Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The night I saw him...

I saw him once. Father Christmas, that is. I saw him with my own eyes and to this day I am certain that it wasn’t a dream.

It was Christmas Eve. We were staying at my Nana’s house in Cardiff. My sister and I were too excited to sleep. There were empty stockings at the end of our beds and presents wrapped in brightly coloured paper under the tree downstairs. Before we went to bed we left two mince pies and a glass of sherry in the porch. We may have left a carrot too.

Like most young children we couldn’t sleep. We were just too excited. We listened out for sleigh bells. We whispered to each other, we fought sleep with all we had.

Later, when the house was still and quiet, and my sister slept in the bed next to my own, I got up. I went to the window. I carefully pulled back the curtains and pressed my face against the cool glass.

And there he was. Father Christmas!

He was climbing across the roof of the house directly opposite my Nana’s. He wore a blue boiler suit, which I immediately realised was his special Welsh suit. He looked younger than I expected, and slimmer. I couldn’t see his sleigh, and there was no sign of reindeer whatsoever. But I knew it was him

He looked a little bit like this... 
I watched for a while as he continued to clamber across that roof and then, satisfied that I’d seen him, I went back to bed.

In the morning our stockings were full, we called out ‘He’s been! He’s been!’ and in all the excitement of tearing through paper and feasting on chocolate I forgot that I’d seen him.

When all the presents were open, and we’d eaten the gold coins and Satsumas, I told my family that I’d seen him, I’d seen Father Christmas…

And they laughed, and joked and agreed that Father Christmas would save his special blue suit for Wales.

I knew they didn’t believe me.

I can still picture it so clearly. Beads of condensation gathered on the window as I held my breath. A man in a blue boiler suit wobbled his way across the roof. My cold little toes curled beneath me and my heart raced under my pink flannel nighty.

I wonder who he was… 

Did you ever catch a glimpse of Farther Christmas? Was he wearing blue? Do you reckon My Nana's neighbours were being burgled...? 


  1. I sincerely hope the neighbors weren't being burgled, but it's quite hilarious that if they were, you saw the thief!
    I can't say I ever saw Santa, but I never looked for him either. :)

    1. This was my thought too! I never saw Santa, well, I saw Dad sneak in and put presents in our stockings ;)

  2. I am convinced I saw Santa, at our tree, when I was about 7. I woke in the middle of the night Christmas Eve and went to my parents room, which was through the living room, where the tree was. He was at the tree, leaving presents, I'm certain! I still picture it clear as day!!

  3. That's what I thought too Jess! lol We didn't have Santa growing up, we always celebrated the traditional European Christmas where the 'Angels' set up the tree on Christmas Eve.

  4. I was convinced I saw Santa on my neighbour's roof when I was around 6. I'm now wondering the same thing as you... I'm afraid "Santa's" plan would maybe have been to take rather than give??!

  5. I thought that was yr dad at first catherine. We once left some white whispy material in the door and my little sister truly thought Santa's beard had been caught in it. It was so sweet (she's six years younger than I). I'm afraid this might be my daughter's last believing Christmas, she's almost 8, but so far has resisted the stories that Santa isn't real since we found a website called 'Santa is real'.

  6. My first thought was burglar too. But maybe it was Santa's work outfit. The red and white, and all the bell's and whistles are for the shopping malls and parades. Wouldn't want them to get all sooty now would he. ;)

  7. I think it was the real Santa, the whole beard and red suit thing has been propagated to throw us off the scent. But YOU SAW THE REAL SANTA. I'll be looking out this Christmas Eve. Happy Tuesday!

  8. I have never set eyes on Santa, but my boys are just beside themselves to catch a glimpse!
    Who knows, maybe the man in the blue suit was Santa, or at the very least, one of his helpers ;)

  9. Oh how sweet!! I reckon it was the real Santa, he was probably doing some repair work on your neighbour's roof that he damaged from the HUGE sack fo toys he had! :)

  10. I am constantly seeing santa in every shopping centre..... but then again I am never up at night looking for him either. Fast asleep I am! x

  11. I've always thought blue rather thn red was Santa's colour. It matches his eyes more. Not that I would know, like you do ;) x

  12. What a strong childhood memory! and a beautiful one. And THAT'S why we believe! - well that and the fact that who would bring all those wonderful presents otherwise?????

  13. I used to try and say awake as long as possible hoping to see him but would always fall asleep. Somehow he always managed to come between the hours of 2 and 5am, the only time I would actually be asleep, the sneaky bastard!

  14. What a beautiful story Catherine. I can picture you holding your breath! I've never seen him, but my Dad swears he has.


  15. the answer is simple it was Santa who else could it possibly have been xx

  16. Great story!! I too hope that the neighbours' kids still had presents under their tree. :)

  17. Definitely a burglar. Or a plumber with a master plan to charge a ridiculous call out fee (disgruntled? me?)

  18. I remember seeing the easter bunny - its so clear in my minds eye - i think my memory must have come from a dream! He he that you may have seen a burger in a blue boiler suit :)

  19. I love childhood memories like this one. So vivid and clear but in hindsight oh so wrong.

    I distinctly remember being chased by a crocodile on the beach at Coffs Harbour during a family holiday. My family wet themselves every time I bring up this story and nobody for the life of them can figure out what this memory really is or what I am confusing.

    Oh well to me, I beat that bloody croc.