THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SANTA CLAUS
The Revolt of the Little Tin Soldiers
Santa, one year, was upset, so I hear,
And his nerves were most terribly jolted,
When one wintry morning, without any warning,
The little tin soldiers revolted.
The Captain, black-booted, clicked heels and saluted.
"I speak for my regiment, Santa!
We're refusing to go through the sleet and the snow
To Kalamazoo or Atlanta!
"My men and myself shall remain on the shelf.
I know this is strictly forbidden,
But we don't like our suits or our helmets or boots --
So, on Christmas, we plan to stay hidden!"
Cried Santa Claus: "STOP! Who's running this shop?
I never heard sillier chatter!"
He sharpened his scrutiny. "This, sir, is mutiny!
What in tarnation's the matter?"
The captain of tin raised his little tin chin.
"Our uniforms couldn't be duller!
We're ashamed to be seen in this poisonous green!
We think we're a horrible color!"
Santa replied with a grin hard to hide,
"Your color's your only complaint, sir?"
He loosened his buckle to let out a chuckle.
"Well, that can be altered with paint, sir!"
Smiling a lot, Santa got out a pot
And worked with his paints for a minute.
Having mixed up a shade guaranteed not to fade,
He dunked the whole regiment in it.
And so, Christmas morn, no longer forlorn,
The soldiers looked ever so jolly,
Each with his puny form decked in a uniform
Brighter and redder than holly!
Tommy's Letter to Santa
Santa Claus, dressed in the loudest of vests,
Was reading his mail full of Christmas requests,
When he found Tommy's note (rather smudgy to see)
Which said, SANTA, PLEASE SEND A BONNET TO ME!
"A bonnet?" thought Santa. The rest of the note
Said, SANTA, PLEASE BRING ME A SILK PETTICOAT!
AND PLEASE BRING A DRESS OF A COLOR NOT GLOOMY--
A BABY IS COMING, SO PLEASE MAKE IT ROOMY.
Santa glanced at his wife and remarked with a wink,
"This Tommy deserves something special, I think!
He asks for some presents," he smilingly said,
But not for himself--for his mother, instead!"
Santa's wife reached for a jar on the table,
A jar which had "MAGIC" inscribed on its label.
She then found a box, sprinkled magic inside it,
And helped by old Santa, she carefully tied it.
When Christmas day dawned, very sparkling and pleasant,
Tommy discovered his gaily-wrapped present.
He opened it up and stared for a minute,
The box was quite empty! Not one thing was in it!
Then he noticed a card--and surprised to his socks,
He read, "Merry Christmas, my lad! Shake the box!"
Dazed and bewildered, he put on the lid,
And rattled the box just the way he was bid.
Well, I give you my word that he'd no sooner done it
Than out fell a stylish and flattering bonnet!
He shook it again, then he stared, goggle-eyed,
For out fell a dress that was seven yards wide.
Next came some rompers and booties so small,
They seemed to be made for a real baby doll!
But that wasn't all! Came a jumping-jack toy
And a book and a sweater just right for a boy!
Far off, Santa Claus and his missus were sitting,
He with his corncob and she with her knitting.
Their magical radio brought them the joys
Of the lad still delightedly finding his toys.
"That's Tommy," said Santa Claus, beaming with pride,
"He's shaking our box with the magic inside!"
Santa, it seems, had been working all day,
Preparing the toys he would take in the sleigh.
Weary, he glanced at the dolls on the shelf,
All of whose faces he'd painted himself.
Pleased with his work, he consulted the clock
And began to unbutton his paint-spattered smock;
But he paused as he noticed one doll he'd forgotten.
Her face was a blank little blob of white cotton.
He chuckled: "'Twould be the unkindest of tricks
To leave you in such an unfortunate fix!"
Her cheeks were so pale that he gave her a blush,
Then painting her face with his talented brush,
He remarked: "You're the prettiest doll of the year.
I must fetch Mrs. Santa to see you, my dear!"
As Santa departed, a gremlin came in.
And moved toward the doll with a mischievous grin,
Seizing a brush, he proceeded with haste
To give her a look that was more to his taste.
Dear Mrs. Santa, good-natured and chubby,
Then entered the room on the heels of her hubby.
Seeing the doll, Santa gasped with a blink:
"I never painted that comical wink!"
