And yet another contribution. How cool is this? Like I said, memories are the coins we keep as change...
... Hi Fred,
Thanks for the clump of coal. It helped me remember a time when I could believe and see. I was maybe 5 or 6 and it was the night in which "La Befana" (Italian's version of Santa Claus is a little old lady with a broom that delivers gifts on Epiphany day, the 6th day of January).
I fell asleep that night with memories from that day in which my grandma and aunt shared stories about the Befana with me. They showed me a little miniature Befana that my grandma kept by her bedside. They told me that it's been in our family for generations and that on the night of Epiphany she comes to life and brings presents to all good children and lumps of coal to all the naughty ones, especially those who try to peek.
So I fell asleep determined not to peek. Yet something woke me up in the middle of the night and I couldn't resist. I opened just one eye very slowly and from my bed I could see the hall way entry door. Right by the key whole, 10 feet away from me I see a little old lady come right through the key whole and turn big right before my eyes. At this awesome sight I quickly closed my eye. My heart was racing and I was scared she had seen me peek. Few seconds later, I felt a knock on my head, but I wouldn't dare to open my eyes, I had to fall asleep.
Of course that morning I jumped out of bed found a lump of candy coal on my pillow and an Italian version of Easy Bake Oven on the floor of my bed. I ran to my parents bed with the candy coal in my hands and said "I saw the Befana, I saw the Befana." Up until now I've shared this story only with children because I know they can believe before they see. Most grown ups all think it's a dream. So this holiday season teach your children and the child within you to believe.
Don't stop believing! It's what dreams are made of!