2017 Submission to “Tell Your Favorite Christmas Story Lake Almanor!” by anonymous
Forty-one years ago we moved to beautiful Lake Almanor. As a young boy my husband had spent time with his dad fishing on the lake and never forgot its beauty. When the bay area, where we lived, became too crowded, we decided to move our four young kids to Lake Almanor and open a business. We hoped for the best.
At a local church we met a lot of young couples like ourselves, rich in love, but poor in cash. There we met Gena and Ron Decoto. Ron was a biologist with Fish & Game, Gena worked at Lassen Power. Their generosity brought many of us young couples into a special Christmas tradition with Gena’s parents, Doc and Ruth Bryner who had a beautiful home on the lake. And what a fun family tradition it became.
Each year we would bring small presents for our children to their house and hide them in the bedroom. At the appointed time Doc Bryner would stuff his sack with the gifts, don a Santa Suit, and come down the breezeway Ho,Ho,Hoing with bells and a pack full of presents on his back. Doc had a big voice and big hands. One year, Doc called our youngest son Mathew in that big voice and asked him if he would like to sit on Santa’s lap and help pass out presents. 4-year old Mathew, eyes wide with magic said, “yes”! And had a wonderful time being Santa’s helper.
That night on the way home, sleepy Mathew said to me, “Momma? Santa has hands just like Doc Bryner!”
We said why yes, he most certainly does and tucked that small one into bed to dream of Santa a bit more. Mathew, now Matt, is 42 and we still love telling the story. Merry Christmas!