The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

When Santa Ran Out Of Toys

By Hazel P. Hedrick © 1985

Issue: December, 1985

One Christmas, I was very young
We had no tree or trimmings hung
No money, and nothing to sell,
And Mama wasn't feeling well,
Dad working hard to earn our bread.
With dreams of Santa in our head
We started out, brother and me
To find ourselves a Christmas tree.

We walked and looked for quite a while
Without a word or even a smile,
Until we found this holly tree
Full of red berries as could be.
With a hatchet could we chop it down?
would it lose its berries on the ground?
It looked so huge standing there alone
We wondered could we drag it home?

We chopped and hacked for quite a spell
After a while the huge tree fell.
We jerked and pulled it through the trees
Our feet and hands about to freeze.
We talked about what Dad would say
If we lost its foliage on the way.
When we got home tired, cold and sad,
Our pretty tree now looked so bad,

It made us almost start to bawl
As we leaned it on the parlor wall.
We knew we must some trimmings make
Before our Mama did awake
To hide its branches cold and bare.
It looked so shaggy leaning there.
We popped some corn and made some strands
With our too small and eager hands
We wrapped our chains around the tree
Where leaves and berries used to be.

Made ornaments of popcorn balls,
Draped running cedar on the walls.
Then wait for Mom and Dad to see
Our leaning, hand made Christmas tree.
Mom got up when Dad came in,
Six children with a sheepish grin
Stood by the first tree ever made
Without tinsel or parent's aid.

Big smiles of pride shone on their face.
Dad called our names we took our place
Around the fireside glowing bright,
No oil or candles for a light.
There Mom and Dad got on their knees,
Dad said, "Now listen children please,
We're sorry, this to have to say,
Old Santa may not find his way.

There are so many girls and boys
This year, he may run out of toys."
We heard and pondered what they said
Then waited til they were in bed,
And hung our stockings as before,
And glued white paper on the door,
And each child said a special prayer.
We knew old Santa would be there.

Next morning when we did awake,
The house so cold it made us ache
We tiptoed in very quietly,
What Santa brought we had to see.
In each stocking one apple red
We took them down, ran back to bed,
Old Santa found his way last night
But Mom and Dad were always right,

He was out of toys and candy too
We wondered if our parents knew
About the tiny apples, red
We ate while we were still in bed.
We helped old Santa to find his way
But he did have an empty sleigh
And not one tear was ever shed
For we believed what Daddy said.