For over 25 years, we have had a visit each Christmas Eve by a jolly old soul, Santa Claus (alias Dick Swift). Ringing his silver bells, he entered our home and as he distributed a gift to members of our family, each of us would sit on his lap and have our picture taken; with 7 children and their families, this was an awesome ritual!
He would tell stories about his sleigh and reindeer and Mrs. Claus and before he left, we all sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” We will always glow with these wonderful memories and we truly mourn the loss of this loving and giving man. God bless you, Santa, you will always be an important part of our lives.
On December 24, 2011, we presented Dick with a framed picture of a poem I paraphrased, surrounded by our family signatures and pictures of years gone by.
This past Christmas, he called to tell me his “reindeer” could no longer make the journey and reluctantly he would have to honor them and retire. Rest in peace, dear one, you will never know how many lives you have enriched.
Twas many nights before Christmas that we’ve heard the sound
of your silver bells ringing that held us spellbound.
You’ve arrived on our doorstep all blustery and bright,
We’ve welcomed you, Santa, on those special nights.
For so many years you’ve entered our home,
and watched our family as they have grown.
We want you to know you’ve played a special part.
Thank you, Dear Santa, for warming our hearts.
Ed and Carol Pratico-Bride
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