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Where's Santa?

Laros catch meddlers.

Our house in Washington, D.C., had a steep staircase to the second floor. Two-thirds of the staircase was open to the living room except for a wrought iron railing. The upper third was hidden by a wall. Two small children could easily hide on the first step behind the wall and see what was happening below.

When I was about five, my brother and I crept down the stairs on Christmas Eve. The Christmas tree was lit in the darkened
living room and looked magical. My daddy put his old Lionel train under the tree and it puffed around the track. My daddy and mom came from the dining room to put some wrapped presents under the tree. Their presents were always practical like socks, scarves and mittens.

Where's Santa? Santa never wrapped anything because he was so busy. But he left the best toys! Much to my dismay, daddy wheeled my doll carriage into the living room. The doll carriage was my wish to Santa only a few weeks before. It didn't help that my mom put a new doll in the carriage. The doll was blonde and would never be my favorite.

I looked at my brother and mouthed, "Why didn't you tell me?" All I remember was his grin. My mom always said at Christmas,
"Laros catch meddlers." Whoever Laros was, he sure caught us in that moment. The myth was revealed, but we still put out cookies for Santa for many years to come.

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