This season must be bringing out the little kid in me. First I hunt up Andy's Gang and now I'm about to bore you with family Santa Claus stories. Next post will have some knitting (maybe)
Back when I was a kid Santa would come and visit every Christmas night before he headed back to the North Pole. Our entire family would get together for Christmas day - all the aunts, uncles, cousins and after the dishes were washed we kids would run from window to window watching for Santa. About 4pm we would hear a loud cow bell clanking outside and, yep, the front door would get a loud pounding knock as Santa let us know he had arrived.
We would all have to perform for him before he'd give out any presents. That is all of us except my youngest cousin. She was scared to death of Santa. Well, you can't blame her. See, Santa had a strange cloth-like face and that cow bell was really really loud. As time when on, Santa's face seemed to get a better look, less cloth-like - less scary and youngest cousin grew up enough to not be frightened.
When we got older Santa quit coming to visit for a while. Then my eldest cousin had a child and he started making return visits. One year when the girls (cousin's 2 kids) were starting to understand the "way of Santa". We knew it would be his last visit. As usual he came around the house, ringing the loud cow bell and sporting a fresh beard and no frightening cloth face. As he came in the house the little boy - Richard - from next door came running over to the house shouting with such excitement cause he saw Santa and there was nothing anyone could do except welcome Richard in and let him have his time with the jolly old guy. His thrill of the moment was so infectious that we all thoroughly enjoyed Santa's last visit to our family.