When I was a young child, we would visit my Grandparents in Florida over the holidays. They told me the story of Marvin the Mouse, a gift bearing rodent, that would come bearing a gift each night for the 12 days before Christmas. This tradition was in lieu of doing stockings on Christmas morning, which scared me. Was Santa freaked out by mice? Surely, he’s seen worse sliding down those dirty chimneys. Braving the concept, my grandparents instructed me to put a shoe in a windowsill and Marvin would come at night and leave a little gift in it. (No, not mouse poop.)
Many of the South Florida homes back then had gray or white polished marble slab windowsills, as I imagine they withstood the high humidity. I thought it was odd at first, but was curious as to how Marvin was going to get up on that slick ledge. I put out a patent leather dress shoe that I secretly hoped Marvin would eat. In the morning, as promised, Marvin had brought me a gift – a giant glazed sugar cookie from a bakery. Even as I grew older, I looked forward to Florida Grandparent visits and Marvin’s nightly trek bearing gifts of gum, quarters and candy. It wasn’t so much about what I was getting, but more of the excitement of something fun to look forward to each morning. In retrospect, stockings on Christmas morning can be a little overwhelming to kids when already combined with Santa and Family presents. This year, we are ditching the stockings and putting a shoe in the window to see if Marvin can find his way to our home here in California.
Hey, look! He came!