As a young girl, I would go to Philly weekly with my grandma Mary, to see her sister Auntie Sharp. Many times on the way home I’d get a tummy ache from all the goodies I ate. My mother would give me a teaspoon of Coca-Cola® syrup from the drug store, which seemed to make me feel better. On the corner of Auntie’s block there was an ice cream shop that sold Coca-Cola® syrup mixed with carbonated water as a soft drink. We were poor, so Coca-Cola was the preferred drink only for celebrations.

coca-colaEvery Christmas a Santa ringing a bell would be on Auntie’s block. I heard him say, “young lady you’re not too old to tell Santa your wish.”

I stopped and said, “a bottle of Coca-Cola® for the celebration would be nice.”

He smiled as he slid his hand into a paper bag sitting on the sidewalk and said, “holy smokes, I think I can handle this.” Sure enough he pulled out a Coca-Cola® and handed it to me.

Then my grandma whispered in my ear, “always remember child, miracles can happen now and then.” There was something about the taste of that bottle of Coke that made me realize Coca-Cola® was noteworthy.

It didn’t surprise me to learn that the “traditional” American Santa that we so enjoy, the way we view him in his red-velvet and bigger than life appearance, designed by Haddon Sundblom, was hired by Coca-Cola® to create one of their ad campaigns. Through the years Coca-Cola® has not only affected my life, but the life of my children and their children.

My son Michael became a Coca-Cola® employee right out of high school. The boss realized instantly that this kid could sell snow to Eskimos. He became the top salesman, winning campaign awards and took pride in creating store displays beyond the call of duty.

At an archery shoot, when Michael’s twin brother, Gregory, won the tournament, his son shouted, “daddy, daddy, it’s time for a Coke.” This child somehow knew it was a celebration and time for him to enjoy, for the first time, the Coke taste. Three cheers to Coca-Cola®, a workforce giant.