A man sat with his legs crossed in a place he didn’t know,
The dark of night was sprinkled with the light of falling snow.
He had but 30 minutes he would wait to catch a bus,
A vehicle to nowhere…for nowhere he could trust.
He shivered as he pulled his jacket tight around his trunk.
Observing lights and holly, but his heart continued sunk.
He felt the coin and cash he carried, little to his name,
And thought that Christmas as he knew would never be again.
And as he sat he watched a little family passing by.
Galoshes and red pea-coats and a twinkle in their eye.
Oh how he longed for that! thought he, his life forsaken then,
He found himself alone, alone, a beggar swine of men.
Just then another came and sat along the bus stop bench.
A bearded man of rosy cheeks and charming Christmas stench.
With tattered leather jacket and a red knit fraying hat,
“Good evening, sir” he said so friendly, looking for a chat.
“My name is Walt, I’m waiting for a bus to who knows where.
I’m hoping that somehow I’ll find a better Christmas there.”
“’Tis nice to meet you Walt,” said he who too was leaving town.
“My name is Nicholas Santana Clauser Chimney Down.”
“Well that’s a funny name” said Walt “you surely look the part.
If I could make a Christmas wish, old Santa’s where I’d start.”
“Well I’m not Santa,” said the man who said his name was Nick.
“But if I was, I’d have to know the wish that you would pick.”
“I don’t know…” said Walt a little hesitant to say,
“You’re not a Santa Claus so then who are you anyway?”
“I know the man, a friend of mine he is from years ago.
For I too was alone once on a path I didn’t know.”
“So what, like Santa helped you out? He bailed you out of jail?”
“Oh no!” said Nicholas, “He just responded to my mail!”
“Ha!” scoffed Walt, “I did that too when I was just a kid.
But get a letter back was something that I never did.”
“So anyways you look like Santa but you say you’re not.
You sound like you were in my shoes, cause nothing have I got.
You say that Santa helped you, by responding to your mail,
So what’d he say that helped you? Please, I want to hear your tale.”
“The letter I received contained a message just for me.
Turns out all that I needed was a little help to see.
But Walt, before I start I have to ask what brought you here.
And why you seem to sport a void of festive Christmas cheer!”
“Alright I guess I’ll tell you, maybe you can help me out.”
“I’ll do my best,” said Nicholas ,“now what is this about.”
“I used to be so happy…with a perfect family life.
We loved each other and you couldn’t find a better wife.”
“And obviously Christmas was our favorite time of year.
We knew the only things that mattered were our loved ones dear.
With music, lights, delicious food and Christmas gifts galore,
It seemed as though each year we loved it better than before.”
“But years went by and well, I did some things I’m shamed to say.
I had it all, believe me, and I threw it all away.
I said some things I shouldn’t have and acted like a jerk,
And after that, well things got worse and simply wouldn’t work.”
“Because of this, I found myself alone with no one close.
I left my wife and kids alone and that’s what hurt the most.
I guess now as I’m looking back it isn’t hard to see,
The problems that I thought I had were nothing – it was me.”
“For years I’ve wandered aimlessly from Boston to L.A.
Just thinking if I saw them now, what would I even say?
A day does not go by that I don’t think of all I had,
And Christmas time and cheer just makes me feel ten times as bad.”
His hands covered his weathered face and tears began to fall.
And like a little child, he just cried a sobbing bawl.
Then Nicholas sat closer, put his arm around his friend,
Sometimes all that is needed is someone to understand.
“Well Walt,” said Nicholas Santana Clauser Chimney Down,
“I feel your pain, and life is yours to change and turn around.
Now I am not a saint, nor bishop, nothing what you will.
But what I have to say is something helpful, even still.”
“Now on a lonely snowy night one long ago December,
I wrote my wishes on a list of which I was the sender.
I sent it to our friend up north, there was nobody else,
And figured it’d get lost in transit prob’ly by an elf!”
“Weeks later when I got the mail I noticed something green.
A letter from the north pole! And addressed it was, to me!
The sender line said Santa Claus and I could not believe
The answer I was waiting for had come on Christmas Eve!”
