Commissioned by  Santa for the Manes Family
Written by Susan Farrelly

‘Twas the night after Christmas, when all through North Pole
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mole.
The Christmas sleigh was parked in the shed with care,
So next year it could again fly through the air.

The elves were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of wood shavings and ribbons danced in their heads.
And Mrs. Claus in her nightgown and I in my robe
Had just settled down to share my stories of circling the globe.

Of course I started with the milk and treats and cookie batter,
To tell Mrs. Claus about all of the food that makes me fatter.
They say I have a broad face and a little round belly,
That shakes when I laugh, like a bowlful of jelly!

And then under the moon on the crest of the new-fallen snow
Giving the luster of mid-day to houses and golf courses below.
When, what to my wandering reindeer came near,
But the house where the Manes family gathers each year.

“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

With Rudolph leading, so lively and keen,
I knew the reindeer would soon be snacking on the ‘green’.
This family they remembered more than any other due to their charm,
As the reindeer loved visiting Marnie and Dave’s old farm.

The very first year the reindeer found the farm after a search.
While piano and guitar music played as I sat beside the fireplace on my perch.
A little blonde baby named Brooke was placed on my knee.
She didn’t cry a tear and her love for Santa was easy to see.

I was dressed all in fur, from my head to my foot,
As my clothes were not yet tarnished with ashes and soot.
Seeing sweet little Brooke turned my smile into a bow,
As she looked at my beard which was as white as the snow.

Next on Santa’s knee was mother Shelley, Gramma Marnie and great-grandmother Margaret.
This would be a Manes Family Christmas to never forget.
When Shelley whispered in my ear what she wanted the most.
My face turned the colour of my suit, said the host.

Year after year, I visited the Manes’ Christmas place,
As Brooke would grow up right under my jolly old face.
Telling stories at Christmas, I saw Brooke’s many childhood stages.
And she was a big help as she would turn my book’s pages.

As a young girl, Brooke would ask for a horse and then later, a truck.
If I could fit these presents in my sleigh, it would have been pure luck.
This year though, the ultimate gift would arrive for Dave and for Brooke.
A beautiful dark-haired baby girl named Elle, a new chapter in the Manes’ family book.

This year will be five generations of Manes’ family members that have sat upon my knee.
It is moments like this that I realize I am lucky to be me.
As 25 years have gone by since visiting the Manes’ on Christmas Eve,
This family’s magical and festive tradition continues for all to believe.

“But who gives Santa a gift?” some people may rift.
Why, visiting the Manes’ house each year is my Christmas gift.
They say, my eyes-how they twinkle! My nose is like a cherry!
It is families like the Manes’ who make my Christmas Merry!

And then, off to the other houses I need to fly like a flash,
Down the chimneys, to the stockings and Christmas trees in a dash.
And laying a finger aside of my nose,
While giving a nod, I head out the door as the cold wind blows.

I spring to my sleigh, to my reindeer I give a whistle,
And away they all fly like the down of a thistle.
I always exclaim, ‘ere I drive out of the Manes’ family sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

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