1962 at Macy's in NYC
This is my only childhood memory of Santa. I was a big believer at age 6 and visiting Santa on a wintry Christmas Eve, at a city department store was magical.
By the time we left the building, it was dark and snow was falling. We had time to kill before picking up Dad from work, so Mom and the 4 kids wandered.
We walked on the newly white sidewalks, till we paused at a fire station and peered in. A couple of bored firemen saw us and invited us in. We tried on hats and explored the truck. It felt like a storybook Christmas Eve.
2017 at First Colony Mall in Sugar Land, TX
Early Thursday morning, I had a spontaneous visit with Santa. It was rainy and cold and the mall was quiet. I ran my errands in a huff... I hate malls. But when I saw Santa he made me smile. He looked as bored as the firemen 54 years ago.
"Hi Santa! I'd love to visit with you, but you're too expensive!" He laughed and told me to climb around the rope. He scooted over and we sat and chatted. "So how's it going today?" He asked in the most sincere way." I told him about my favorite Christmas in New York. Santa sighed... he was from New York himself..."Christmas was better back then." He added. A few shoppers paused to laugh while we chatted a while. I was itching to take a selfie with Santa, but I told him I saw the no cell pics sign and I was a rule follower. The helper returned and looked shocked to see me sitting there chatting. "Better go!" I laughed to Santa as I saw a family approaching. We waved to each other and wished each other Merry Christmas. I went away feeling pretty amused... especially since I'm pretty sure Santa was younger than me.
Santa on a Mule in Austin
I was already on a Santa high, when I spotted a Mule-riding-Santa in Austin the next day. I squealed at the sight.
Later, Don told our kids, "I had to stop the car, or the 6-year-old would have a fit."
Don let me out and drove around the block, while I rushed over to pat Santa's mule. Samuel Grey Horse (Santa) told me his mule, Muler loved people and did a lot of charity work. A friendly passerby offered to snap a photo and didn't charge me for a $39-dollar photo package. I handed Santa a 5 to pay for some mule treats.
2 Santa encounters in 2 days is hard to beat! I love being 6! What a celebration!