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The Real Santa Claus

From the Omaha Daily Bee, December 24, 1913. By Wex Jones.

We always picture Santa Claus as ruddy, plump and jolly,
Snugly wrapped in fur-lined coat, gayly decked with holly;
Whirling through the crisp night air, shot with bright star-twinkles,
While beneath his reindeers’ feet the snowflake scarcely crinkles.
The Santa Claus we always dream, bears upon his back
A bully, bursting, bountiful, joy-creating pack;
And if his Christmas largess should deplete his brimming store
All he need do is turn his team and speed right back for more.

But, alas, the real Santa Claus is often thin and weak,
And no tingle of the wintry air brings color to her cheek;
And often on the Christmas eve, the Christmas spirit mocking,
She sees beside her empty hand the tattered, empty stocking.
But childish hope is long-lived and childish faith is strong,
And the stockings wait each Christmas lest Santa come along;
So she skimps and starves and struggles to get the babes a toy,
For what’s her cold and hunger to her children’s dream and joy?

So when you think of Santa Claus, the one who’s plump and jolly,
The one who’s snug in fur-lined coat and smiles through wreaths of holly,
The one who, of his plenty, lavishes Christmas joys,
Where joys abound already, on favored girls and boys—
Oh, don’t forget the others, the weary ones and worn,
Who render of their scanty store to brighten Christmas morn;
And in the pleasant bustle of this happy season, pause
To lend a hand of helpfulness to the real Santa Claus.

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