A Letter from Santa Claus

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A Letter from Santa Claus
by Mark Twain

Palace of Saint Nicholas in the Moon
Christmas Morning



My Dear Susy Clemens,



I have received and read all the letters which you and your little

sister have written me . . . . I can read your and your baby

sister's jagged and fantastic marks without any trouble at all. But

I had trouble with those letters which you dictated through your

mother and the nurses, for I am a foreigner and cannot read English

writing well. You will find that I made no mistakes about the things

which you and the baby ordered in your own letters--I went down your

chimney at midnight when you were asleep and delivered them all

myself--and kissed both of you, too . . . . But . . . there

were . . . one or two small orders which I could not fill because we

ran out of stock . . . .



There was a word or two in your mama's letter which . . . I took to

be "a trunk full of doll's clothes." Is that it? I will call at your

kitchen door about nine o'clock this morning to inquire. But I must

not see anybody and I must not speak to anybody but you. When the

kitchen doorbell rings, George must be blindfolded and sent to the

door. You must tell George he must walk on tiptoe and not speak--

otherwise he will die someday. Then you must go up to the nursery

and stand on a chair or the nurse's bed and put your ear to the

speaking tube that leads down to the kitchen and when I whistle

through it you must speak in the tube and say, "Welcome, Santa

Claus!" Then I will ask whether it was a trunk you ordered or not.

If you say it was, I shall ask you what color you want the trunk to

be . . . and then you must tell me every single thing in detail

which you want the trunk to contain. Then when I say "Good-by and a

merry Christmas to my little Susy Clemens," you must say "Good-by,

good old Santa Claus, I thank you very much." Then you must go down

into the library and make George close all the doors that open into

the main hall, and everybody must keep still for a little while. I

will go to the moon and get those things and in a few minutes I will

come down the chimney that belongs to the fireplace that is in the

hall--if it is a trunk you want--because I couldn't get such a thing

as a trunk down the nursery chimney, you know . . . .If I should

leave any snow in the hall, you must tell George to sweep it into

the fireplace, for I haven't time to do such things. George must not

use a broom, but a rag--else he will die someday . . . . If my boot

should leave a stain on the marble, George must not holystone it

away. Leave it there always in memory of my visit; and whenever you

look at it or show it to anybody you must let it remind you to be a

good little girl. Whenever you are naughty and someone points to

that mark which your good old Santa Claus's boot made on the marble,

what will you say, little sweetheart?



Good-by for a few minutes, till I come down to the world and ring the kitchen doorbell.

Your loving Santa Claus
Whom people sometimes call
"The Man in the Moon"

This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.