Updated: Jun 13, 2020
Jump Santa, jump!
That’s me in the back with the glasses waiting for Santa to jump.
When I was a kid, we used to go to New Jersey to visit my grandparents for the holidays. This usually took place in November for Thanksgiving, but to me, it felt more like a Christmas. It was a very long drive from Hartford CT to Toms River New Jersey, followed by a lot of adults sitting around talking. Us kids would eventually head down to the basement to try and find something to watch on grandpa’s old three-channel- no remote TV. For a kid, there was a lot of boredom at that time of year, but that all changed when we would load up the station wagon and head over to Macy’s. As we arrived, the parking lot would be full of families all looking up at the sky. They were waiting to hear the old familiar buzz of that single-engine Cessna as it sputtered through the cold gray November sky. It seemed to take forever, but eventually, it would appear, and the crowd would suddenly come to life. As the tiny plane drew closer, the anticipation grew until finally, the small plane began circling the parking lot. Kids and parents would shout and cheer as they pointing toward the sky. Then in a brief moment, a tiny red shape would separate from the fuselage plummeting toward earth. A hush would fill the chilly air as a trail of billowing marker smoke bloomed from behind it. IT’S SANTA!!!, the crowd would erupt into cheers.
If you look closely you can see the top of Santas hat as he landed in the parking lot.
Soon a parachute would appear, and Santa would glide slowly toward earth zigzagging in lazy circles across the New Jersey winter sky. The crowd would hush again for a brief moment as Santa aimed for his mark. Eventually, he would land hitting that mark as always. The crowd would go crazy as tiny candy canes and peppermint swirls flew into the air, quickly snatched up by the lucky few close enough to reach them. Santa would run through the parking lot shouting his Ho, Ho, Ho's and Merry Christmas's then quickly duck into to an old nearby beat-up van that sped off, rushing him to the "North Pole" so he could get ready for Christmas. Our family would eventually pile back into the old Ford Country Squire wagon, kids all pumped up on parachuting Santa and the promise of Christmas right around the corner. Eventually, we'd wind up back in the basement watching the three-channel TV waiting for the magical night Santa would slide down the chimney to deliver his toys to good girls and boys.