By jingles! A gremlin has been here, I think!"
Mrs. Santa consoled him. "Her smile is so sweet,
And her wink's so delightful, she's really a treat.
She'll make people chuckle, she'll fill them with glee,
And laughter's good medicine, don't you agree?
She's so funny, my dear, I know just what to do--
Why not give her to kids who have colds or the flu!"
On Christmas, he did this, I'm happy to tell . . .
And the little sick children all laughed themselves well!
Mrs. Santa's Surprise
Mrs. Santa was tiptoeing softly around,
Trying to cook without making a sound.
Santa, you see, was asleep in his chair,
Getting rested, no doubt, for his trip in the air.
He had kicked off his boots, and she saw to her woe
That his red woolen socks were each sprouting a toe.
With her mind on this matter instead of her cooking,
She stirred up a batter without even looking!
"Holes in his socks!" said this gentle old soul,
As she emptied a shaker of salt in her bowl.
"I'll darn them tonight," was her penitent thought.
And she threw in some pepper--far more than she ought!
"I wonder," she mused, "if I've yarn of that color?"
She puzzled a moment, then tossed in a cruller,
A cupful of ketchup, some leftover pie,
And a few other things that were standing nearby.
Absentmindedly adding exactly one clove,
She then set her batter to bake in the stove.
At noon when old Santa sat down to his lunch,
He said to his wife, "I've the happiest hunch
That this dish you've prepared is a lovely surprise!"
"You're right!" she replied, looking ever so wise.
"It's surprising to me! It's a funny receipt,
Which somehow I think would be hard to repeat."
Chuckled old Santa: "It must be more fun
When you don't know what's cooking 'til after it's done!"
Well, he sampled the dish--then he gave a great cough!
His whiskers flew up and his napkin flew off!
Hearing his wheezes, the good lady guessed
That her lovely surprise wasn't one of her best.
So hastily rising, her cheeks very pink,
She poured her surprising "surprise" in the sink.
"Never mind," Santa said in his comforting way,
"I'll take you to lunch at the Penguin Cafe."
At midnight strange vapors began to arise
From the sink where the dear soul had poured her "surprise."
You see, by a chance more amusing than tragic,
She'd happened to stir up some old-fashioned MAGIC!
Taking the form of most curious vapors,
That magic at midnight was starting its capers.
Into the workroom those vapors went floating,
And all that they touched got a magical coating!
A doll in the box where she'd lately been put,
Lifted the lid with one kick of her foot.
(It startles a person unhardened to shocks
When a dolly, by golly, sits up in her box!)
Next, some tin soldiers, all stiffer than starch,
Climbed out of their carton and started to march.
"Rat-a-tat-tat!" boomed a drum in the room.
"Boom!" said a tiny toy cannon. "Boom-boom!"
"What's that?" Santa asked, sitting up in his bed
With his nightcap and tassel awry on his head.
"I thought I heard something--a gun or a drum!"
Mrs. Claus gave a yawn. "You're dreaming. Ho-hum!"
Santa returned to his slumber once more,
Just as a doll softly opened his door--
The very same dolly whose feet raised the lid
Of the tissue-filled carton in which she was hid.
Climbing the bedspread, she sat on his chest,
Smiling and nodding her prettiest best.
Then, patting his cheek, she leaned close to his ear
And whispered a soft, "Merry Christmas, my dear!"
Santa Claus stirred and he uttered a sigh;
His rosy nose twitched as if touched by a fly,
And he smiled in his sleep as, at first flush of day,
The magical vapors went floating away!
Santa Claus, finishing turkey and pie,
Rose from the table and uttered a sigh,
And said with a wink at his little round wife:
"As a cook, Mrs. S., you're the crown of my life!"
Then brushing the crumbs of his banquet away,
He ran from the house and jumped into his sleigh.
Climbing a roof, Santa sat on its peak,
Sorting his gifts with his tongue in his cheek.
Then smiling, he waved at the slumbering town,
And climbing a chimney, he let himself down.
But suddenly, dear, his expression of buoyance
Changed to a look of astonished annoyance!
His holiday dinner had made him so stout,
He couldn't get down--and he couldn't get out!
He wiggled and wriggled, but Santa, by Jim'ney,
Was stuck like a jolly red cork in the chimney!
"Help!" Santa cried with the wind in his beard.