“Ok, hold on,” said Walt, “Now let me get this whole thing straight.
A letter straight from Santa Claus had need say something great.”
“And that it did,” said Nicholas, “And now I have to tell –
What Santa Claus had written me and why it did me well.”
“I opened up the envelope and took the paper out.
It smelled like cinnamon and ivy awesome Christmas clout.
I read the words and soon the tears were streaming down my face.
I finally had a wake up call, I finally knew my place.”
“Santa said he loved me and he knew I’d had it tough.
He’d always read my letters and he knew I’d had enough.
He told me that he’d checked his list and even checked it twice,
And even though I was alone, I still was just as nice.”
“But after that he told me what I needed focus on.
The story of a baby born as God’s beloved son.
We think of Christmas shopping in the windows of a mall,
But Walt, I’ll tell you that is not what Christmas is at all.”
“I don’t know if you believe and you can worship as you may,
but Santa told me in that letter of a different way.
If Christmas was a true event, and born the Christ child was,
Forget the world and X-mas fuss and learn the great Because.”
“Went Santa told me that he knew that Jesus Christ was real,
The way I thought of Christmas became all the more surreal.
I learned it is because of Him, our lives are up to us.
I changed my ways and did some good and put in Him my trust.”
“The Christ was born, lived His life and died to save us both
And Christmas is a chance to show to whom our lives devote.
I put the letter to my heart and looked into the sky,
and said a silent prayer and felt a tear fall from my eye.”
“From that day on, I made some changes, got my life on track.
And sure enough I went back home, my family took me back.
I won’t say anymore, I know how crazy this must sound.
But after all, I’m Nick Santana Clauser Chimney Down!”
The snow had stopped from falling, and the peace of night was still,
And Walt just sat in silence and interpreted the chill.
’Twas not a chill of freezing cold nor was it from the breeze,
But he had felt the words ring true, which feeling didn’t cease.
He’d heard the Bible story of the Virgin Mary mild,
Read countless times by grandpa by the fire as a child.
But never had he thought of Jesus as his saving friend.
He felt as though his troubled life had finally had an end.
He looked at Nicholas through tear filled eyes this time with joy.
And said, “To think that all of this is for a baby boy.”
“It is,” responded Nicholas, “I see you understand.”
Walt smiled, “Yes I think I do, I see His mighty hand.”
So Walt, now tell me what is it that’s on your Christmas list.
Surely after all of this there’s something you must wish!”
“There is…” said Walt suggesting something special in his tone.
“If I could go just one more place, well surely it’d be home.”
“Well then let’s change your ticket, I can see you’ve got it wrong.
It sounds like “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is your new theme song!”
“I guess you’re right!” said Walt and changed his ticket with the clerk.
“I’ll catch a bus to where I’m from. I’m gonna make this work!”
“I’m going home to make things right, I’ll show them that I care.
I’ve felt God’s love and know that He is just and true and fair.
I know that God forgives all men, regardless of their sin,
And like the Christ child Jesus, I just hope they’ll let me in…”
“I know they will” said Nicholas a grin sprawled on his face.
For home with family always is the perfect Christmas place!
I know that what I’ve told you is what Santa told me too,
What changed my life forever is what’s also changing you.”
“I wish I could repay you, but I have not much to give”
“Just be the man you know you should and pay me how you live.”
“You’ve changed my life forever, and I’ll do my best I swear,
I’ll thank the Lord you sat by be in every nightly prayer.”
Just then around the corner rumbled Walt’s arriving bus.
This time it’s headed somewhere, and we need no more discuss.
And Just before Walt boarded, with a smile former frown,
He turned and said “God bless you, Merry Christmas, Mr. Down.”
The Christmas season celebrates a humble baby’s birth.
The night our Lord and Savior started living here on earth.
But think of all he did and taught all while he lived his life.
That’s also what we’re celebrating on this Christmas night.
So like our dear friends Nicholas and Walt who changed their lives,
Let Christmas change our hearts and who we all are deep inside.
Though Jesus be the source of light that every heart can lift,
Let’s try to be like Santa Claus, and share the Christmas gift.
© Dillon Boss 2014