November 28, 2019

Walgreen’s Saves Christmas

In Cedarfield tradition, the Pastoral Care Team created this compilation of holiday memoirs by team members and residents. We will share one a day through the holidays. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Amy Chapman-Team member

When my children were young, during the winter holidays, their gift requests were always pretty predictable. Jordan, my oldest (and a girl), would ask for modest gifts. Her “go to” gift every year was always fuzzy socks. It didn’t matter the color, the length or the design; as long as there were fuzzy socks to be opened, she was happy. Noah, my son, was a little more difficult. Noah always asked for the latest and greatest infomercial, “As seen on TV,” products. We have had the Chia Pet, the Magic Pillow, the George Foreman Grill, and even Flexiseal wrapped up with his name on it under our tree. I remember as if it was yesterday; the year Noah turned seven. As fall turned into winter, and the skies grew dark earlier each day, I was growing stressed. I sensed that the holidays would be upon us sooner than I was prepared.

To my delight, I learned that Noah’s daycare center would offer pictures with Santa that year. That would save a lot of time! The best part about pictures with Santa at daycare was that Santa would provide each parent with a handwritten note of their child’s wishes, along with the bill for the photo package you were somehow obligated to purchase. I was not surprised. This year was no different from years’ past — Noah told Santa he wanted the “The Perfect Pancake Maker.” Easy, I thought. I headed to Walgreen’s, handed the cashier my coupon and was grateful to be able to quickly cross my son’s number one gift off my list. When Christmas Eve rolled around, I had a sense of peace. The cookies were made, the house was decorated, and the presents were wrapped. At 11:00 p.m., my husband and I tucked our precious children in bed and kissed them goodnight. It was heartwarming to see the excitement in their smiles and the love in their eyes. As Noah pulled me close, holding me really tight for a final goodnight hug, he whispered in my ear that he had a secret to tell me about Santa. I was very curious, and I have to admit, a little nervous. I asked him what the secret was, and he shared that he was testing Santa this year. “What do you mean by testing Santa,” I asked? He replied, in his very proud seven year old voice, “I told Santa at school that I wanted the ‘Perfect Pancake Maker’ for Christmas, but I told the Legendary Santa at the Mall that I wanted a Bingo Cage and Bingo Cards for Christmas. Legendary means real, so I know I’m getting the Bingo Cage.” Where was a mother to find a Bingo Cage and Game Cards at 11:00 pm on Christmas Eve? Walgreen’s to the rescue! I couldn’t believe that on the lowest shelf of the toy aisle, right behind the Barbie convertible and Mr. Potato Head, sat a Bingo Cage game set. That year Walgreens truly saved Christmas. Something tells me the Legendary Santa might have had a part-time job there.

Mother (Maureen O’Hara): “Would you please tell her that you’re not really Santa Claus, that there actually is no such person?” Santa Claus (Edmund Gwenn): “Well, I hate to disagree with you, but not only is there such a person, but here I am to prove it.”–from Miracle on 34th Street