I must have been seven years old, which would mean my brother was about five. It was wee hours of Christmas morning, the two of us were jumping on our parent’s king size bed chanting about how it was Christmas morning– their alarm barely read 5:30am.
Finally, the Gioia family dressed in their pajamas headed out to the living room, four cats and two dogs at their side, to see what magical things Santa had brought.
The night before after hours spent at Christmas Eve mass and a delicious “fancy” dinner we had set out all of our presents. The mound shipped from Grandma in the back alongside the few straggler second cousins, in front of them was the aunts, uncles and other grandparent’s gifts, then finally our family gifts. Each box so carefully placed under the Christmas tree – after being shaken to get a hint of what was inside.
My brother and I each placed our gifts carefully under the tree. Each gift had been handpicked, or even made by us. My parents both pulled out there stash of presents and began to place the boxes of wonder beneath the tree.
The Christmas lights were on and a Christmas movie, most likely The Santa Clause, was playing on the TV. Once all of the hard arranging was done we would sit back in wonder simply staring at the gifts.
Every year we got to open our Christmas gifts that had flown in from London on Christmas Eve and with all of the gifts finally in place, those two gifts made it to the fore-front. My brother and I took our places on the floor and briefly experienced Christmas before all the gift open was scheduled to begin.
Christmas Eve was always the hardest night to fall asleep, restless in our beds my brother and I would get up and head out to the living room to see if Santa had come yet. Many times we were greeted by our parents still up watching TV. We would get up again shortly after midnight to see if Santa had made his way. I can remember years of peering out my bedroom door to see if the tree had been turned on yet and if two new gifts had a home beneath the lights.
That year thought, we were going to catch Santa.
Finally Christmas day had come and Santa had delivered the presents, drank the milk, ate the cookies and even left us a holiday note.
Ecstatic my brother and I ran down stairs tugging at our Dad’s t-shirt asking him to read to us what Santa had wrote. Soon we ran back up stairs to rip open every gift under the tree; it was yet another spectacular Christmas morning full of wonder and excitement – Santa had done well.
The time finally came to review the evidence we had found, or my parents had found.
The old school cassette video camera was plugged into the TV and my Dad had hit play. From that moment on, if my brother and I had ever had any doubt in Santa, well, now we knew he was real. We had it on tape, right there, hard proof, our solid evidence.
On the TV screen we watched our Christmas presents float up the stairs in the dark house early Christmas morning. They floated past the front window and landed gently in front of the lit Christmas tree. The video topped Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause, it was our hard evidence, our proof.
Both my brother and I are grown now, each in our early twenties, both finished high school and are either working on or have finished college degrees – we still have no idea how the gifts floated up the stairs.