By Ron O’Clair
My earliest recollections of Christmas are happy ones. As a child, anticipating the coming of Santa Claus was a wonderful thing. Like most children, I truly believed there was a Santa Claus and wrote my letters to Santa asking for any number of the toys that were popular that particular year. Of course, I asked for a lot more than I received, believing in my heart that I was worthy due to my having been a good boy during the year.
It was an age of innocence that gradually changed over the years into a realization that my parents, relations and friends were the true source of the gifts that I had received that Christmas. Perhaps the best gift of all was getting to spend time together as a family celebrating the holiday season.
I say that because there were two Christmas’s that I did not get to spend at home while growing up during the time I actually still believed in Santa Claus. One Christmas was spent here in the city on Caro Street with foster parents while my mother was hospitalized and my father could not care for the younger children, myself, and my brother Donald who is two years older than me. I remember that I got a motorized Fire engine that year with working lights and siren, ladders, and all of the various firefighting equipment. That gift came from the social worker who was handling our case. It may have come from the T&G Santa through the social worker, but I seem to remember that the social worker was involved in the giving of the gift. It helped to take my mind off the heartache of missing my parents that year.
Another Christmas, the very next one I believe came when my brother Donald and I were again separated from our parents. My father had driven the two of us up to Maine to live with my father’s sister, my Aunt Edna and her children. Other than the usual clothes, the only gift that I can remember for sure that year was a bubble bath dispenser shaped like an animal that had a long neck on the plastic bottle, but it was not a giraffe, I think it was a cat. What I really wanted that Christmas was for my parents to be together and come for me to take me home to Massachusetts. Click to continue »