Thank you so much for sharing this adorable Santa memory with us. Your dad sounds like quite the clever and inventive man.
Take it away.
We decided to spend Christmas at my parents’ house which caused great consternation amongst my three young children.
How would Santa know where they were? And, because Gran and Gramp didn’t have a proper fireplace, how would he get down the chimney? Assured by me and their father that Santa always knew where good boys and girls were and being so magic could get down ANY chimney, we set off.
The children reviewed the offending fireplace, a circa 1970 coal-effect three-bar electric fire set into a tiled surround with a small hearth, still unconvinced that anything good could possibly come from this defection from the norm. My Dad, however, had a grand scheme.
On Christmas Eve the children watched him roll out a sheet of paper on the hearth, set on it a glass of milk and a cookie for Santa and a dish of coloured sugar strands, those used to decorate cakes, for Santa’s fairy helpers, and assured three still disbelieving children they would see for themselves the following morning that Santa could, indeed, get down any chimney.
Once the children settled down and finally fell asleep, he set to work. Taking out his whittling knife and a circular eraser, the like of which I never saw before or since, he carved tiny foot prints around the outside edge of the eraser. Next, he took his hiking boots outside to the site of his garden bonfire and pressed the heavy-treaded soles into the ground, coating them with a mixture of dirt, soot and ashes. The boots were then marched over the paper, looking for all the world as if Santa just stepped out of the chimney and walked across the hearth to sample his treats.
The little carved eraser wheel received the same treatment. Dad whizzed the wheel this way and that across the paper, running his gadget between Santa’s footprints before finally scattering some of the sugar strands across the paper, off the hearth and onto the carpet. Messy fairies! He ate the rest of the strands, along with the cookie out of which he took just one bite and left the rest crumbled beside the glass, now drained of its contents.
Thanks to dad, Santa didn't miss them after all. A treasured memory, I'm sure.
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