When I was 16 years old I drove a powder blue '77 Plymouth Scamp. My license plates said 'KK-10'. Everyone in a 25 mile radius knew my car. I loved that car and many of you reading this probably did too, hehehe....but I digress.
During that time, my eldest sister and her husband owned a group home for mentally ill adults. Every year my sister would ask my father to dress up like Santa and hand out the gifts at the resident party. He usually would change into his Santa suit in the garage and then go in and hand out the presents. Well this one year in particular, he decided to dress up at home and have me drive him from Cromwell to Haddam, in my car.
See where I'm going with this?
So there we were, just the two of us again, driving down Route 9. Me driving. Daddy in the passenger seat. Dressed in full Santa regalia. Ugh.
He had a bell in one hand and his cassette player in the other. (He had made a mix tape of Christmas songs to play while handing out the gifts. This was high tech back then, kiddies!) He was waving to anyone and everyone as we drove the 25 minutes from our house to the group home, ringing his bell the entire time. He was laughing and 'ho-ho-ing' the whole way, really getting into his part. People were beeping their horns and waving as they passed us. I was trying to shrink down in my seat as low as I could.
I was humiliated and amused at the same time. I don't think any of my 'cool' friends ever saw us. Thank goodness...
Although I thought this was the most embarrassing thing ever to happen to me at the time, it has remained my favorite Christmas memory. I can still hear my father laughing, having the time of his life. I would be humiliated all over again to see him that joyful just one more time. If only I could.
And yes, Kristina, there really is a Santa Claus.