I knew no other Santa…
Growing up in Amarillo and Canyon, I never saw any Santa Claus, but one.
My mom made sure me and Matthew Hyatt only saw the same Santa each year. We had our pictures made with Santa from the time I was a toddler until we moved to Lubbock in 1979.
Always the same Santa.
If we were out and there might be an “imposter” posing as Santa, she took us the other way. I never saw another Santa other than “my” Santa.
What I didn’t know until years later was that my “Santa” was actually a man I knew quite well and who knew me very well…
My “Santa” was actually the husband of the wonderful woman who was my “babysitter” as a child. Mr. and Mrs. Childers kept me from the time my mom went back to teaching to a little after Matt was born when I was four. In fact, I spent the night at their house the day he was born…
Marden Childers was a gardner and more. He was moderately retired when he and his wife kept me. We took our coffee together in the morning and he would let me it Cheese-Itz and peanut butter with him later in the day. He’d also let me walk behind his old mechanical push mower and let me “mow” the yard. They were awesome!
And I never knew he was my Santa Claus.
He had been doing pictures at the mall in Amarillo for a few years before I was born I think. When I came around it was just natural that mom would take me there…
My Santa knew me like no other.
He talked to me about stuff I was doing, about my little brother, about sports and he knew me.
He was Santa…
He was real.
There’s nothing better than the magic of Christmas and those who help create that magic for children. I’m so glad I had a real Santa Claus in my life!
When I see Santa Claus in my mind…. I see him.
Or maybe, when I remember Mr. Childers, I remember being raised a little bit of my life by Santa. . . And that’s pretty cool!
Here’s to hoping each of y’all have your own special Santa Clause you see when you think of Christmas!