As the car was coated in ice both inside and out this morning (yes, thank you whoever left the back window ajar, hmmph), I decided it was time for another Winter Wonder.

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Today’s offering is another beautiful tale of wintry magic from Leigh:

Now that Christmas is nearly upon us I would like to share, with you all, one of my most treasure memories. I could start out by saying “Twas the night before Christmas…” but I have no idea of the date. I could only have been about three years old…
It was a cold dark winters night, something or someone had woken me up, it was as dark as pitch but for once I wasn’t scared if the dark… Although I was not supposed to get up and go downstairs once I was in bed… Something told me that I had to go and find out what it was.
I crept downstairs, I could hear laughter – my parents… and someone else…
Lifting the hem of my nightdress I tiptoed towards the room where a beam of light was leaving a rectangle in the dark hallway. I couched down in the doorway hoping no one would see me. First of all I could just see my parents, they were laughing and looking towards the fireplace where a huge fire roared, flames flickering and dancing but this was not what caught my attention… It was the man standing in front of it, almost dancing as he shifted he weight from one leg to the other. He was standing so close to the fire that the backs of his trouser legs were steaming. He wore dark overalls that were covered in grease and the smell that was coming from them was vaguely familiar. He pushed his hips forward, probably to stop his trousers from touching the back of his legs which made his stomach stick out… Then I hear it… that huge rumbling belly laugh…
He had a mass of dark, unruly wavy, hair which surrounded his head like a halo… but it was the great laugh that made me realise who he was. My mum had read me stories of a man who laughed like this. The most wonderful man in the whole universe… and he was standing there in my house… minus his red suit!!!
I crept back upstairs in the knowledge that I had just discovered a secret. The most wonderful secret that and child could ever have but I would tell no one what I had learned – not even my parents.
I now knew who Santa Claus really was and where he lived when he wasn’t in the North Pole making toys for children all over the world.
He was my uncle Jim… Jim Lee – the greatest and most magical man that ever existed.

(c) Leigh Laycock 2014

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