I didn’t hear the reindeer or the bells on the sleigh. Nor did I see Santa enter in any remarkable way.

By the tree he stood dressed head to toe in red. In a big jolly suite like he was ready for bed.

He paused for a moment by the fireplace to stare, his every motion I watched from my place on the stair.

But when I saw Santa like never before. You see, he was praying. He had knelt on the floor.

The department store pictures never show Santa this way. He’s always surrounded by toys in his sleigh.

I moved like a shadow toward the fireplace light, and I head Santa’s prayer on Christmas Eve night.

Savior, I’m not the Santa I used to be. I’m merely a symbol for toys beneath the tree.

For businessmen have hidden your most holy name, and five me much undeserved fame.

They think only for their pockets and the silver in its place to stand among men with their ladies in lace.

Santa didn’t cry, though I thought that I would, for with a heavy heart old Saint Nicholas stood.

I wanted to run and hug his bowed heard, but instead I turned and went back to bed.

Afraid I would lose all the toys he had brought that; that much I knew, that much I’d been taught.

Pausing to pray before crawling in bed, I once saw again Santa’s shaggy bowed head.

I knew Santa was praying that all girls and boys would think more of their Christ and think less of their toys.

Santa gave me a gift but he didn’t even know. So come next Christmas and I’ll tell Santa so.

I’ll leave out my Bible and manger with hay, along with the list of prayers that I pray.

And when I’m anxious I will think of that sight, of Santa Claus praying on Christmas Eve night.

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