Santa’s On His Way

Santa and Jessi's little girlBy Judy Berman

Strands of twinkling lights, resembling icicles, dangle from the eves. Christmas trees put on a colorful light show, dance and serenade the neighborhood as I stroll down memory lane.

This time of year, more than any other, is when my mind races back to Christmases past when I was young, and when my children and grandchildren were little. I can’t say for sure who was more excited.

Their countdown to Christmas began before Thanksgiving. Every sighting of Santa only added to their breathless anticipation.

Christmas trees

We’d hit the mall and line up to have their photos taken with the Jolly Old Elf. From a little one’s view, he’s a big guy. Some kids wail. Some squirm to avoid sitting on his lap. Others come prepared with a list, requesting gifts for themselves or someone in their family.

I was reminded of those days when I saw a photo of Abigayle, Sean and Jessi’s girl, sitting on Santa’s lap.

Bright blue eyes full of wonder, Abigayle was in awe as she stared up at the bearded, kindly, grandfatherly gent in the red and white suit.

Her plans to ask for anything for Christmas hit a snag. Maybe, Abigayle was too star-struck to do so. Or, perhaps, the obstacle was: she couldn’t. She’s only 11 months old and her vocabulary is limited to: Mama and Dada.

How I envy her parents and all those who are building memories with their little ones.

This is a season that engages all the senses.

For those now experiencing their own Winter Wonderland, there’s a chill in the air as snow blankets the trees, houses and yards. Logs crackle in the fireplace. The smell of apple pies cooling on the counter is just one of the many tasty temptations this time of year.

Christmas and cookies

My favorite part, when our girls were little, was when we’d bake cookies. They would carefully decorate them with icing. Naturally, they had to sample a few as the cookies cooled. Then, they’d put some cookies on a plate along with a glass of milk for Santa.

They’d leave a short note for Saint Nick and then go to bed. As Nat King Cole sings in “The Christmas Song,” “Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow will find it hard to sleep tonight.”

In the morning, they’d rush to check out the gifts under the tree and they’d pause to read Santa’s note to them.

Our wish for you and yours, like the song: “Although it’s been said many times many ways, Merry Christmas to you.”

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-15. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider,, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Music video: Nat King Cole singing “Christmas Song” 

Main Photo – Santa and Abigayle – Sean and Jessi’s girl, photo permission from her parents,  Dec. 2013

Photo – Christmas trees – taken Dec.9, 2007, by Sjncousin

Photo – Christmas and cookies – taken Dec. 23, 2010, by Till Westermayer from Freiburg, Germany

  1. Awwww! Christmas is a time for memories. My last post was similar in topic. Those cookies look darn good. I am resolved not to make any this year and every day it’s a struggle. It’s just not Christmas without these traditions.

    1. Your post has very sweet memories, Kate. I miss those times and traditions as well. The photo of those cookies are about as close as I should get to them, but I had a boatload of cookies and treats that co-workers brought in. Next: resolution #1 – get exercise. 😉

    1. The photo reminds me of Hanover Square as well. What a pleasant walk – no matter the time of year. Thank you for the compliment, Mark. It’s always great hearing from you. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  2. What a delightful picture, Judy! Abigayle’s first stare-down with Santa is absolutely wonderful.
    And I loved the tradition of baking and icing cookies. We rarely ‘iced’ cookies, even at Christmas, as it required too much cleanup afterwards, and sometimes hair-washing, too!
    Christmas blessings for you and your family.

    1. I’d love to know what Abigayle is thinking. She’s just adorable as she studies Santa.

      We made several types of cookies on Christmas: regular sugar cookies, thumbprint cookies (with jelly in the middle), chocolate pepper cookies (with whiskey), butter balls and candy cane cookies – one of the stripes was pink. There might have been others, but those are the ones I recall.

      Merry Christmas, Marilyn, to you and your family.

  3. A magical Christmas indeed. Beautiful and joyful memories. My son still believes in Santa and this year we started,” Where’s little elf?” Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    1. There are many sweet moments connected to Christmas. Some of my friends are playing “Where’s little elf?” It’s rather amusing to hear the variety of places they place this character. When “Polar Express” was popular, I bought my grandchildren the bell that you can only hear if you still believe in Santa. It’s the last box that’s opened on Christmas.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family, Island Traveler.

