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  • Martha Rasche

Others’ Christmas Memories

I recently came across some notes I took a few years ago during some “Remember When” discussion groups I led. They are just too good not to share.

Mary, born in 1932, remembers drawing names for a gift exchange at school; the price limit was set at 25 cents.

In a school Christmas play, Art had the role of Jack Frost — and was so scared he wet his pants on stage. He was better suited to his seasonal role at home, where each year he painted a row of cedar trees in front of his home with aluminum paint. When the lights of cars driving by would hit the trees, they would catch the shine. Adding to the glow were the ornaments, tin cans hung with string.

At age 8 or 9, Nancy asked for a plaid raincoat for Christmas. Days before the holiday, while her parents were away from home, she started sneaking around the house to see what she could discover… When the family later opened gifts, Nancy shook hers first and pronounced it sounded like a raincoat!

For three years, Nancy was an angel in her church play. That reminds Mary of the church plays she took part in.

“That’s where I first heard there wasn’t a Santa Claus, behind the curtains. I heard the bigger kids talking.”

For Dave, it was a brother who told him about Santa Claus. “Oh, no, that can’t be true!” he cried out.

Dave and his brother were harvesting green beans at the time. “And I hate picking green beans to this day!” he says.

A young Rafe, meanwhile, begged and begged for a Red Ryder bb gun. His father said no, but Rafe held hope that Santa Claus would deliver. All hope was lost the day his disgruntled father blurted out in anger that “Santa isn’t real and you’re not going to get that gun!”

“That broke my heart,” Rafe says.

A friend of mine, raised by a single mom, had Santa Claus figured out at a young age. Where she went wrong was thinking her mom was Santa for the entire world!


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