Raindeer Hunting

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When I was little my dad would go all out for Christmas morning. I’d awaken to the sound of sleigh bells and I’d jump out of bed and run downstairs to see if I could catch the Raindeer in action! I’d look around but all I’d see were the presents the Raindeer brought. I’d run back upstairs and into Dad’s room, pouncing on his bed, telling him that I almost caught the Raindeer and that their were presents downstairs! Dad would get up and carry me over his shoulder down the stairs with me giggling the whole way saying, “Let’s go find us that Raindeer!” He’d put me down and throw open the front door, then he’d announce that he saw raindeer tracks. I’d put my shoes and jacket on while he got a mug of coffee and a mug of hot chocolate for me. Then he and I would got outside and look for the Raindeer, walking carefully with our mugs in our hands.

We’d walk in circles all around our yard following ‘hoof prints’ and bits of red ribbon tied to trees. We never caught the Raindeer but the excitement of looking for him was the best thing about Christmas morning. Dad and I would talk about the Raindeer and ‘wonder’ how it could be so fast. It was a time of laughter and fun that was special because it was time that we spent together. The Raindeer gave us an opportunity to just simply enjoy the moment of being together.

After we were done searching for the elusive Raindeer we would go inside and have breakfast. While we ate we would look at the wrapped Christmas presents in front of the window and talk about what each one could possibly be. Small boxes might hold elephants. Medium boxes might hold foxes. Big boxes might hold a tiny mouse playing the Cello. And on and on the possibilities would be discussed until we were done eating. Then we’d open our gifts and see what the Raindeer had brought.

Those Christmas mornings are now long gone but I keep the memory of them safely nestled within my heart. I miss those times…

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