preach to my two kids (ages 3 and 7) about the true meaning of Christmas, I know it’s futile. To a kid, the holidays are all about the presents, no matter how hard adults try to teach them otherwise. Heck, I was that kid. Memories of Christmas past brings back thoughts of large family gatherings including faces no longer around the table, but it also conjures up a memory of Christmas magic, dated December 25, 1984.
I was 7 and though I had heard rumors of Santa's questionable existence, I had still written the big man asking for a very specific purple boombox that I had seen in the Service Merchandise catalog. I figured it couldn't hurt my chances to make sure that base was covered. This boombox was more than a piece of electronics; it was a thing of beauty. It had a tape deck AND a radio, so I could record all my favorite songs (e.g.: Irene Cara’s “Flashdance… what a Feeling” and Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”) direct off the airwaves.
This boombox would change my life.
After weeks of anticipation, Christmas morning finally came and I tore through my gifts like a girl possessed. I could feel my disappointment mounting as the gifts dwindled under the tree. There would be no boombox that year. Santa blew it. But before I stomped off to inevitably make a horrible scene, my dad pointed out the window. There in the snow of our front yard was a shiny lump, surrounded by strange looking footprints--tracks from some exotic animal I had never seen before around Lincolnshire.
“Look, something must’ve fallen out of Santa’s sleigh,” my dad said, already getting on his galoshes. He carried me outside so I could take a closer look.
“Those tracks must be from his reindeer,” he said with conviction. He knew my belief in the jolly red suit was wavering, and he was selling it big time.
As I gaped at the markings all over the lawn, I saw it with my own eyes: a lone wrapped gift, half covered in snow, just sitting on the lawn for the taking. To Nora, from Santa.
Once back inside, I tore open the paper as quick as my cold and shaky hands could, and sure enough, it was my purple boombox—the most magical gift I have ever received.
This moment will forever remain in my memory as the year Santa (and my dad) saved Christmas.
Nora Kerr is the owner of Memoir for Me, creating custom life story and photo books.