I thought that since Christmas is almost here that I would share with you one of my most favorite Christmas memories! Some of my readers from years past might remember this story but since I have met so many new people this past year, I thought I would share it again! It has become a yearly tradition to share!
This is a true story!
I was about five years old. I was living in Torrance, California. It was about two days before Christmas. I went to church with my mom and sister a day or so before this particular night. At church, we were each given a gift, I received the most beautiful dolly. I loved her. I thought she was such a pretty doll.
As I was sleeping, I smelled something burning. I did not open my eyes. I just thought, “Oh, my mom must be baking cookies for Christmas!” (I should have known better, my mom never baked cookies ~ we always went to her friend’s house to bake cookies!) Anyways, I didn’t bother opening my eyes ~ even though I smelled something burning!
Then I heard my sister, who was sleeping across the room from me, screaming, “Fire, fire, fire!”
Why I didn’t just jump up right then, I will never understand!
I looked down at the foot of my bed and there was the fire. In. My. Bed.
I remember my mom coming in the room telling my sister to grab some clothes out of the closet, and then she told me to get up. My mom grabbed a blanket and rushed my sister and I to wait in her car out in the driveway.
Then the firemen came. They had to pass our car to get in the house and they stopped and asked me if there was anybody still in the house. I cried, “YES!!!!!” they asked, “Who???” I said in the only way a little girl would say crying, “My Winnie the Pooh and Dolly!” and I looked right up at him and asked, “Can you save them? Please save my Winnie the Pooh and Dolly!” and they left to go do their work. They came back and I asked, “Did you save them?” and he said, “No.” I was so sad. I cried and cried!
I also remember the summer before that Christmas, my grandma in Oklahoma had bought my sister and I a TV for our room and my mom had decorated our room while we were gone. We had fun bedding and all was burned in the fire. I was devastated!
So, after the fire was out, we went to the next door neighbor’s house and we were there for a while. Then we went to another one of my mom’s friend’s house from church. While we were there, still in the middle of the night, the phone rings. My mom’s friend tells me that the phone is for me. To my surprise, it was SANTA!!!! Yes, that is right, SANTA called ME!!!! They told me to take the call in the other room. Sure enough, it sounded like SANTA! SANTA told me that he saw what happened and he felt so bad for me that he sent the reindeers over to give me my Christmas present early and to go run in the other room to get it. I went out to the living room and in the middle of the room, there was a BARBIE DREAM HOUSE! For. Me.
I was so happy, I ran back to the phone and said, “Thank you, SANTA!!! Thank You! Thank You!”
So the years went by and I get older and then I realized the truth about SANTA (for any kids reading this, that he must have been too busy at that time of year to think about me…lol) So, I asked my mom, “Okay, who called me that night if it wasn’t really SANTA, I know it wasn’t grandpa, who was it that called me that night???” She would never tell me. I would keep asking and asking, because of course, I am stubborn that way. I asked and asked. Then finally, she said, “When you are 18 I will tell you who SANTA was.” I knew it wasn’t my mom because she was just going through a divorce and we didn’t have money so I knew she didn’t buy it.
So the years continued to go by and I finally turned 18.
Since I never stopped wondering who it was that called that night ~ who made that night so happy for me ~ who was part of me learning when something bad happens something really good comes from it ~ I still wanted to know who it was.
So, on my 18th birthday:
Me: “Mom, okay, I am 18 now, who called that night of the fire?”
My mom: “The Fire Chief”
(The Barbie Dream House was from Toys for Tots!)
To this day, I will never forget and I wish I could thank the Torrance Fire Chief.
To all firemen out there, thank you for all that you do. Thank you for your bravery and your compassion. I will never forget what you did for me!
Please consider donating to Toys for Tots ~ you never know what lifelong memory you will be helping to create for a child!
Update: I did not know until this morning searching for images that my Barbie Dream House was actually a Barbie Town House…lol!