Learning to Beleive
“Mom, Mom! Please, can I?” Six-year-old Jimmy jumped up and down in front of their Christmas tree pleading with his mother to let him sleep next to it that night which happened to be Christmas Eve.
Sharon let out a deep sigh and sat down in the rocker next to the tree. Jimmy took this as an immediate sign of, alright go ahead. He scrambled off to his room only to return armed with his pillow and blankets, half of them trailed behind him when he returned.
“Jimmy, listen to me,” She began, “it’s fine but you need to go to sleep or else Santa won’t come to our house.”
“Yes, he will!” he cried, his excitement.
Feeling overwhelmed, Sharon who had worked a 12-hour shift as a registered nurse at their local hospital was too late tired to argue with him about it.
She and Jimmy lived alone. His father left one year ago. He met her for coffee one day and casually told her he didn't love her anymore. He left that afternoon and they hadn't seen him or heard from him since. It wasn’t easy raising a child alone but she had the help of her family and a good school with daycare for Jimmy.
She watched Jimmy with a smile on her sleepy face. He busied himself arranging his pillow under the tree. His small hands patted the wrinkles away from the blankets creating a comfy bed. He looked up at her beaming with delight.
Sharon felt his joy and soon forgot her tiredness. She wanted nothing more than happiness and sweet memories for him this Christmas season. Sharon jumped up.
“Hey, I know what we forgot.” She gave him an inquisitive look.
A little worried, he asked, “What mom?”
“Cookies and milk! When Santa comes, he’ll be hungry.”
As if struck by lightning, Jimmy jumped out of his warm blankets and rushed to the kitchen. She laughed when she heard him open the refrigerator, knowing he couldn’t reach the milk on the top shelf she hurried to help him.
Once Santa’s cookies were neatly placed on the plate with a glass of cold milk next to it, Jimmy settled down under his blankets again ready for Santa’s visit that night.
Sharon knelt down beside him and gave her son a kiss good night. Her long brown hair fell on his face.
“Yuck, mom.” He giggled, pushing her hair away.
“What? I love you.”
“I love you too. Good night. Will you wake me up early tomorrow?”
“Of course. She brushed his sandy-colored hair away from his eyes, giving it a playful tussle.
“See you in the morning.” Jimmy snuggled underneath the blankets and soon fell into a deep sleep.
Just then Sharon’s cell phone rang. She pulled it out of her back pocket and glanced at the incoming call. No one from the hospital. She noticed it was late. 10 pm. Quickly she blocked the call and threw the phone into her purse.
Tired as she was, she decided to have a glass of wine and relax before placing Jimmy’s presents around the tree. This year she bought only a few. She had a good job but ever since her husband left, heavy debt weighed on her shoulders. The loan she took out to buy their small two-bedroom house was her main worry and bills continued to stack up.
Sharon walked into the kitchen, reached into one of the kitchen cabinets, and found a bottle of Cabernet. She poured herself a glass, went back to the living room, and retired to the comforts of their living room sofa.
She sipped the wine and thought of Jimmy. Soon her eyelids started to feel very heavy. Her body relaxed. She tried to fight her sleepiness, knowing there were still cookies to eat and presents to bring out but she couldn’t. Sharon succumbed to sleep only to be awakened the next morning by her son.
“Mom, why didn’t you wake me up? He grabbed her hand, pulling her towards the Christmas tree which sat in the corner of their living room. Sharon, still dazed with sleep, started to follow him, and then she remembered. The presents!
Before she could say or do anything, Jimmy dragged her to the tree and it was there that Sharon almost fell over with surprise. About a dozen colorfully wrapped presents lay neatly placed underneath the tree. Where did all this come from, she wondered. She could never afford so many gifts.
“I told you Santa would be here. Can I open them now? Please?”
Still dazed she nodded her head in agreement. Sharon glanced at the cookie plate. They were gone and so was the milk. She didn’t know what to say.
“Can we open our presents now?”
Sharon rubbed her eyes trying to focus. She looked across the room towards the chimney, then back at the presents. Santa Claus couldn’t be real. She had found out her parents were really Santa when she was just a few years older than Jimmy. Jimmy tugged at her Jeans.
“Yes, honey. Go ahead.”
He threw his hands high in the air and yelled, “Yay!” Then he sat down in front of the tree and grabbed the first present wrapped in red paper with a gold bow around it. The card said, “For Jimmy.”
She watched her son. Christmas Eve came with its magical mysteries. Maybe Santa was real after all. The Spirit of Christmas visited their home and gave her little boy an extra special Christmas this year.
“Jimmy, how about if I fix us some chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast?” She asked
“Great Mom, I’m hungry. This is the best Christmas ever!”
Before entering the kitchen, she stood next to the tree a few moments longer watching her son who sat within a heap of torn wrapping paper and colorful bows happily examining his presents. Within the pile, he held up a rectangular-shaped box with green wrapping paper on it.
“Mom, this present for you. It has your name on it.”
“For me?” How strange she thought. Santa didn’t give adults presents. She took the box from her son and gently tore off the wrapping. Sharon carefully opened the box and inside she found a new stethoscope with her name on it. The letters read, Sharon Jones.
Jimmy laughed, “You can use that at work.”
“Santa was very kind to give me such a wonderful gift.” She said. Tears began to fill her eyes.
Sharon sat down on the floor with her son. Pancakes weren’t so important at the moment. She suddenly realized she was doing something right raising her son alone and working so hard to provide a stable home for him.
The magic of Christmas had touched their lives and she was forever grateful.
About the Creator
Hi there! I’m a fiction writer. Written all my life. Want to inspire if I can. Living on a guest horse ranch in Baja California, Mexico. Married to a Mexican Cowboy!
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