At this joyous time of the year, when all children and most adults think of Santa, they think of the many wishes he may grant for them on Christmas Eve. However, seldom does anyone consider the possibility that Santa may have a wish of his own. The following poem addresses that very issue in a way which you might want to share with your children at the appropriate time.
I had the privilege of chatting with the author of this poem, Betty Werth, and learned that she wrote it 21 years ago for her 4-year-old son. At that time she was a reporter for her local newspaper, the Alpena News, in Northern Michigan … one of Santa’s favorite locations because it reminds him so much of home!
After appearing for several years in her own newspaper, the poem was also published by Family Circle magazine and Chicken Soup for the Soul Christmas Treasury, spreading even more joy and spirit to many grateful families. Thank you Betty for sharing your precious gem with our readers!
Santa’s Secret Wish
by Betty Werth
On Christmas Eve, a young boy with light in his eyes
Looked deep into Santa’s, to Santa’s surprise
And said as he sat on Santa’s broad knee,
“I want your secret. Tell it to me.”
He leaned up and whispered in Santa’s good ear
“How do you do it, year after year?”
“I want to know how, as you travel about,
Giving gifts here and there, you never run out.
How is it, Dear Santa, that in your pack of toys
You have plenty for all of the world’s girls and boys?
Stays so full, never empties, as you make your way
around the whole world, The reindeer pulling your sleigh
From rooftop to rooftop, to homes large and small,
From nation to nation, reaching them all?”
And Santa smiled kindly and said to the boy,
“Don’t ask me hard questions. Don’t you want a toy?”
But the child shook his head, and Santa could see
That he needed the answer. “Now listen to me,”
He told that small boy with the light in his eyes,
“My secret will make you sadder and wise.
“The truth is that my sack is magic. Inside
It holds millions of toys for my Christmas Eve ride.
But although I do visit each girl and each boy
I don’t always leave them a gaily wrapped toy.
Some homes are hungry, some homes are sad,
Some homes are desperate, some homes are bad.
Some homes are broken, and the children there grieve.
Those homes I visit, but what should I leave?
“My sleigh is filled with the happiest stuff,
But for homes where despair lives toys aren’t enough.
So I tiptoe in, kiss each girl and boy,
And I pray with them that they’ll be given the joy
Of the spirit of Christmas, the spirit that lives
In the heart of the dear child who gets not, but gives.
“If only God hears me and answers my prayer,
When I visit next year, what I will find there
Are homes filled with peace, and with giving, and love
And boys and girls gifted with light from above.
It’s a very hard task, my smart little brother,
To give toys to some, and to give prayers to others.
But the prayers are the best gifts, the best gifts indeed,
For God has a way of meeting each need.
“That’s part of the answer. The rest, my dear youth,
Is that my sack is magic. And that is the truth.
In my sack I carry on Christmas Eve day
More love than a Santa could ever give away.
The sack never empties of love, or of joys
‘Cause inside it are prayers, and hope. Not just toys.
The more that I give, the fuller it seems,
Because giving is my way of fulfilling dreams.”
And do you know something? You’ve got a sack, too.
It’s as magic as mine and it’s inside of you.
It never gets empty, it’s full from the start.
It’s the center of lights, and love. It’s your heart.
And if on this Christmas you want to help me,
Don’t be so concerned with the gifts ‘neath your tree.
Open that sack called your heart, and share
Your joy, your friendship, your wealth, your care.”
The light in the small boy’s eyes was glowing.
“Thanks for your secret. I’ve got to be going.”
“Wait, little boy,” Said Santa, “don’t go.
Will you share? Will you help? Will you use what you know?”
And just for a moment the small boy stood still,
Touched his heart with his small hand and whispered, “I will.”