Santa's Whiskers

The Magic Arrival

A story of the visit of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve

​The story of Nicholas

is best told

when the year's shadow

stretches long across the land

and winter's blanket

covers earth's bed

in the unmarked innocence

of morning.

​It is then,

as icy fingers gently grasp December's end

and summer lies dormant beneath the snow,

that he mysteriously arrives -

without disturbing the soft powder

in the way that mankind does.

From the land of eternal white​

he's gathered back

the energy spent

in last year's passing.

​And now slips 

into the night 

to fulfill the promise

that keeps the world

forever young.

​The team pulls his gilded sleigh

on polished runners,

tracing an invisible path

across the mind.

​While gloved fingers flick long strands

of oiled leather messages

to the Icelandic eight

that drop him softly

at each chimney edge.

​Invisibly he drops in -

unannounced and expected,

but too late to be greeted.

He shakes himself free

of the dark warm dust,

to show his belted girth clothed

in the richness

of print's first color.

​As he smiles through a mass of winter white,

the lines of his face are crinkled with laughter

and etched with stories that have been

traced from the imagination of our memories -

past to present.

​He turns toward the tree

and the lights dance across his face,

flicker past his hunched back

and cast shadows on the heavy weight

of the dreams he carries.

​Quickly he spills forth

his bag full of packages

wrapped in nature's hues

and splashed with ribbons of delight.

​There's surprise, laughter and 


The brightness of celebration.

The warmth of acquaintance.

​All dancing 

to the tune of year's renewal,

as he spreads them

under the tree.

When finished

he leaves but telltale signs -

windswept footprints,

the lingering scent of pipe

and a faint echo of laughter

whispering in the breeze.

For it is his fate

never to have existed,

and forever

to be remembered.

Imbedded in literature's landscape,

his immortality

can only move quietly

from one generation to the next.

He takes hisleave

before sun peeks over the edge of morning

and night skips into tomorrow -

in that quiet moment

when the whole world is still.

Before children's eyes

open with the excitement of discovery,

and the reality of truth

spoils the pleasant fiction of belief.

His time is but a brief memory of waking

The moment between then and now,

when the mind's myst blurs the difference

between dream and reality,

imagination and truth.

Though his visit be brief,

it's continually recounted

by the young in heart

for the young in age,

and revitalized by the weary

for the unsuspecting.

You see,

it's easy to believe

in old man Santa.

Part of him is our father,

and our grandfather,

and even his father before him.

by Craig Hosterman