Why did Santa pass us by?

Once upon a time long, long ago, my family lived on a busy street in Dunkirk. Christmas Eve was always our traditional night to observe the holiday with special foods and sharing of the Polish wafer called Oplatki (much like a communion wafer). After the dishes were done, my brother and I would anticipate Santa’s arrival at our house. Yes, the old gent made a personal appearance to deliver our presents!

Larry and I would watch out our front windows for Santa’s car to arrive. We were told Santa used a car so he wouldn’t tire out the reindeer for the long night ahead of them. (I never considered that he would have driven quite a distance from the North Pole!)

One year when I was about 6 years old and my brother was 4, we saw Santa Claus get out of his car at the house across the street (the home of former Dunkirk Mayor Margaret Wuerstle). My brother and I were so very excited knowing Santa was almost here!

Unfortunately, soon Santa came out of Margaret’s house, got in his car, and drove away! Well, the tears started to flow because we knew we had been good all year – sorta. Mom tried to console us by telling us that Santa probably had other presents to deliver down the street and he’d be at our house soon. As I was told later, Dad was busy in the kitchen making a frantic call to “Santa” to tell him what had happened and to PLEASE HURRY!

Well, Santa (a.k.a. Stanley Velk, Sr.) finally did arrive with presents galore. And while Larry and I were busy in the living room playing with our new toys, Dad was in the kitchen (with the door closed) rewarding Santa with “milk and cookies” from Dad’s private stash!

My old home will be sold by the end of this year. I’ve recently stood in the front room looking out that same window where I waited so long ago. Although the furnishings are gone, there are so many memories still packed in that house.

Patricia Lazarczyk

Sheridan