ACCM 2015: Santa Claus

Today is the sixth day of Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2015!

The featured topic is – Santa Claus – and the focus is on . . .
Today is the Feast of Saint Nicholas and the origin of Santa Claus. What are your memories of Santa Claus and waiting for him to come at Christmas? What does Santa mean to you today and how do you pass along that meaning to family and to others? Post your best Santa story and your memories of Christmases past.

Santa Claus addresses parade goers atop a Foley’s canopy after the 1960 Foley’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Chuck Farmer, Houston Post

My earliest memories of ‘Santa Claus’ began Thanksgiving Day 1961. Dad took me and my brothers downtown and found a great place for us to watch Houston’s annual Foley’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Either on top of dad’s shoulders or sitting on the curb at his feet, I saw for the very first time — giant caricature balloons, decorative floats, motorcades of all sizes, clowns, marching bands, singers, and much more. At the end of the parade Santa Claus appeared and announced to everyone he was coming soon!

After the parade, I would hear the song, SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN everywhere.The idea that he kept a list and checked it twice to find out if I’ve been naughty (I was a little mischief-maker at times) or nice — was something I worried about all the time. Even though I saw everyone’s excitement about him coming to town after the parade, the concept of Santa for me at this young age was suspect — if you know what I mean!

Liv with Santa, 1961

I wasn’t comfortable telling him what I wanted for Christmas the first time we met.The look on my face in my 1961 keepsake photo tells it all! But with each passing year, I found sitting on his knee telling him what I wanted for Christmas got easier. I believed in the magic of Santa Claus until I was 10 years old and was a little disappointed when I learned he wasn’t real. Thankfully, my disappointment didn’t last very long because my parents did a great job making sure I grew up knowing “Santa Claus” wasn’t the real reason for the Advent Season!

Taylor Siblings and Santa, 1957-1963

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“The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! Learn more athttp://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.”

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Santa Claus

Visit with Santa 1957

Elgin & Jon visits Santa in 1957

It’s Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2011 and today’s featured topic is – Santa Claus! Did you ever send a letter to Santa? Did you ever visit Santa and “make a list?” Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

The concept of Santa Claus was a very BIG DEAL in my home during Christmas time. I had the pleasure of asking my brothers what they remember about Santa Claus, and this is what they had to say:

Elgin: I didn’t ever send Santa a letter, but I did enjoy visiting him when he came to town at our local department store. I truly believe it was the surprise element surrounding him that made believing in him a lot of fun. No, I don’t still believe in Santa today; I stopped believing in him at age 10.

Jon: No I didn’t write any letters or make any wish lists to Santa. I simply waited until I was able to sit on his lap and tell him what I wanted up close and personal. I really tried my best to stay awake to catch him in action, but whenever I would dose off for what felt like minutes, he would slip in and out of our home in record time. No, I no longer believe in Santa. I stopped believing in him when I turned 10.

Visit with Santa 1961

Liv visits Santa in 1961

For me just the thought that Santa was making a list , checking it twice to find out if I had been naughty or nice (yes I could be quite naughty at times) was probably enough to keep me on my best behavior  the whole month of December — LOL!! Like my brothers, I don’t recall sending letters to Santa either. And if truth be told, I wasn’t all that pleased to tell him anything I wanted for Christmas the first time I met him in 1961 – ROFL!!!

But it wasn’t long before the concept of Santa Claus began to stay with me and the thought of sitting on his lap telling him what I wanted for Christmas wasn’t so bad after all for me by 1962! I remember always staying up to see the 10 o’clock news report on Santa’s whereabouts on Christmas eve. Once they reported  when he was to arrive in the Houston area, I would hurry to bed because I couldn’t wait to see what goodies he would bring me on Christmas day . . . woo-hoo!

Visit with Satnat 1962

Liv visits Santa 1962

It seems one thing my brothers and I have in common is that we came to the realization that there was no Santa by the age of 10. Was I disappointed to learn there was no Santa? I was at first, but my disappointment didn’t last very long because the real reason for the season – the birth of Jesus Christ – became my family’s focus with our giving and celebrating Christmas with family and friends each and every year!