Here I am crossing a cobblestone road in Szczecin , Poland , watching a work crew inspect a paved-over section . The new asphalt is nice and smooth and the street will be much quieter when cars pass by , and the immediate area has lost a lot of its charm all of a sudden .
They repaved most of the steep narrow street behind the castle , too , only here they replaced the cobblestones with smooth bricks that try desperately , with some color variations , to pretend to look like the old cobblestones . In my opinion it doesn’t work , and kind of makes a mockery of the picturesque old road . Too bad , I say ; but no one asked my opinion before going on with these projects .
I read recently another good post from the other Dan blogger in the East about Christmas traditions . Part of his family tradition is to go to Old Sturbridge Village and , evidently , suffer some old time chill in some reconstructed unheated edifices of old . Old Sturbridge Village seems to host a comprehensive Christmastime event , though , which sounds entertaining and heartwarming for young and old .
All of this got me to thinking about traditional Christmas in my family . Just one thought to share about that today .
Every Christmas eve my parents would take all of us kids out in the Country Squire station wagon for a night drive ” to look for Santa “. We’d see him , too , usually , up there in the night sky . Well , we’d see a light at least , maybe a shooting star , or thought we saw something at Dad’s urging . What we saw , or thought we saw , was Santa , of course , in his high-flying sleigh . Did the sleigh have running lights ? More likely the light was Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer’s nose flashing . If there actually was a light .
Eventually , Santa- sighting or not , we’d return home . When we got into the house and looked under the tree …………. Yeah , surprisingly , presents ! Santa had been there when we were out looking for him . Tricky old elf , that guy !
By the time I was twelve or so , I guess , I began to see that there was a pattern to all of this every Christmas eve . Not only did Santa sneak into the house at the same time every year that we were out in the station wagon looking for him , but as we all got into the car , my dad would realize that he forgot something in the house . Each and every year . Maybe he’d forget his cigarettes . It would take him a few minutes to go back into the house as we all waited excitedly for him to return to the car.
My youngest sister believes to this day that the next door neighbor , Lance Kaufmann , would coordinate with my dad and that it was Lance every year who would put the presents under the Christmas tree when he saw us drive off . Maybe it was Lance who placed the presents and not someone else , and maybe Dad every year actually would forget his cigarettes inside the house and that it would always take him a while to find them , although I never remember another time that my dad would forget his cigarettes .
There are still a few unsolved mysteries in the universe , I guess . I’m willing to leave this Christmas question an open mystery for now . Who knows what really went on , after all ? I suppose only Santa knows for sure .