Santa’s Calling

In a sleigh full of eggnog, a fortnight ago,
Sat an unsuited Santa, without a ‘Ho Ho’.
It was two weeks till Christmas – he was dreading the trip –
The thought made him nauseous and made his bowels drip.

His anxiety had built bit by tiniest bit
Through the past several months and by now was a fit.
For he knew what would greet him at the end of that day
When the reindeer were ready and the elves packed the sleigh.

It would be just like last year – he had no hopes for better –
For proof he had only to turn to the letters
Stacked not nearly so high as in centuries past,
Even counting the email that had come in a blast.

No, there was not even hope if he opened a few,
His sad eyes had read for a moment or two
Of the greedy, ungrateful demands held within,
And he wiped a small tear from the tip of his chin.

Well, at least some had written, he thought with a shrug,
For it had been many years since he’d found on a rug
A tiny wee child of just seven or eight
Who had snuck back downstairs and stayed up very late.

To catch just a glimpse of a wondrous sight –
A big bellied Santa by Christmas tree light.
The memory brought a smile to his old withered face
But it faded as quickly as a snowflake of lace.

For the truth now was not one of laughter or light.
Indeed, it was often of darkness or spite.
For children today thought they knew all, and now
He often saw worry on each little brow.

And Santa, he thought that perhaps it was sad
That each little girl or boy’s Mummy or Dad
Could google an answer to questions of love
Or of mercy and hope and of what’s up above.

He didn’t think children now learned much of magic
Or of stories of wonder – the results were quite tragic.
The number of believers was dwindling so…
His heart burst with longing for so long ago.

When Christmas lists were of just one line or two
And children knew true joy and real magic, too.
And the tale of the first Christmas day in the barn –
That it wasn’t just some old man’s rambling yarn,

But the truth of a baby who just with his birth
Brought joy to all children all over the earth.

And so Santa sat in his sleigh in the snow
And watched o’er his flock of wild reindeer below.
Then he lifted his head and he gazed at the Star
And it seemed just so very impossibly far.

But the Voice spoke to him, as it had always before.
And he got to his feet and decided once more
To be there for each little wee spirit of grace,
For that tiny small child with a smile on her face.

 For if he didn’t work to keep Christmastime true
Just who could he count on – could it be you?

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