My fondest memory of a Christmas past is a conversation I overheard between my parents. I was around five years old at the time. They knew I really wanted to learn how to play the piano but the purchase of a piano would be above and beyond what they could afford in those days. I recall hearing my mom say, "I wish we could at least afford to buy Joanie a second-hand piano." In my five-year old brain, a second-hand piano was a type of piano not unlike a Steinway or Yamaha.
A few days later my mother, sister, my aunt and I were shopping. We stopped to chat with a sidewalk Santa who asked the inevitable question: "What would you like for Christmas?" Without a moment's hesitation I replied: "A second-hand piano."
Need I explain my mother's embarrassment? But Santa, being Santa, responded with a pat on the head and the inevitable, "Ho-ho-ho."
When I retired from teaching in 2002, my first order of business was to search for a piano instructor and take lessons. And sitting in my living room is one of my most prized possessions: a beautiful, gently used, baby grand.
Although I had to wait approximately 55 years, Santa finally came through with the second-hand piano.