Last Wednesday (I think - at my age, the days all meld into one big glob), I drove into my carport and saw a bag near my door. I got out of the car and walked over to inspect it - inside the bag was a beautifully wrapped Christmas present. There was a gift tag that read, "To PJammy, from Santa Claus." The other side of the gift tag read, "Do not open until Christmas Eve."
Oooh! So exciting! I just love surprises!
On Thursday morning as I was packing the car with gifts and all the other paraphernalia I needed to take with me to California, I remembered the gift, and put it in the backseat. What could it be? Who could it be from? I had no idea - especially as I did not recognize the handwriting on the tag.
I made good time into California on Christmas Eve. I unpacked the car, and put the gift from Santa underneath the Christmas tree at my dad's place. My dad said, "What's that?" I said, "Look! It's a gift from Santa!" He picked it up, looked at the tag, and asked me if I knew who it was really from. I said no, I didn't recognize the handwriting. He said, wow, so someone just surprised you? I said yes!
After dinner, was over, we were sitting around talking and I said, "Oooh! It's officially night time! I can open my gift from Santa!" I ran into the living room and grabbed it. I brought it into the family room and opened it.
"What is it," my dad asked. "Pajamas," I shouted!
I think, though, Santa hasn't realized that PJammy gained a bit of weight this year, and the jammies don't quite fit over her humongous bum... still the thought behind the gift almost brought tears to my eyes. See... I told a few people this year that one thing I miss during Christmas is that I no longer have a gift to open on Christmas eve.
When we were young, my mom started the tradition of allowing us to open one gift on Christmas Eve. Mine was usually a nightgown or pajamas, and I LOVED that. I always had new jammies to wear to bed on Christmas eve, which delighted me to no end. While my brother's gifts were varied, mine always remained the same, and I loved counting on the fact that I would have a new nightgown or pajama set on Christmas Eve. My mom even continued this tradition when I was in the Army, the few times I wasn't able to make it home for Christmas. I'd receive a box with gifts, and one of them was always marked, "Open on Christmas Eve."
After my mom died last year, it seemed as if the tradition died with her as well.
The thing is, I know I told this story to a few people this year. My memory, though, is bad - and I can't quite remember who I told. I think I talked about it with some of the guys at work during one of our breakfast walks - yet I know none of them left me the gift. I also think I talked about it at some wine and appetizer get-together I went to recently, and yet I know none of them were Santa - in fact, I didn't know any of the people there, and they certainly don't know where I live. So... Santa really is a mystery to me!
The pajamas might not fit, but the thought that someone cared enough to surprise me with them warms and delights me. And heck, maybe it's the incentive I need to shed a few pounds... but that'll have to wait until Father Time gives birth to the New Year's baby. No sense rushing into things...