As was the custom when our kids were young, family dropped in on Christmas Eve. The winter of ’92 or ’93, their uncle brought with him a wooden puzzle he had had since he was a kid. He couldn’t remember how to put it together and hoped his nephews would help.. They were 3 and 6, I think.
As the evening wore on most gave the puzzle a try. My mother and I didn’t even attempt it. Neither of the boys could do it. Their uncle said he had given up.. His older brother, the kids father, E, couldn’t do it… Everyone was frustrated. Enter Papa, the kids grandfather and E’s Dad. He knew everything from engineering to nautical history. No one knew more than Papa… He sat down to the puzzle with the boys at his knees watching.. Nope, Papa threw it down on the coffee table in disgust. “There must be a piece missing!” he puffed.
As the evening wore on the puzzle was forgotten on the coffee table. The children pushed it aside to lay out milk and cookies in front of the fireplace for Santa. He would be sure to see the snacks when he arrived. The Night Before Christmas was read and the children sent happily off to bed at a most reasonably negotiated hour.
The adults continued their evening of conversation, rum and mince tarts. Shortly before the midnight hour, uncles and aunts and my Mom went home. Papa went upstairs to our guest room and E and I collapsed in a heap on our bed. The next day would be a long one with the house filled with more family for the turkey dinner.
No sooner had we shut our eyes than the kids were up. As tradition required they were lined up in order of height and paraded down the stairs singing jingle bells. Singing jingle bells, as everyone knows is the universal signal to the beginning of Christmas morning festivities. We opened the door to the living room, the tree lights were on and there were presents everywhere. The stockings were packed full as they hung in front of the fireplace.
Yet, with all there was to see under the tree our youngest son stood staring at the coffee table.The milk was gone. There was a small scrap of paper with a few words written on it laying on the plate where the cookies had been. Beside the the plate was the completed wooden puzzle. The note read ” Thanks kids, for sharing your puzzle. That was fun” Love Santa
There has never been any doubt about Santa in our family. We had
proof Santa exists