I was 7 years old. First Christmas in my very own bedroom in our new house. Trying hard to sleep. Santa doesn't come if you're not asleep. But I was too excited to sleep thinking about presents.
It was still only maybe 10 pm when I heard the front door opening downstairs. Then my parents voices..."Ah, it's yourself! Come in, come in!"
Crikey...it's Santa...I'm not asleep!!
Jovial talk continued downstairs and then I heard Santa say "Is the wee fella up in bed?"
Next I could hear Santa's heavy steps on the stairs.
Oh my God! I'm in huge trouble now.....he sees when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake.
The heavy steps crossed the landing and stopped at my room. I covered my head with the blanket and tried to stay still. I'm asleep, I'm asleep.
I heard my door opening and could hear Santa breathing. He was standing at the door looking and listening to see if I was awake. I ventured one eye open and from under the blankets I could detect the light from the landing illuminating my room. Be very still...Santa will leave the presents at end of my bed...but I mustn't move a muscle.
I could still hear the breathing but no movement from Santa. This was not good... he knows when you're awake.
Then my heart sank as I heard Santa close my door and retreat down the landing and down the stairs. I could hear murmurs amongst the adults downstairs. Eventually Santa left by the hall door. I sat up and looked at the end of my bed, Nothing, no presents. I was completely deflated. Should I go downstairs, tell my parents? No, bad idea. Santa might just come back again. But maybe he won't. My mind was filling with worries and negative thoughts and eventually I cried myself to sleep.
I woke up and it was morning and bright. I looked at the end of my bed and my face lit up with joy. Presents!! What a relief.
When I spoke to my parents I told them how relieved I was that Santa came.
"Relieved? Why?" said Mum.
I told them the whole story. A smile emerged on my Mum's face.
"You had no need to worry, Santa came much later than that. The man you heard was your Uncle Tom coming on a visit. He went up to your room to give you money. Bad idea that you pretended to be asleep, I'd say you lost out on getting a 10 shilling note!"
Note: This was another childhood memory of Uncle Tom which my kids liked to hear when they were young - their second favourite after Uncle Tom and the Bubble Car