The aroma of freshly baked chocolate chips cookies lingered in the house long after my mother had tucked us in for the night.
Snowflakes hit the windows in our bedroom beckoning us out to play but they would have to wait for another day. Sleep was what we needed to do before he arrived. I could hear the logs in the fireplace crackling and Niko’s soft sighs as he settled into his soft puppy bed for the night.
Ten cookies sat next to a glass of cold milk on the mantle. These were Santa’s favorite treat.
My sister and brother were nestled on either side of me. Their gentle snores told me they'd already drifted off no doubt dreaming of the toys that would soon come their way. How could anyone sleep on such a glorious night? I threw back the covers and hoped over my sisters legs. I just wanted to take a quick peak.
I tiptoed to the end of the corridor and looked over the railing. The grandfather clock at the end of the corridor struck midnight. It was time! Certain that no one else was awake,I made my way down the staircase. My progress was slow. I rounded the corner leading to living room and much to my utter surprise he was there.
I watched in fascination as he gobbled his treats, the crumbs clinging to his whiskers. Then he lifted the glass of milk and drank it in one long gulp. He was just as I had imagined!
Old, wrinkled, and round!
Unable to move I gasped as he opened his sack and pulled out three beautifully wrapped boxes. He laid them carefully under the tree.
Surveying his work he turned toward the fireplace. He was ready to go. I adjusted myself moving ever so slightly so I could watch his ascent. The gentle rustling of my night coat caught his attention. He turned!
“Merry Christmas little one,” he whispered.
“Merry Christmas, Santa,” I replied.
He tiptoed toward me, placing a finger over his lips. He opened his hand and in it rested the last of the cookies. I marveled at his magnificence as I reached for his offering.