The Christmas after the death of Betty started out as the worse one but finished up as one of the best.We had moved off the main street to a residential area.Mom was in the hospital, with severe leg ulcers, dads health was going down a hill, he was in the early stages of emphysema.I knew Things were bad, but not how bad.BETTY'S death, had put a damper on the season, mom being in the hospital didn't help much, but our tree wasn't up yet, and it was Christmas eve.Dad was really down, more than I had seen before.Dad was, TRULY "the lord of the manor", what he said was law and we never dreamed of disobeying him.He sent me and Grace to bed at our usual time, and for the first time ever, I decided to stall, Dad was in the kitchen, by the sink, with is head down,I was sitting on the end of the couch by the stairs, just in case, if necessary, I could bolt upstairs.We remain this way for several minutes, finally, he turned around and saw me sitting there I quickly, ask him if mom was OK.A few seconds later he smiled and assured me she was alright, I quickly asked then what is wrong, He thought for a moment and told me there would be no Christmas that year.I stopped believing in Santa a couple of years before when I snuck out and hid behind the couch, to catch Santa and saw mom and dad putting the presents under the tree.I laughed and told him, as long as mom is alright, everything is alright.The weather that night was bad, a storm was coming off the lake, with heavy winds.when we were talking, I thought I heard something outside and told dad, He said it was just the wind, I had pushed my luck far enough that night so I wasn't going to argue.A few minutes later, he pointed his head towards the stairs, dad didn't talk twice, so I knew what he meant.On my way to the staircase, I took a short detour to the front door and opened it.there on the porch was three large boxes.It was all we could do to bring them into the house, that was how heavy they were.One was marked children, one adult, and one food. We had finally gotten them into the house, I looked at dad and he nodded ok.Dad and I spend the rest of the night putting up the tree, prepping Christmas dinner and putting things under the tree.A word was never spoken all night.That was my first all nighter and the first time dad and I had worked as a team.I was on my way upstairs, as my sister was coming down Christmas morning.I never found out who dropped the stuff off, many years later I asked my mother and her answer was"you'll find out someday".ON HER DEATH BED I ASKED HER AGAIN, SHE JUST SMILED AND ROLLED OVER AND FELL ASLEEP.So don't ever tell me "there is no Santa Claus."