The holiday season has always been a magical time for me. The twinkling lights, the silence of a snowy night and of course, visiting Santa.
As a kid in farmtown Monroeville, where colored lights at night are separated by large fields of darkness, my parents made great efforts to take my three sisters and I to the nearby cities bursting with wreaths and bulbs.
Whether we drove down a wonderfully decorated street in Norwalk, took the train into Tower City in Cleveland, or stood in line at the Santa House in Sandusky, it always felt like the biggest event of my life as a kid.
I remember posing for pictures in Washington Park on those chilly nights, full of excitement to see Santa. We would peek in the window while in line, trying to see the big bearded man and rehearse our lists in our minds.
One time my mother dressed my older sister and I in the same red and white striped Minnie Mouse outfits for a festive night in Washington Park. All she wanted for Christmas was our happiness, a cute picture of us with Santa Claus for her refrigerator and a lasting memory. I probably just wanted a Barbie. But that year, we got something a little more special than years before- a hilarious picture of an indifferent Santa with a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old on his lap, reaching out for their mother.
I don't remember anything from this particular Santa visit, except maybe loving the fact that my big sister and I were dressed the same. But every year, when my mom brings out the boxes of decorations and photographs of smiles with Santa, this one stands out among the rest as my favorite.
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