One day Mrs. Claus said, "Santa Claus, dear,
What gift would you like for Christmas this year?"
"What I'd like? A present for me? I declare!
Why, I'm happy if there is just snow in the air,
If my reindeer are cheery--and you, Mrs. Claus--
If the elves are all working ..." There was a pause.
Santa crinkled his eyes, then tilted his head.
"I would like to have a computer," he said.
"I'd enter the names of each girl and each boy
And let it remember who gets which toy."
Mrs. Claus went to work; she had a plan.
"I'll bake all the gingerbread cookies I can.
I'll knit some scarves; I'll bake some bread;
Then I'll have a big yard sale next Thursday," she said.
She had one every week till the month of July.
And by that time, she had enough money to buy
A computer with all the right buttons and keys,
A screen and some software, just sure to please.
She gave it to Santa in early November.
"How great!" Santa cried. "You're sweet to remember.
Now I'll get to work!" and soon he had filed
The addresses and wishes of every child.
He entered last year's gifts before he forgot
Which children were good and which children were not.
He made special programs for each of his elves,
Built software that inventoried his shelves.
He studied, he thought, and he worked till one day
He had even computerized his Christmas sleigh!
"Look, Mrs. Claus! There is nothing much to it.
I won't have to drive. The computer can do it!"
Mrs. Claus was so proud. She said, "Just think, dear,
You can spend Christmas Eve by the fire this year--
Stay warm, put your feet up. All you'll need to do
Is just watch your screen, push a button or two."
Christmas Eve finally came. It worked like a charm--
Though the elves and the reindeer felt times of alarm.
Still the elves got it loaded; reindeer hit the sky,
And the sleigh, by computer, showed which way to fly.
When they reached the first house, the trouble began.
The deer dropped the gifts down the chimney and ran.
There was no one to fill up the stockings--oh, no!
Or to call out, "On Donner, on Blitzen. Ho! Ho!"
No "Merry Christmas!" or "Good-night all!" shout;
No one eating goodies the children left out.
All the gifts could arrive at the houses that night.
But Santa was sad. "It won't do! It's not right!"
"Computers are super for files, I declare!
But it's my job to do all the flying out there."
He pushed the right buttons to call back the sleigh,
And the reindeer flew happily home all the way.
They watched while old Santa slipped into his suit
And carefully pulled on each warm, fleecy boot,
Fluffed up his beard, kissed his good wife good-bye,
Then--whoosh--he was off in the snow-sprinkled sky.
Santa was happy; his face was a-tingle.
"Merry Christmas!" he called. Then they heard the