I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma.
I was just a kid.

I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the
Day my big sister dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,”
She jeered. “Even dummies know that!”

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to
Her that day because I knew she would be straight with me.

I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth
Always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of
Her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous,
Because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites,
I told her everything. She was ready for me.

“No Santa Claus?” She snorted… “Ridiculous! Don’t believe it.
That rumor Has been going around for years, and it makes me mad,
Plain mad! Now, put On your coat, and let’s go.”

“Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn’t even finished my
Second world-famous cinnamon bun.

“Where” turned out to be Kerby’s General Store, the one store
In town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we
Walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That
Was a bundle in those days. “Take this money,” she said, “and
Buy something for someone who needs it. I’ll wait for you in
The car.” Then she turned and walked out of Kerby’s.

I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my
Mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.
The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to
Finish their Christmas shopping. For a Few moments I just
Stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill,
Wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my Friends, my
Neighbors, the kids at school, and the people who went to my

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby
Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he
Sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class.

Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never
Went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote
A note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we
Kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he didn’t have
A good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing
Excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it.
It looked real warm, and he would like that.

“Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the
Counter asked Kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

“Yes, ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.”

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really
Needed a Good winter coat. I didn’t get any change, but she put
The coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag
Fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in
Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, “To Bobby, From Santa
Claus” on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on
Secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker’s house,
Explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially,
One of Santa’s Helpers. Grandma parked down the street from
Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the
Bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. “All
Right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.”

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the
Present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to
The safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited
Breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open.
Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent
Shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker’s bushes. That
Night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus
Were just what Grandma said they were: Ridiculous.

Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.
I still have The Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside:

Author Unknown