Listening for Santa’s Reindeer Bells on Christmas Eve…1963 Georgetown, Mississippi
Just like every Christmas when I was growing up, we headed to Georgetown for the holiday. The Christmas tree was beautiful, presents were abundant and nobody was more excited to see what Santa was bringing than my granddaddy, L.D. Spell. It was our tradition to stay up late enough to watch Woody Assaf on television and see where Santa was showing up on radar. Woodie was a longtime WLBT weatherman who was on the air from the day the station opened in 1953 until his retirement in 2001. Woody had done more weather forecasts than anyone in the nation, and we didn’t think Christmas could come without checking to see where Woodie said Santa was on his journey to Georgetown. As soon as we finished watching the evening news, we listened for sleigh bells out the window (sometimes we actually heard them!) and then I was tucked into bed between my grandparents in twin beds that they pushed together when I was staying over. Always, I tried my hardest to fall asleep before my granddaddy started snoring, but on Christmas eve, I was always too excited to beat him into slumber. I can remember like it was yesterday that thrilling feeling of jumping out of bed on Christmas morning, waking everyone in the house and squealing with delight at the layout of goodies in the living room! Santa brought everything from kitchen sets to tiny pianos, and majorette boots to bicycles with banana seats! I still love the sense of joy surrounding Christmas eve. We won’t be watching for Santa on radar tonight, but we will jump up with excitement in the morning to celebrate another glorious Christmas morning!