My wife and I raised six children, so we have lots of seasonal memories. But one stands out from the rest, the year Santa left proof he had visited: snowy boot prints on the carpet leading from the fireplace to the tree and then back to the fireplace.
All it took was a big bowl of corn starch and a clean pair of winter boots. Pressing the bottom of the boot into the bowl left it covered with the white powder. Pressing it firmly on the carpet left a boot print on the floor.
I'm pretty sure our oldest daughter, age 10 at the time, had just about given up on believing in Santa. Still, that morning her eyes were wide with wonder as she stood there and silently studied the "evidence" on the carpet.
While her younger siblings were giggling and dancing around, she was weighing what her friends at school had told her against what she was seeing with her own eyes.
All these years later, I'm still amazed that not one of them ever wondered about the fact the "snowy" boot prints never melted. Indeed, they had to be vacuumed up that afternoon.
Such is the innocence of being a child. Such is the magic of Christmas.
Sadly, we lost our daughter to cancer on Dec. 20, 2017, but not before she instilled her lifelong love of Christmas in us. For that we are forever thankful.
Albany (Dec. 5)