Track 12: Zat You Santa Claus – Louis Armstrong
Wise Young Santa Claus By Harrison R. Merrill
White whiskers & white hair are usually a part of the makeup of Santa Claus, but in reality he is of all ages and strange to say of both sexes. I sometimes wonder why Mrs. Santa Claus is not found more frequently in our lore.
The only reason I can find for her omission is that she, wonderful mothers of the world, made Santa Claus for us and with the adroit manipulations for which she is famous, made us love him with all our hearts.
A Mother recently told me an interesting story of a youthful Santa Claus.
Vern was a boy of eleven, but he became Santa to a spinster lady of fifty-five and a mighty wise Santa, too; much wiser than many a one of the white-whiskered type.
He said to his mother one day last year: “Mother, Miss Lander is all alone. She hasn’t a soul to make fires for her, or carry in her coal, or do anything at all and Mother, I think she needs a good warm wrap when she gets up in the morning.”
Now this mother was of the Santa Claus making variety. She smiled sweetly at the little Santa Claus in the making, but she never said a word.
“Well” Vern went on, “I’ve decided to get her a Christmas present.”
The mother listened. It is good sometimes just to listen to these men – growing up.
“I am going to get her a bath robe, one like yours, that’s good & warm, so when she gets up in the morning in her cold house, she can slip into it and stay in it ‘til she gets her fire started.”
“And how will you get this bath robe?” the mother asked.
“I’ll sell papers from now ‘til Christmas, that ought a do it.”
He hoarded his money like a young Midas.
Then one day some carpenters came into Vern’s vicinity to build a house. He saw the pieces of boards, the broken shingles and lath, odds and ends of lumber and they gave him another idea. He went to the builder and asked if he might gather some of the smaller pieces to take over to Miss Lander to be used as kindling. The builder was willing and soon Miss Lander had the finest pile of wood that had been stacked in her coal house in years.
On Christmas Eve, Vern, [with a] beautiful, warm bath robe under his arm, went over to Miss Lander’s. The good lady was overjoyed.
“I’ll treasure it,” said she, the tears streaming down her cheeks and falling upon the robe which was pressed against her face.
“You’re to wear it, not treasure it,” said the Santa Claus-growing up, stoutly. “I’ll come over every morning to see if you have it on.”