When I arrived home, I sat down at the kitchen table with my bag of goodies. Mom was standing at the stove stirring a pot of chili. Looking over her shoulder, she said, “Don’t spoil your supper with candy. You can eat whatever you want later.”
I protested, “I just want to look at what I got at school.” Opening a small brown paper bag, I dumped it next to my cereal bowl, filled during the night with chocolate covered peanuts, vanilla creams, hard candies and an orange. Mom left the stove to look over my shoulder as I examined my new loot. There was a red and white candy cane, a bunch of peanuts in the shell, several chewy red, white and green mints in wrappers and a popcorn ball. On the way home from school, I’d gobbled down the malted milk balls.
Mom asked, “Did you get to see Saint Nicholas today?”
Shaking my head and grinning with the superiority of a ten-year-old, I said, “Nah. It was just like other years. When we came back inside from our last recess of the day, everyone had a bag like this on their desk.” As Mom sliced bread, I said, “My classmates all celebrate Christmas pretty much the same, but not Saint Nicholas. Only a few put letters to Santa in a cereal bowl like we do. Some of them set out shoes, others hang socks…” Continue reading