Sleet and snow blanketed our area unexpectedly December 2007 on a most important day, at least for three year old Taylor, our granddaughter. It was the day she was supposed to see Santa and tell him what a fine girl she had been all year. We were going to the mall which was at least thirty miles from our home and twenty of those are over curvy, hilly, two lane, no shoulder roads where roll-overs are the norm. The fortunate ones don’t land upside down in the many small creeks.
How was I going to break the news that we just couldn’t make it? She truly is fine girl. One of the most well behaved children, kind and sharing. I don’t say this simply because she is my grandchild, it was a concentrated effort of all parties involved to set limits, examples and actually provide discipline rather than have a kiddie free-for-all that is so common these days. Then it hit us-
Our local paper advertised Santa’s arrival at the nearby Harley dealership. It is located at the cross section of Hwy 44 and 50 just outside of
It stands by itself, very rural and of course has motorcycles in the parking lot. I have passed by it several times and there have been some pretty strange looking people there. I was a bit nervous; I had watched movies where Hell’s Angels terrorized towns. They rode Harleys. There were tatted up, leather capped, long hair bearded men - also women in tall boots donned in pure black leather with more than a hint of silver studding. We could get there, but would we get back? Union, MO.
It was only eight miles away, we could make it. We all jumped into the 4WD truck and headed to the dealership. I asked my husband to wait in the truck with
while I checked out the store, just in case we had to hightail it out of there. No, I’m not the brave one, I just can’t reach the truck pedals to make the fast getaway. He thinks I am ridiculous, a Taylor princess, but gives in to my request. West County
I gingerly approached the door, entered the building and what to my wandering eyes did appear . . . . . ? Sitting atop a beautiful, shiny motorcycle was a wonderfully jolly, white haired, bearded Santa donned in Santa red and white from tip to almost toe-the required black boots as the finishing touch. The pretty lady elves in elfin garb, their pointy caps all green and red, ushered the little children to Santa, snapping photos of each- compliments of the dealership. Little play areas were set up among the aisles where awaiting tots could build with blocks, play with tiny cars or hug stuffed bears.
The store had been transformed into a winter wonderland with homemade decorations of candy canes and packages high up on the walls. Display areas were filled with stuffed animals, an unusual selection with anteaters, opossums, skunks, chipmunks and squirrels, all at very reasonable prices. There were Christmas trees- the traditional green bushy variety. There was also a very special orange and black tree covered in Harley ornaments, all very pretty and quality made. Across the store was the bake sale with freshly made cookies, fudge and candies which rivaled any PTO selection I have seen. All proceeds would go to charity, just one of their many charitable events throughout the year.
I ran back to the truck to get
. She couldn’t miss this, and I couldn’t pass up this photo op! Now this is our annual Christmas event. She loves that Santa and you can tell how much he loves the kids. He takes his time with them, no rushing. He has an actual conversation with them, and also with the parents. Then he pulls everyone in for a group photo. I’m no longer uneasy around the long haired, bearded, leather capped and tatted up patrons, in fact, I would really love to have one of their leather tooled black purses complete with the silver studding but they are way above my price point! I make certain to purchase several items from their bake sale and Taylor always gets her pick of unusual stuffed animals, my favorite being the opossum. Taylor
So the magic of Christmas didn’t stop at a child’s wonder but also transformed the preconceived ideas of a grandma. Peace on earth and goodwill to all. Merry Christmas.