"Please, Sarah, there's nothing the matter with my heart. I have work to do. Don't you know what night this is?
"Of course I know what night this is. It's — it's — Heavens, it's the night before Christmas! How could I have forgotten!"
"Yes, it's the night before Christmas and you're holding me back with your empty chatter."
"You must let me help you pack, Santa. My, what lovely toys you have. And so many."
"Yes, my boys and I did a wonderful job this year. Here, hold the bag while I put these in."
"That toy limousine — isn't it beautiful! It must have been costly to build. Who's it for, Santa?"
"Let me see. It's marked here, someplace. Oh yes, it's for a little boy who lives on top of the hill. Name escapes me at the moment. But I'll remember it. Splendid family. Oceans of wealth."
"And the tiny wooden sailboat — who is this for?"
"Well, there's a family of poor people at the other end of town. In fact, there are many — ah — underprivileged children there and I have a lot of little things for them."
"But no limousines."
"Well, the children can't all have limousines, can they?"
"I suppose not. What a lovely party dress! What little girl would not give the world to own it! Who is this for, Santa?"
"Well — um — ah —"
"Oh, yes, I know; it's for some little girl on top of the hill, isn't it?" "Ye —es, but —"
"And these cotton hankies and rag dolls are for the children at the other end of town?"
"Now you don't understand, Sarah —"
"The nicest things go to those who have the nicest things and the poorest things go —"
"Don't jump to conclusions! Let me explain. It's like this — Goodness, it's getting late; I have to go! Don't wait up for me, dear; I'll be home about dawn. C'mon, Prancer! C'mon, Dancer! C'mon, Rudolph! Away we go!"
The sleigh bells tinkled cheerfully, speeding over the silent snow; but Sarah was sure the Santa's "Ho, ho, ho!" coming back through the starry night, had a hollow sound.
J. M. (Jim Milne)
Socialist Party of Canada