Holidays were a financially tough time for a family of seven. Mom and Dad sacrificed a lot to give us a wonderful Christmas each year. I loved to make homemade gifts for my family. They were only a token of my love for them, but my sisters and parents made me feel as if my gift was more precious than gold.
Growing up as the oldest of five girls, I figured out the truth about Santa Claus before anyone else. Yet it was up to me to keep the fantasy going for my sisters. I wanted them to have those perfect memories of childhood and the holidays. And no matter how many times we fought, they were my sisters-my family- and their happiness mattered to me.
A few weeks before Christmas, I would type up a letter from Santa and put it in the mailbox on a Sunday. Then I would ask one of my sisters, usually Stacey to go to the mailbox for something where she'd find the letter. The detailed letter from Santa helped convince my sisters that he was watching over us. It always made me smile when Stacey or Sherri would read the letter and remark about all the things Santa knew.
On Christmas morning, I could hardly sleep. I'd wake up early and head downstairs to check on the presents and the tree. I wanted everything to be perfect. Sneaking back up to my room, I would wait until everyone woke up and then when we were sitting in front of the tree, I'd mention that I'd seen or heard Santa, just to make sure my sisters continued to believe.
My sisters believed far longer than most of our friends. They still talk about their memories of the holidays when we get together. Being an older sister had its challenges but certainly had its rewards!
I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Don't forget that my own story will be re-released in January with Secret Cravings Publishing.