SANTA CLAUS CAME IN A WHIRLY BIRD
by Patricia Ennis-Burke
Christmas 1956 is one I'll never forget. Santa Claus arrived on the playground of our school in a U.S. Army helicopter. What a commotion! What excitement!
Carrying a huge sack filled with presents, Santa was escorted to the classrooms. Our teacher and Santa whispered to each other and each time their whispered conversation halted, a name was called and the person was given a present.
I couldn't wait! Finally I was called forward and presented with a little doll dressed in blue. I loved her instantly and named her Angela. I played with my doll during my waking hours, and at night, she slept in my brother Frank's vacated playpen in the kitchen.
My doll was sleeping in the playpen that January night when Paddy and Martha were married. Guests of the wedding found themselves celebrating at our house because Dad was Paddy's uncle and we lived just across the road from Uncle Jack's where the wedding festivities were being held.
The next morning I found my doll crushed. Mom explained that a man who had too much to drink had stepped into the playpen and had crushed my precious doll.
Well, the doll is since long gone but the gift of Santa coming to our island of Merasheen compliments of the American Military and the efforts of Fathers Doody, Collins, and Greene, who were ministering in our area of Placentia Bay at that time, will live on in my heart forever.