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“Little Santa Claus” (1893)
Report to Moderator Old 05-21-2012 11:24 AM
MerryCarey
 
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Little Willie is afraid Santa Claus has forgotten their house on Christmas Eve---so he takes matters into his own hands to make sure his little brother Jamie won't be disappointed on Christmas morning.

Click here for a printable version.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

“Little Santa Claus” by Janet Logie Robertson
From St. Nicholas magazine, December 1893


It was Christmas eve. Outside, the moonlight showed a smooth expanse of drifted snow like a great white sea; the sky was another sea of darkest blue, with a magnificent moon afloat in it. It was what folks called “seasonable weather”; and if it made those who looked out at it from their own comfortable homes remember the houseless and the starving, and send out relief to them, I have no fault to find with it.

Inside the big nursery all was quiet, save for a whispering in the farthest corner. Here was stationed the bed of the two small lords of the nursery—Willie, aged six, and Jamie, four years. It was the elder brother who spoke:

“And just in the middle of the night, Jamie, when we are all asleep, down comes Santa Claus through the chimney, and fills these stockings we have hung up!”

“But he’ll burn his feet in the fire,” said Jamie, who was of a practical turn of mind.

“Oh, no, the fire wouldn’t burn Santa Claus; and besides, it will be out,” said Willie. “See, it’s going out already.”

The fire gave a last despairing flicker as he spoke, and then dropped into darkness.

“I mean to keep awake and see him,” he went on. “I should like so much to thank him for coming. Only think, he has filled my stockings three times already; and last Christmas he filled yours, too, Jamie, only you were too young to know!”

“What do you think he’ll bring?” asked Jamie, in a drowsy tone.

“Oh, everything you would like! There’ll be a ball like my best one, and a horse, and all sorts of lovely things!”

“That’ll be fine,” said Jamie; “but—I’m so sleepy!” Here he went fairly over to sleep.

“Perhaps I should go to sleep, too,” said Willie, softly to himself; “I’ll try. One, two, three four,—no, it’s no use trying; I can’t go to sleep. I must see Santa Claus.”

He lay still, staring at the moonlight, which was now flooding the room. At last he could wait no longer; he crept noiselessly out of bed, and stole to the window. He lifted a corner of the blind, and looked out. Earth and sky lay clear and bare before him—there was no sign of Santa Claus either above or below. And it was late, very late. Poor Willie’s ardor felt a sudden chill—could Santa Claus possibly have forgotten to come to-night? How disappointed little Jamie would be after all the fine promises he had been making to him! Oh, dear! Willie’s heart swelled, and a lump came into his throat; perhaps little Jamie would never believe him or care for him again. Then a sudden inspiration flashed across his brain; the little brother, at least, should not be disappointed. He clambered up to the shelf where his own most cherished playthings were kept—his best toys, that were brought out only on special occasions.

With his arms piled full of these, he came down again, and crossed the room to the dark fireplace, where hung the two little stockings. He carefully inserted his treasures, one by one, into his brother’s stocking; then he crept back into bed beside little Jamie, and finally fell asleep with a light heart.

Morning dawned at length. The red winter sun looked in on the two little brothers and woke them.

“I must look at my stocking,” said Jamie, clambering over Willie, who lay still and seemingly unconcerned. “Aren’t you coming to see yours, Willie? Why, I declare we have each two stockings filled!”

And sure enough, when Willie came bounding over to the fireside, there were four full stockings hanging up; and one of his had a card pinned to it, on which was written, “For little Santa Claus!”

* * * * * * * * * * * *
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