YouTube, I heard very loud music outside, which was highly unusual for my quiet neighborhood.
I glanced through the drawn shades and saw flashing red and green lights. It was Santa!!! On a huge sled. OK, the sled was actually a truck, but the truck's bed was decked out with lights, snow, reindeer and Santa himself!
"Santa's here!" I shouted, more excited than the kids could have ever been! The Boy ran in with a train in his hand and with his huge eyes filled with wonder. He repeated, "Santa's here?"
"Quick!!!" Me again. "Get your shoes on!!!!" But who had time for shoes! I stepped into (on to, really) mine, grabbed The Boy and ran out to meet Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, as he is more commonly referred to here.
It was cold, but not too cold. The music was loud and the lights were bright. It was magic! Santa asked his usual question and The Boy answered, "Ummm, a toy." Santa gave him a lolly (a sucker) and patted his head.
Through the front door I had left standing wide open, I watched the girls scramble for their shoes and coats. Nature Girl was the first out and I left her with Santa when Little Rose seemed to run into some trouble. I could tell by her waving arms and exasperated expression. And the fact that she was calling me. She couldn't find her shoes...
Never mind shoes! Santa had other houses to visit! I grabbed her and swung her up on my right hip. The Boy on one side and her on the other, we ran back out to Santa. Nature Girl was taking her lolly and making room for her sister.
Santa asked his usual question again. Little Rose answered blankly, "I don't know." She got a lolly anyway and encouragement to write a letter when she decided.
We watched and waved as Santa's sled backed up and out of our cul-de-sac. A smile was plastered on my face and the spirit of Christmas hit me hard. What a moment! Santa actually came to my house. Oh, how I wish I could have snapped a few pictures, but it is a vision I'll never forget.
How amazing of a community is this when Santa actually drives through the village and visits every neighborhood around? It was so delightful! That's not a word I use very often, but it is the best to explain how I felt - absolutely filled with delight!
I was surely the most excited of us four. The girls went back to their video, enjoying their suckers. The boy and I danced around happily telling each other how fun that was. We excitedly told Papa all about it when he walked through the door minutes later (he passed Santa on the street!)!
I was so joyful. Nothing dampened my spirits that evening. Not even when the girls explained to me all the reasons why that couldn't have been the real Santa. Not even when Little Rose explained with a tinge of annoyance that she had already, "posted a letter to Santa," on a school trip to the Post Office and he should have received it last week! Nothing.
I love Christmas for what it truly is - a magical, special, time of love and celebration.