It was the night before Christmas, when all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads; And Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap, Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave the luster of midday to objects below, When what to my wondering eyes should appear, But wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his reindeer they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer!, Now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid!, On, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, So up to the housetop the reindeer they flew, With a sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too.
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, The prancing of reindeer and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, jand was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of toys he had fling on his back, and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went staight to his work, And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk, And laying a finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, " Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
Dear Editor, I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says "If you see it in The Sun it's so."
Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?
115 West Ninety-fifth St.
VIRGINIA, Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, not even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas. There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating. While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad. In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertainin as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed foreach other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.
The Grinch hated the Who's down in Who-ville they say, so he snuck down in secret, early Christmas day. He stole all their presents, he stole all their wrapping, he stole all their food, all their tinsel and trappings. Then he took it all up to the top of Mt. Crumpit, packed high on his sleigh, he was ready to dump it.
He stared down at Who-ville! The Grinch popped his eyes! Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming! It came! Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, Stood puzzling and puzzling: 'How could it be so?' 'It came with out ribbons! It came without tags!' 'It came without packages, boxes or bags!' And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. Then the grinch thought of something he hadn't before! 'Maybe Christmas,' he thought, 'doesn't come from a store.' 'Maybe Christmas ... perhaps ... means a little bit more!'
And what happened then ...? Well ... in Who-ville they say That the Grinch's small heart Grew three sizes that day!