  4. What a great moment captured in that first photo, Judy. I remember meeting Santa for the first time and crying my eyes out. Of course, I was seventeen, so it was especially embarrassing.

    Merry Christmas, my friend.

  5. This is a beautiful Christmas tribute, Judy. You’ve shared so many wonderful memories that bring back more memories to every person who reads your blog.
    Wishing you and Dave and all of your loved ones a Christmas of love, joy, and abundance and a New Year filled with well-being and happiness. Trish Walsh

  6. What lovely memories. I share your fondness for tradition, cookie-baking included. This year my husband started a new tradition of baking the same stollen his grandma used to make. I hope one day my kids will look back on it as fondly as you look back on your baking.

    1. Thank you, but I can’t take credit for the photos. One was taken by a friend (the one of the baby and Santa). The other two are courtesy of

      I did enjoy the photos of your pound cake and chai – looks wonderful. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  7. I love these oldie tunes! Anything from 30’s to the 60’s is always heart warming especially when it creates warm feelings of snow outside and Christmasy things inside! But I have to say, some of the hits from the 80’s and 90’s really do my head in when they are loudly thrown at my ears in a card and gift shops! I suppose I have attachments of good and bad, and sometimes sad to those Christmas hits, and that’s what make the oldies so attractive – I can dream – no memories attached to those for me! 🙂

    Christmas is not quite as exciting for adults as it is for children, and there are times when I think it would be nice to have children just to appreciate these seasonal events a little more. I can feel myself fast becoming like Mr Scrooge these days, and getting a little too cynical about it all! And the strange thing about my childhood memories of Christmas is there is very little, because my parents belonged to a church that didn’t keep Christmas (World Wide Church Of God) you may have heard of it some time ago, as it’s origins are from your side of the pond! 🙂 There were no decorations, believing in Santa or presents in our home. Although I am grateful for my parents for not completely smothering all the fun with their beliefs, and did at least allow me to participate in school Christmas activities and plays, which some children weren’t permitted to – must have been really embarrassing for them to sit in a corner reading a book while everyone else sprinkled glitter on their Christmas art for Mum and Dad’s fridge!

    Interesting that you mentioned the cookies and milk for Santa – in Britain it’s always been a Mince Pie and a glass of Sherry. Just out of curiosity – do you know what mince pies are? I mentioned them to another blogger in the US the other day, and she said, “What are mince pies!?” I was surprised! Do you not have Mince Pies in America at Christmas?

    I love the seasonal pictures you’ve chosen, especially the one with the seat and the decorated trees – very lovely – art inspiring that one! 🙂

    1. Suzy, the old music does have a wonderful, nostalgic feel. But there’s many songs that come much later that I love just as much.

      I haven’t heard of the World Wide Church of God, but there is a faith that seems to have the same approach to not observing Christmas. I’ve had a few students in my classes who were not allowed to read some stories: “The Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens or stories related to Halloween. I do think that stories such as “The Christmas Carol” show a part of our culture and it’s important to know about these traditions and how it might have played a role in people’s lives. But I respected the parents’ and/or the students’ wishes and directed them to some other reading.

      I might have had some minced pie – a sweeter version that the original recipe from what I read in wikipedia. My preference would be apple or pumpkin pie. 😉

      So glad you loved the photos with this post. I was glad to have found them.

  8. Oh, and P.S.!! I knew there was something else! hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas Judy! 🎄 And despite my ‘Scrooge creeping’ I still managed to enjoy the day!! 😀

  9. Love Abigayle’s expression in the first shot! 🙂 I miss the children during festive times too, and although we try to be together as much as possible, it isn’t quite like old times. Hope your Christmas was joyous Judy.
    PS: I enjoyed your space shuttle and Costa Rica posts very much.

    1. Isn’t Abigayle just adorable? Children really do make the Christmas season more joyous. Their excitement and awe is contagious. We had a wonderful Christmas. Hope yours was the same, Madhu.
      Glad you enjoyed my other posts. Both were fun visits.

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