Sunday, May 21, 2017


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)


 "A bonnet?" thought Santa.  The rest of the note




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!"

 A Christmas Mix‑up

One bright Christmas Eve, years ago, I believe,

 Santa felt feverish all day.

He was sick in his bed with a cold in his head,

           And couldn't go out in his sleigh.
                                                   Mrs. Santa came in with a comforting grin.

"Now, just you rest cozy, my dear!

         Yes, Santy, it's late, but don't worry your pate.

        l'll deliver the presents this year!"

       The good lady fled to the sled in the shed,

       And patting the shoulder of Blitzen,

       She mounted the seat, well‑polished and neat

    That Santa Claus usually sits in.

                                                  Then off and away went the little red sleigh!

   Swiftly and surely it rose,

    As above her abode Mrs. Santa Claus rode,

   Cleaving the clouds with her nose.

                                                  Bursting with pride, she continued to ride,

 Till carried by sure‑footed hoof,

   She at last settled down in a faraway town,

And nimbly stepped out on a roof.

                                            But alas and alack!  When she opened her pack

Full of Santa's bright playthings and games,

                                             She found she'd mislaid the list he had made—

His list of addresses and names.

                                            Well, Christmas, that year, was a mix‑up, I hear.

                                                The folks who liked puppies got kittens.

Babies looked wise wearing jackets and ties.

While their daddies got bootees and mittens!

                                                      A zoo‑keeper got a geranium pot,

Quite useless, but charmingly painted.

While his gift, a bear, was delivered somewhere

To a nervous old lady who fainted.

 But just about dawn when her gifts were all gone

Mrs. Santa flew home through the sky,

  And she thought, knowing not of the havoc she'd wrought:

"What a blessing to Santa am I!"

                                             When Christmas was past, and Santa, at last

Was belatedly reading his mail,

He discovered with shame that the gist of the same

Was an angry  or sorrowful wail.

"Dear Santy," (I quote from one brief little note),
                                                     Thanks for the dress with the frill,

                                            And thanks for the doll and the pink parasol—

But don’t bother with me next year . . . Bill."

                                                 Santa, no dunce, understanding at once

What had happened, ran out of the house,

Determined to fix up the terrible mix‑up

Caused by his blundering spouse.

With his list in his hand he flew over the land,

And never a moment he rested

Till each girl and boy had gotten the toy

Which had been so politely requested.

Then homeward he went, well pleased and content,

 And he gave Mrs. Santa three kisses,

But the muddle she made when she offered her aid,

He tactfully kept from the missus!

That lady, forsooth, unaware of the truth,

Was happy, and quite satisfied.

She was full of good cheer that lasted all year,

Because of her Christmas ride.

Funny Face

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!

Reindeer Trouble

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!

The Night I Caught Santa Claus

One Christmas Eve, I stayed up late

And hid myself because

It was my plan to lie in wait

And watch for Santa Claus.

At twelve o'clock, I heard a noise,

And peeping out real quick,

I saw the chimney raining toys

Then out fell old St. Nick!

I must have giggled once, I fear;

I quickly stopped the sound,

But smart old Santa, sharp of ear,

Suspicious, swung around.

He laughed a jolly, "Ho, ho, ho!"

Then said with twinkling eyes:

"It isn't every boy I know

Who takes me by surprise!"

Then putting me astride his back,

He bore me to his sled,

And there he gave his whip a crack,

"Heigh-ho!  We're off!" he said.

We climbed down chimneys all night through,

`Cause he and I were chums;

He let me fill some stockings, too.

With dolls and sugarplums.

And as I helped arrange the toys

That magic Christmas Eve,

I saw such wonders, girls and boys,

As you would scarce believe!

The dolls that Santa set in place

Would lift their arms up high

And tug his beard and kiss his face,

And fondly call, "Goodbye!"

Next morning when I woke in bed

I heard my mother say:

“For goodness sake, you sleepy-head!

Wake up!  It's Christmas day!"

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 that 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's Asleep

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's asleep!

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

Santa's asleep!

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

Santa's asleep!

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