Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ann Is My Big Sister and I Am Her Little Brother...

Did you know that my big sister, Ann Hamby King, is terrified of Santa Claus? Well there’s a bit of irony behind this story. Permit me to start at the beginning.

First, I should explain why Ann’s age cannot be shared in this essay. The reason is that a woman does not wish for that sort of info to be made public. I intend to honor that wish. After all, she is my big sister which makes me her special little brother. Thank you for understanding.

Ann was born in January 1932. My turn to show up in the nursery at St. Mary Hospital in Port Arthur did not occur till October 1935. This means that Ann was an only child for three years and nine months. Also this means that her parents (later to become my parents) had lots of quality time to spoil their only child. I think it must have been Ann’s beauty and demure personality that prompted my parents to have another baby. Probably they said, “Ann is such a pretty baby, let’s have another one.” And they did. I was that second child. I have always wondered why they never had any additional children. Is there a message to me in that continuing saga of baby talk? But I digress.

Anyway, as stated, Ann was an only child for nearly four years. Her parents wanted the best for her in every way. So one Christmas Eve when Ann was one month shy of her third birthday, Dad thought it would be great if Santa Claus could visit the house and give Ann a thrill.

He slipped on his full-length raincoat and donned a Santa Claus mask. The mask included a little red Santa hat to make the appearance more convincing. Dad conspired with mom to consummate the plan for Santa’s visit.

Dad went outside and waited a few minutes. The plan was for mom to be sure that Ann was in the living room so that when Santa knocked on the door, Ann would be available to open the door.

Dutifully, mom had Ann situated in the living room. They were sitting on the sofa and Mom was reading a book to Ann. Dad, who was waiting outside in the dark, wanted to be sure that Ann was in the living room, so he peered through the window to check. Ann looked up and saw this “thing” as she describes it, looking through the window. The Santa mask with the attached hat failed to amuse her. She began to scream. Mom consoled her and said that it was only Santa Claus.

Then there was a knock at the door. Mom told Ann to go open the door and see who was visiting. Ann opened the door and saw the “thing” standing there and she began screaming all over again.

That may not have been Ann’s fault for not being excited about seeing Santa Claus peeking through the window and knocking on the door. You see, as the web site known as “” states, “Santa Claus as we know him is a combination of many different legends and mythical creatures.”

Thus if Ann saw Santa as a mythical creature, no wonder she screamed her little heart out. Makes me almost feel sorry for my big sister, but not quite. Big sisters need a sobering experience once in a while to keep them headed in the right direction.

At any rate, when Ann reached the tender age of 4, my parents had to tell her the, “big dark secret” about who Santa really was.

Ann still lives in Beaumont and she still may be a bit terrified of Santa Claus. If you want to know for sure, just ask her…

Winston Hamby


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