• 63°

Christmas memory: Visiting Santa

By Beth Landry
For the Salisbury Post
One of my fondest Christmas memories is of going to see Santa at Christmas Village in my hometown of Torrington, Conn.
I can still remember the excitement and anticipation, standing in line and waiting for the big black wrought-iron gate to open. Once it opened, only a small group of people were allowed to pass through before it closed again. I would try to guess how many times that gate would open before it was our turn to go in. The wait always seemed like an eternity.
Once inside, there was another wait, standing under the covered walkway that connected two beautiful old brick buildings with gingerbread trim and leaded glass windows. There was a heavy wooden door that would open, only allowing a few people in at a time. I would stare at that door, just knowing what was on the other side.
I will never forget the feeling of walking through that door and entering the most wonderfully enchanting room. After a long wait in often bitter cold temperatures, we would be treated to the smell of pine and wood smoke, and the warmth from a crackling fire in a huge stone fireplace. The room was dark, illuminated only by the fire and what seemed like thousands of little white lights that resembled stars against a dark blue ceiling. The walls were covered with toys and tinsel, and the entire room sparkled.
And there in the corner, sitting on a big throne, was Santa Claus. I don’t remember one thing I ever asked him for, or one thing he ever said to me, but I will never forget the feeling of being in that room and sitting on Santa’s lap.
Then it was out the back door, and on to the next building. Walking through that door was an entirely different experience. It was bright and lively and full of sights and sounds. Santa’s elves, Tippy, Skippy and Elmer, were busy hammering and sawing, building toys. A little mechanical monkey would climb up and down a rope, and trains ran on tracks around the room. The elves wore suits and hats of red and green, and had little white beards and wore spectacles.
Once, when one of the elves caught my eye, he waved to me with his little white gloved hand, and it nearly took my breath away. Imagine, Santa’s elf was actually waving and smiling at me! I felt very special.
From there, we would go outside to see the reindeer. Each reindeer had his own little house with his name on it, and we would feed them carrots that we brought from home. We would stop by one of the big barrels of fire to warm our hands before going on to see Rudolph, complete with a red painted nose, and his little friend Snowflake, a fawn with white spots.
From there, we would get a chance to sit in Santa’s sleigh for a minute. The last stop would be a walk down a small path to kneel in front of a life-sized nativity. There we would listen to beautiful carols that were softly playing, and I would stare at the baby in the manger and be reminded of the real meaning of Christmas.
A few years ago, I was blessed to be able to visit Christmas Village again with my sister and her granddaughter. It had been nearly 40 years since I had been there. I sat on Santa’s lap and asked him if he remembered me, and guess what? He did!
The whole experience was as wonderful and magical as it was when I was a little girl, and I am very thankful for my wonderful Christmas memories.
If you’ve got a Christmas tale to share with Post readers, e-mail it to news@salisburypost.com or send it to P.O. Box 4639, Salisbury, NC 28144.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

‘Meet the need’: Rowan County Health Department looks to add to vaccination options

Local

Seaford is first woman in county hired for town manager position since the ’90s

Local

Colonial Spring Frolic makes a comeback to kick off museum’s year

Local

Concord City Council wants to name bridge for fallen officer, Rowan native

Education

RSS administration will recommend selling Faith Elementary property to charter school

Business

Inspired by advice from father-in-law, Angela Mills launches her own business in memory of him

Local

Rowan County Democrats re-elect leaders, pass resolutions

Local

Baseball: Memories come alive in Ferebee book

Local

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, professionals reflect on detecting abuse in a virtual world

Business

Biz Roundup: Small Business Center announces spring slate of workshop for business owners

Clubs

Kiwanis Pancake Festival starts Friday

Local

Rowan fire marshal seeks to clear up confusion, worry caused by solicitation letter

Education

Fun every day: Fifth anniversary for Yadkin Path Montessori School

Nation/World

Charles: Royal family ‘deeply grateful’ for support for Philip

News

North Carolina sites to resume J&J vaccines after CDC review

News

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Playoff time means get ready for ‘big-boy football’

High School

High school football: Hornets overpower South to secure playoff spot

Crime

Jeffrey MacDonald won’t be released despite deteriorating health

Business

Amazon warehouse workers reject union in Alabama

Nation/World

Ex-NFL player’s brain to be probed for trauma-related harm after Rock Hill shootings

Education

Duke University to require COVID vaccinations for fall term

Education

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Record night for Pinckney as East cruises; Carson wins thriller in OT