The Holiday Memory I’ll Never Forget: Pete Kane

Pete Kane

From buckets of ashes to intolerable itches, these are the moments that shaped our Holidays and our character. From the NBC Philadelphia family to you and yours, "Happy Holidays!" Oh, and fair warning: We do talk about a few "Santa" memories that you probably don't want the kids to see!

Growing up in North Philly, I remember that Christmas day meant the world to me and my brothers and sisters.

My mother had always told us that if we were naughty or bad, we would get ashes. And this one Christmas Eve, my sisters Sue and Lynne had the bright idea of us going to bed with our clothes on -- even our boots -- so we could get up and watch for Santa.

It had snowed that day and into the night and we kept getting out of bed, looking out the window for Santa, Rudolf and the other reindeer. We never got to  sleep that night.

Little did we know that mom heard us moving around upstairs.

The morning came bright and white for us.

We started down the stairs to the living room to see our toys under the tree.

Under the Christmas tree that morning were buckets of ashes, a bucket for each of us!

It was a lesson learned.

We did get our toys hours later, after all the crying and saying we would be good. I got a bike, toy soldiers, trucks. My sisters got dolls and clothes and my younger brothers got bikes, cowboys-and-Indians and games.

Later in life, we found out the toys had been over my Aunt's house across the street from us. And those ashes? They came from our coal furnace in the basement.

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