Did you ever send a letter to Santa? Yes I did and I probably had the Sears Christmas catalog right next to me as I was writing. I remember one year my mom cautioned me about asking for too much. I had to go find an eraser. We also left homemade cookies out on a plate with a glass of milk. We didn't have a fire place so couldn't understand how Santa could get in our house. I think mom said they left the front door unlocked for him. Hmmmmmm.
Did you ever visit Santa? Yes, and no. My poor mom, she would tell us about Santa visiting the local department store, Crawford's on North Avenue. She'd get my brother and I all dressed up for the Santa photo. She already had my sister's Santa photo so it was now my brother and my turn. We walked to the store holding hands, through the revolving doors, then up the stairs and through the aisles. I could see the top of Santa's red chair and could hear him talking. But for some reason, the closer we got, the more I hung back.
My mom and brother were already talking to Santa and my mom turned around for me and I was GONE! That guy scared me, I was literally shaking. I was down those stairs and almost to the front of the store when I heard my mom calling and calling for me. I looked back and she and Santa were on the platform of the stairs looking for me. I called to her at the top of my little voice, "I'm over here, by the door." By the look on mom's face, I knew I was in trouble. Try as she might she never did get a photo of Santa and me.
When I was 21 and living on my own, a couple of women I worked with took me to The Broadway Department Store on our lunch break and I finally sat on Santa's lap (though I was still nervous) and had my picture taken. I gave the picture to mom for Christmas that year and signed it, "To Mom, from the one who got away, Love, Gayle."