This I Believe

Jerry - Flagstaff, Arizona
Entered on November 11, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

‘Twas the month before Christmas

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

‘Twas the month before Christmas, and into the mall,

I traveled, a bit nervous, to follow a call.

“So much time every day?” I wondered aloud,

I’d be in a chair in front of a crowd.

Will I like this job, twelve hours each day?

Or might I prefer to run far away?

My beard and my hair are nearly all white

with suit of red felt I’ll fit in all right.

The children will come to sit on my knees

and beg for their gifts near fake Christmas trees.

A babe three days old I was given to hold,

‘twas a gift to me more precious than gold.

A grandma of 97 on my knee did sit;

“I’ve been a good girl,” she was quick to admit.

A red headed trio to Santa did tell

their wishes and hopes for this coming Noel.

Four teens in Goth, in line they did lurk

to give Santa some hugs with nary a smirk.

With children in tow, Navajo grandmas did come.

My knees were still ready, though sometimes felt numb.

A student from the past to Santa did bring

her siblings, herself and her newborn offspring.

When children were few, my gaze it might wander

watching mothers and fathers with money to squander.

Music played softly, repeating each song.

“Noel,” “Deck the Halls” all the day long.

Some women and men in wheelchairs did plead

for dolls and for puzzles with which to succeed.

The lines would get long. My throat would get sore

from listening and talking, my holiday chore.

Tall players from Utah around me did lean

twelve women, all strong, a basketball team.

Some toddlers with ties and with dresses they’d wear

taking photos just perfect for grandpas to bear.

“What books might you like?” I’d asked a young child

who wanted some noise to drive mama wild.

Families would sit and for pictures they’d stay,

I’d sit in my suit, seeing flashes all day.

Some sensitive young ones told me their story

of sharing, of peace, with smooth oratory.

My children, now adults, to visit they came,

these sons and these daughters who honor my name.

My darling, my love, put her arms ‘round my neck.

This woman, Mrs. Claus, I gave her a peck.

A young one named Taylor was puzzled and said

“I saw Santa at the library, also in red.”

As days moved on toward Christmas Eve

I helped the little ones want to believe.

This tale is near done, but Santa, don’t fear,

will be back in this place near the end of next year.

I love my new role, the joy I can share

with all who will visit and sit in my chair.

I believe now in Santa, in the joy I can bring,

by caring, by holding, and by listening

to kids of all ages who come for a smile,

to whisper their secrets with me for a while.