The Lee Side: Shadows and silhouettes

The thud on the roof snapped my sleepy eyes wide open.

Posted on 12/21/13

By Lee Coleman

Without moving a muscle, I saw the silhouette of my little brother asleep in his twin bed next to me.

Coconuts could fall on his head and barely shake him. But not me.

It was the wee early morning hours of Christmas Day, 1963 and I was way too wired in anticipation of the visit from the red-clad, rotund one from the North Pole to do much heavy sleeping.

I heard another noise and it sounded like someone was sweeping our roof.

After what seemed like kid hours, I mustered enough courage to look outside and only saw tall, oxygenating Georgia pine trees rocking back and forth in the brisk winter wind.

Maybe a pine branch had broken off and landed on the roof. Whew!

But wait, who was I trying to fool? I knew better. There was only one way to find out.

Sliding ever so quietly out of bed until my Batman footie pajamas touched the chilly hardwood floors, I headed for the mecca known as the living room on Christmas Day.

The nighttime shadows in our little house were slowly giving way to the dawn of the new day, showing me the way down the yellow brick road.

The short hallway to the living room seemed like miles of thumb tacks but negotiating the path ever so carefully, I reached the living room and gasped at what I saw.

There was a genuine leather football laying on the floor next to a new sled and tinker toys.

But alas, I looked up and saw a silhouette of what looked like a bicycle.

Could it really be?

Quickly crawling on the floor to find the socket and plug in the Christmas tree, the bright shiny lights illuminated the most beautiful, bright red Radio Flyer bicycle in the world.

It was Santa on our roof!

Quickly getting up to get my little brother, I turned and ran into my mother, who had snuck up on me.

I screamed. She laughed.

And the big Christmas hug that followed made Christmas, 1963 the best ever.

Coleman is the editor of the Republican and can be contacted at