Yesterday's Magazette

8 – What Was Santa Thinking?

What Was Santa Thinking?

By Ingeborg Haese Knight

Christmas 1944. Due to war-time, shortages of food, toys and supplies of any kind were the norm. But two kids, my brother and I, seven and six years of age, had only Christmas on our minds. It was possible that Santa Claus would come to our house, Mother had hinted.

Feverishly, we practiced memorizing our poem, a poem for Santa. Over and over we recited it to each other, and Mother, until it “rolled off our tongue” without making a mistake. We were ready.

The overpowering scent of fresh pine needles from the Christmas tree filled the living room. Golden ornaments peeked through long silvery strands. Icicles glistened with the slightest movement of air. Twelve wax candles, clipped to the outer edge of branches, flickered with a magical glow.

All was calm, with the exception of two pounding hearts, my brother’s and mine, nervously anticipating Santa’s arrival. It was Christmas Eve, the Holy Night, here, now.

There, did you hear that? It had to be Santa Claus. Heavy boots came stomping up the wooden stairs. A rough knock on the door and HE entered the room and dropped his sack and a bundle of twigs to the floor. There was no time for us to hide.

“Ho-ho-ho, have these children been good?” he asked Mother. She nodded.

Courageously I stepped forward, in front of Santa; with folded hands I recited my poem like a speed-reader, almost tripping over my words. “Dear good Santa Claus…don’t look at me with cause…put away your whip…I will be good, I promise it.”

I kept a curious eye on Santa, his brown sack and the bundle of twigs; bad children would get a beating with those, I knew…but I had been good.

Stepping next to me, it was my brother’s turn to recite the poem. He also was in a hurry, and like me, eyed Santa’s sack.

With an approving nod, Santa reached into the sack. I held my breath. He handed me a doll made of cloth; it had cloth arms, cloth legs, and a cloth head with two buttons for eyes. This was not the doll I had wished for with all my heart. Didn’t he know that? I wanted a doll with a pretty dress, “real” hair and eyes that could open and close. This “thing” I was holding could not even sit or stand; it flopped over in my hand. I wanted to cry but didn’t when I saw my mother’s happy smiling face.

Then I looked at my brother’s gift. He was hugging a fort; a fort? It looked like the brown one we used to play with, the one we had been looking for everywhere. Here it was, but of another color, it was green, but the same fort. Still disappointed with Santa, I mumbled under my breath “This is your OLD fort, Santa repainted it.” But my brother must not have heard my angry whisper, he was so happy to have a fort, any fort, along with many tin soldiers.

To my delight, we continued playing, as we had before, defending or capturing the fort. I never played with the doll made of cloth. What was Santa thinking? That was NOT a doll.

Ingeborg Haese Knight is a member of The Writer’s Bloc in Summerfield, Florida. Her story, “Coming to America,” was published in The Second Annual Journal Of The Creative Writers Notebook in 2007. She also contributed a story to the anthology Dolls Remembered.

Vol. 36 No. 4 – Yesterday’s Magazette – Winter – 2009-2010


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: