I'm not "celebrating" per se, but I am acknowledging the fact that one year ago today was my first post.
In honor of that, I'm going to tell you a story about Christmas in Rostraver Township.
Christmas means snow. Christmas is not the same without snow. (This is why I can't get into it down here.) When I was but a tyke, there were no sugar plum fairies, oh no. We had something way better.
During the evening of Christmas Eve, all the kids knew to leave a jacket and boots by the front door after getting settled in for the night. Why? Because Santa comes not only twice a year, but twice a night in the township. After dinner and dishes, it's time to settle in for some Christmas Eve television or to gather round the ole record player to listen to The Temptations Christmas. Nothing could break the feeling of the moment. Nothing, that is, except for the sound of sirens in the distance. No, no, nothing bad has happened. The sirens let all the kiddies know that it's time for boots and jackets.
After getting all bundled up, we would run out into the front yard like lunatics, all excited. Not just the kids came out. All of our neighbors were out as well. Patiently but anxiously we would wait until we could first see the lights. The flashing red strobes were getting closer. The sirens were getting louder. And finally, we could see the fire truck. And this was not just any fire truck, this fire truck had the distinct honor of carrying Santa.
We ran around the yard, more excited by the second as Santa approached. As he got closer, you could hear his "Ho, Ho, Ho" and "Merry Christmas!" blaring out of the truck's loudspeaker. When he finally got to us, the truck slowed down, Santa yelled out to us and tossed us a crapload of candy. The perfect end to the perfect day before Christmas.
I miss those days. It's only now that I can really appreciate what our fire department did for us every year. These guys (we didn't have any women) took time out of their schedules, away from their families, to make the kids happy. I don't know if they still carry on the tradition, but I hope so. I know that the next generation is growing up there now and they deserve all the happiness our little township can give them. Merry Christmas (or Hannukah or Kwanzaa, please excuse my spelling for whatever you celebrate) a couple months early. 🙂