Nissen, the Santa Claus of Norway
How glad I am that I was born in this land very dear,
Where children have a Santa Claus of whom they have no fear;
A Santa who is always kind, remembering one and all
When every year at Christmas time, he pays us all a call.
In far away chill Norway, there NISSEN is the name
Of the Christmas visitor who bears good Santa's fame;
But he's a naughty brownie so short and very small,
Not a bit like Santa who pays us all a call.
But, like our good gift giver, his beard is long and white,
And he wears a coat of furs and many colors bright.
But instead of bringing goodies to girls and to boys,
Nice new clothes and books and games and lots of wondrous toys,
He expects that all big folks and little ones
Should leave his favorite dishes, such as puddings, cakes and buns,
Outside of every doorway so that he may eat at will
Of these luscious dainties until he has had his fill.
Then after eating all the cakes his "tummy-tum" can hold,
He milks the cows and splits the wood (at least, so I've been told),
But never thinks to bring nice gifts to little girls and boys
Whose parents have to trim their trees and buy them all their toys.
Besides, this naughty NISSEN is cross at times and bad,
And does all shorts of horrid tricks which I think is very sad
At Christmas when we all should be so kind to one another,
And treat each person whom we meet as if he were our brother.
But NISSEN steals away the cows and even horses fleet,
From all the people who forget to bake him puddings sweet;
And if above a whisper one should dare to speak or sing
About this cranky fellow, then this evil he will bring.
Upon the one who dared to throw his name upon the breeze,
As from that time the guilty one must sneeze and sneeze and sneeze.
Now in our land we sing loud praise of Santa all the time,
And tell about his goodness great, in prose and jingling rhyme;
And yet it seems the more we sing about the jolly elf,
The more he brings each year to us upon the mantel shelf.
But children in far Norway are better girls and boys
Than we who live in this fair land and think so much of toys
That we forget about the pets while feeding our own selves
Like thoughtless, greedy little pigs or naughty selfish elves.
While Norway children in the fall they work to gather corn
And save it for the birds they feed on every Christmas morn;
So we should follow in their steps and feed the wee bird crumbs
Before we start to feast ourselves on Christmas sugar plums.
by Winifred Sackville Stoner Jr.