Tuesday, December 14, 2010

For Display Only, By Yolanda Adele

I was five years old the Christmas that my mother promised to take me to see Santa at the big store downtown. She said that all I had to do was to be patient while we first stopped at the appliance department.

As soon as we got off the streetcar I could feel and smell the fresh mist in the air, mingled with the scent of cinnamon churros, my favorite fried sweet bread sticks, coming from the vender’s cart. I didn’t dare ask Mama to buy one for me because today I was going to try to be on my very best behavior.

The multi- colored Christmas lights from the decorated street lamps reflected in small puddles of rain water. It looked magical to me.

As the sales person talked, talked, and talked some more, I could hear the sounds of laughter and Jingle-Bells coming from the main lobby where I was sure that Santa was sitting, waiting for me!

I quickly grew impatient. I made many trips to the drinking fountain. Mom was so enveloped by the prospect of owning a new wringer washing machine that she turned a deaf ear to my pleas and demands. I had to go "potty!" I was afraid if I had an "accident" Mama would have to take me home WITHOUT seeing Santa.

Minutes later an irate salesman approached my mother and asked in a loud voice, "Is that your child on the floor model commode?" He didn’t give Mama a chance to answer. “If so, remove her at once, and explain to her that that latrine is for display, ONLY! We have sanitation laws you know!" With that he handed my red-face mother a box of tissues.

That day I learned: what “displays only” are not for. I finally got to see Santa in person -- on my sixth Christmas.


  1. O Yolanda, I laughed so hard when I read your story. It reminds me of so many trips out with my grandchildren. Thanks for the chuckle!

  2. From Kacie:

    Oh my goodness! That was so funny. Sorry. It was probably very troubling as a child. Hey kids don't usually need much...just the necessities; take it where you can get it.
    Loved it.

  3. Yolanda, this was one of your best! I can picture the child waiting and waiting and waiting for Mom to finish her business and not like so many children of today you were being sure not to interupt thereby causing mom embarrasment or anger. This was a precious story but I doubt at the time you could have realized you were a precious child who just did what came naturally for the situation you were in.

  4. This story would have been a good one for the movie A Chritmas Story. Hilarious