Yesterday's Magazette

11 – Granddaddy Santy Claus

By Brenda Kay Ledford

I was 8-years-old and I remember that Christmas well. Snowflakes twirled to the ground like feathers and splashed on Granddaddy John Lee’s kitchen window.  Beside the refrigerator, dozens of Christmas cards formed the shape of a Christmas tree on the wall. The kitchen table was loaded with goodies. Granny Trease started baking for the holidays in November. She made from scratch a black walnut cake, dried apple stack cake, and a fruit cake. She also fixed gingerbread men, fudge, brownies, candy and lemon bars. What a feast!

As time passed, Granddaddy got more anxious to leave

for the Christmas play. When the clock stuck six, he yelled, “Hurry up, old woman. We’re going to be late for the Christmas play.”

“Hold your horses, old man,” said my granny. “The play doesn’t start until seven.”

“I know, but the younguns will be looking forward to seeing Santy Claus. By the way, where’s my Santy Claus suit?”

“It’s just where you put it, Darling.” Granny shuffled into the bedroom, got Granddaddy’s suit off the bed and gave it to him. “How does that suit you?”

“Where’s the Christmas presents, Sweetheart?”


“They’re just where I put them,” said Granny, “on the table in the box.”

Granddaddy dashed to the table, put his Santy Clause suit into the box and yelled, “Hurry, old woman, we’ll be late to the Christmas play.”

So Granddaddy and Granny climbed into the long, green Buick. Granddaddy drove up Tusquittee Road to the Christmas play. By the time they got to Shiloh Baptist Church, it was plum full of people. Some folks slid over and made room for them on the back bench.

Before the play, the congregation sang carols. You could hear Granddaddy singing all over the church with his bass voice his favorite song. I joined him singing, “Oh, little star of Bethlehem, shine on, shine on…”

Just before the play ended, Granddaddy slipped out the backdoor and found a place to put on his Santy Claus suit.

Directly there was a loud knock, knock, knock, on the backdoor. One of the deacons opened the door. Santy Claus charged into the church. “Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Have you been a good boy, son? How about you, little girl? Have you been good this year?” As Granddaddy walked down the aisle, he handed out pokes of treats to each child. I looked in my bag and found an orange, an apple, peppermint candy canes, chocolate drops. and hazel nuts.

After Granddaddy finished passing out the treats, he said, “Ho! Ho! Ho! Come up here, children and I’ll tell you the true story of Christmas.”

And as Granddaddy told about the birth of Jesus in the manager at Bethlehem, the star on top of the Christmas tree sparkled and spread its light of love across all the children gathered about Santy Claus.

*Brenda Kay Ledford is a member of North Carolina Writers’ Network, North Carolina Poetry Society, and listed with A Directory Of American Poets And Fiction Writers. Her work has appeared in Yesterday’s Magazette, Asheville Poetry Review, Country Extra, and other journals. She received the Paul Green Award for her poetry chapbooks: Patchwork Memories, Shew Bird Mountain, and Sacred Fire.

Vol. 37 No. 4 – Yesterday’s Magazette – Winter- 2010/11


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