Windowpanes opened, and nightcaps appeared.
People ran out, rather scantily shirted;
The Mayor was called, the police were alerted!
Children looked on with delighted hysterics
As firemen worked with their pulleys and derricks
'Til finally Santa emerged with a flop,
Coming uncorked with an audible pop!
Well, somehow, my dears, he delivered his gifts,
Then homeward he flew over mountains and drifts;
And humbled, and puzzled, and risking her censure,
He told Mrs. Claus of his hapless adventure.
Patting his shoulder, she comforted him.
"Nonsense!" she said. "You are splendidly trim!
Come finish the pie--and don't worry or fear--
The chimneys are just getting smaller, my dear!"
Santa Claus, just a bit late, I believe
Was taking his usual trip, Christmas Eve,
When all of a sudden he uttered a shout
As his little red sled started lurching about.
Something had happened to startle the reindeer.
Donner, the leader, a very well-trained deer,
Had sighted a comet. (He had, on my honor . . . .)
And the comet was rapidly heading for Donner!
"Whoa!" shouted Santa--then grabbed at his cap,
But he might just as well have commanded: "Giddap!"
For Donner was dashing away in the sky,
Going so fast and so far and so high
That he very soon came to that place far away
Which angels reserve for small cherubs at play.
Alarmed at the sight of the runaway sled,
Some dove into mist-banks, heels over head;
One of them happily strumming his harp,
Showed his excitement by striking a sharp!
Another so hastily fled through the blue
That he tumbled his little gold halo askew!
"Whoa, Donner, whoa!" Santa loudly repeated,
Bouncing so high he was nearly unseated!
But rolling his eyeballs and snorting aloud,
Panicky Donner just fled for a cloud,
And reaching it, tunneled it hopefully through--
Only to find that the comet had, too!
Santa, poor fellow, was wearing a frown,
For by now he was riding along upside-down.
Then Donner swerved sharply, thus righting the sled,
And tailed by the comet, went plunging ahead
'Til he presently met, looming up in his track,
A rain-swollen cloud of a thunderous black.
Towering awesomely there in the skies,
This cloud was so very enormous in size
That when it uncorked its spectacular spout,
"Glug!" said the comet--and meekly went out.
Greatly relieved, Santa straightened his cap,
Slapped at the reins, and once more cried "Giddap!"
He waved at the cherubs and winked a bright eye
As Donner turned 'round and descended the sky.
And so, just as midnight was starting to chime,
He arrived at your rooftop exactly on time!
Santa's Leftover Toys
One Christmas Eve, after Santa got back,
Having traveled the world with his toy-filled sack,
He entered his house and he loosened his vest,
Kicked off his boots and lay down for a rest.
As soon as his jovial snores could be heard,
A magical happening quickly occurred.
The leftover toys on the tables and shelves
Came to life and began entertaining themselves.
A doll did a dance which was charming to view,
And a colorful clown did a tumble or two.
(I wish I had been there to see them, don't you?)
"What's that?" muttered Santa, reluctant to waken.
"That cannot be laughter! I must be mistaken!"
The doll who'd been dancing climbed up on a chair
And soothingly whispered to Santa, "There, there!"
And then (Could a gesture be sweeter than this?),
She bent her bright bonnet and gave him a kiss.
Bestowing on Santa a soft little glance,
She slid from her chair and returned to the dance.
The other dolls joined her and frolicked till dawn
While weary old Santa snored peacefully on.
Santa, dear Santa, is having a snooze
Hush, hush! Don't make any noise.
He has just gotten home from his holiday cruise
And sleeps amid leftover toys.
His elfin assistants, that mischievous pair,
Play hide-and-seek there in his thistledown hair.
Santa, unheeding, is slumbering deep--
Santa is sleeping, his head on his chest;
He's having a beautiful nap.
A goblin is sliding the slope of his vest,
While others are climbing his lap!
They swing on his whiskers which merrily soar
Lifted aloft by his hurricane snore!
But nothing disturbs him, no chuckle or peep--
His cap is on crooked, he sprawls in his chair;
The goblins continue their play;
Peeking in, Mrs. Santa says softly, "Take care!"
Then quietly tiptoes away.
Santa, poor darling, is not any shirk,
But climbing down chimneys is rather hard work!
Let's all slip away, for we love him a heap--