“‘Did you tell Santa what you wanted?’ the Old Man asked.
“‘Did he ask you if you had been a good boy?’
“‘Ha! Don’t worry. He knows anyway. I’ll bet he knows about the basement window. Don’t worry. He knows.’
“Maybe that was it! My mind reeled with the realization that maybe Santa did know how rotten I had been….There had been for generations on Cleveland Street a theory that if you were not ‘a good boy’ you would reap your just desserts under the Christmas tree. This idea had been largely discounted by the more confirmed evildoers in the neighborhood, but now I could not escape the distinct possibility that there was something to it….
“Usually for a full month or so before the big day most kids walked the straight and narrow, but I had made a drastic slip from the paths of righteousness by knocking out a basement window with a sled runner and then compounding the idiocy by denying it when all the evidence was incontrovertible. This caused an uproar which had finally resulted in my getting my mouth washed out with Lux and a drastic curtailment of allowance to pay for the glass. I could see that either my father or Santa, or perhaps both, were not content to let bygones be bygones. Were they in league with each other? Or was Santa actually a mother in disguise?”
From “Christmas Every Day” by William Dean Howells in A Vintage Christmas: A Collection of Classic Stories and Poems:
“She had a splendid Christmas. She went to bed early, so as to let Santa Claus have a chance at the stockings, and in the morning she was up the first of anybody and went and felt them, and found hers all lumpy with packages of candy, and oranges and grapes, and pocket-books and rubber balls and all kinds of small presents, and her big brother’s with nothing but the tongs in them, and her young lady sister’s with a new silk umbrella, and her papa’s and mamma’s with potatoes and pieces of coal wrapped up in tissue paper, just as they always had every Christmas….
“Then she waited around till the rest of the family were up, and she was the first to burst into the library, when the doors were opened, and look at the large presents laid out on the library-table — books, and portfolios, and boxes of stationery, and breast-pins, and dolls, and little stoves, and dozens of handkerchiefs, and ink-stands, and skates, and snow-shovels, and photograph-frames, and little easels, and boxes of water-colors, and Turkish paste, and nougat, and candied cherries, and dolls’ houses, and waterproofs, — and the big Christmas-tree, lighted and standing in a waste-basket in the middle.”
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landside,
No escape from reality
Open your eyes,
Look up to the skies and see….