When I was a kid, our Christmas Eve tradition was to go for a drive and look for Rudolph. Mom, Dad, myself and my two brothers would all pile in the car and drive aimlessly around looking for Rudolph's red nose up in the air. Of course, we spotted him numerous times - my parents seemed to have an especially keen eye for spotting Rudoph. There would be screams of "I see him!" "There he is!" "He must be getting close to our house!" Since Rudoph was obviously cruising the neighborhood we were very excited then to return home and see if Santa had visited yet. Of course, before leaving on our adventure in the car we had left cookies and milk out for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph. Magically, every Christmas Eve, when we returned home from our drive there would be presents under the tree, the milk and cookies would be partially eaten, and a few good nibbles were gone from the carrot!
Well, the brothers and I got tired of always missing Santa so we convinced our parents that we should stay home on Christmas Eve and wait for Santa to arrive. So on Christmas eve, as we were sitting around the dinner table we suddenly heard the sound of reindoor hooves and bells jingling!! My dad says, "Quick, let's go outside and see Santa and his reindeer - they must have just landed!" We go sprinting outside and look up to see......nothing! My Dad yells - "We must have just missed him, I bet he's in the house!" We all go tearing back into the house and my mom is there waiting exclaiming, "Ahh, you just missed him!"
And there were the presents - under the tree!
In a child's mind - it was magical. And was probably the reason I believed in Santa until I was....well....let's just say I hung on for awhile!
(For those of you wondering - my dad had rigged a rope that went up through the chimney and attached to some old boots and jingle bells. When my mom had gotten up to get "something from the kitchen" during dinner she yanked it.....and the rest as they say.....is history!)