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By JIM “PAPPY” MOORE
IN THE EARLY 1950s, there was a popular tune called “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” I was four years old by a few months when Christmas rolled around in 1953, and my older sister was a first grader. She had asked Santa for a bicycle.
As a four year-old, my job was to tag along with my parents wherever they went, and on one particular 1953 December day, that meant going with them to a used bicycle shop in the nearest town of any size. Our little town had more cattle than people, and not that many of either.
I saw my parents focusing on one particular 24-inch girl’s bike, a tattered one that clearly needed a paint job. My dad had some serious discussions with the salesman, and some money was paid. Now what was that all about?
ON CHRISTMAS morning, I jumped up before daybreak and ran into the living room to see it illuminated by Christmas tree lights. The first rays of the day had yet to show, and no other lights were on, so the eerie blue green glow was other worldly. There in the midst of the presents sat Judy’s bicycle. When I noticed how much it looked like the one my parents had picked out that day at the used bike story, I formed my first serious suspicious that maybe, just maybe, Santa Claus was Daddy.
As soon as I had a chance that day, I began questioning my parents in the way only a little kid can. “Mama, how did Santa Claus get the bicycle for Judy that we saw at the bike store?!”
I do not recall her answer, except that she didn’t ‘fess up, and I didn’t buy the story I was hearing. At age four years, my cynicism was born.
After that, I started listening to that song with renewed interest in the words.
I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night ….
Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night.
NOW, I KNEW that my mother would never kiss any man not my dad, not even Santa Claus. My investigation began. I started interrogating my 6-year-old sister, my 9-year-old cousin, and my 19-year-old uncle. Like one of those investigative TV reporters, I exposed the ugly truth. Mommy did, in fact, kiss Santa Claus.
Merry Christmas, East Texas. You’re my Santa Claus every day.
© 2007, Pappy Moore, All Rights Reserved. Pappy Moore is a humorist, a native son of East Texas who still makes the piney woods his home.