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My Eyewitness Account of Santa in the Sky

My dad got behind the wheel and as we drove off, he looked up at the sky and pointed to something in the distance and said, "Look! I think that's Santa Claus! That looks like his sleigh and reindeer! Can you see it?"

I strained my neck to look through the rearview window. I squealed and begged my dad to drive faster so we could catch up to Santa. I saw a flying object and a trail of fumes. It was definitely him! 

Christmas in a Box

At twelve midnight, our phone would ring. It would be Daddy calling us via long distance. The three of us would take turns talking to him. Each with a hurried greeting. We try to say as much as we can while keeping it brief. Long distance phone calls cost a lot at that time.  To make up for the short conversation, we would send Daddy a greeting card with long letters written on yellow pad. These letters have to be posted a month before to make sure it reaches Daddy on time for Christmas day. 

The Señor of Castillejos

Perhaps the Señor knew everyone’s secrets. My uncles said that sometimes, when the moment came to carry the Señor from the chapel to the carriage, the figure wouldn’t budge. The men of my family tend to be rather large, and one of them could easily carry the Señor by himself. But sometimes, even with three or four of them, the Señor refused to be carried. The figure seemed heavier. They said maybe one of them had sinned, and so they would call a different group of menfolk to lift the Señor.

Love in the Trenches

So inseparable were they, that a pregnant Dina endured the hardship of Tonio’s guerrilla life. Food was scarce, of course, and most days all they had to eat was bitter gourd. The plucky Dina was no liability; Tonio was lucky to have her with him. One time, they were set upon by what was likely a reconnaissance unit of Japanese soldiers. In desperation, Dina pushed Tonio into a man-sized hole (another life-saving ditch, yes), and promptly “sat” on his head, while extending her full skirts to hide his body.