“Let Me Come In”
— Richard Bugg
Two nights before Christmas I sat on my bed,
And more than just sugar plums danced in my head.
Our savings depleted; my job quite unstable;
My wife wanting clothes and a new kitchen table.
The kids were all fighting about who was first
On Santa’s long list. My head nearly burst.
“Is Santa a Fake?” the ten-year-old cried.
“Cause I’d hate to think that dear Daddy has lied.”
“Of course Santa’s real,” answered mother with glee.
“When Christmas day comes, just look under the tree.”
“Oh, Good!” the kids cried. “‘Cause St. Nick at the mall
Said he’d bring not just some of our list — but all!”
My head started pounding; my temples were throbbing.
Then I heard the faint sound of my three-year-old sobbing.
“Oh, Daddy, oh, Daddy! How will Santa Clause guess
That me and my doll need the same pink silk dress?”
I turned to my wife — a long pleading look.
She put on their jammies, while I found their book.
I read them a story then tucked them in bed
With posters of Mickey and Jasmine o’erhead.
While Mama in her nightshirt and I in my skivvies
Collapsed on the bed and turned on the TV.
The news was all bad — the economy down.
The grimace on my face now distinctly a frown.
I shut the thing off and turned out the light.
With my wife on the left I rolled to the right.
A grunting of sorts was my tender goodnight.
Then I screwed shut my eyes to chase cares from sight.
Two minutes? Two hours? I couldn’t be sure.
When I heard a noise that made my blood stir.
I ran to the window, threw open the drape.
Well, I saw a sight that made my mouth gape.
The moon on the breast of the five-day old slush
Made the yard as appealing as six-day old mush.
When what to my dull aching eyes should appear
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
Yes, Santa was there, but him I expected.
The shock came when all of the rest I detected.
The Cratchits, with Scrooge, and young Tiny Tim.
King Arthur and Merlin, plus Old Madam Mim.
The Whos all from Whoville, the Grinch and ol’ Max.
Young Dr. Doolittle there with his Yaks.
The muppets there doing their whole Christmas thing.
While Alvin and Chipmunks started to sing.
And Jack with his beanstalk just starting to grow.
The poor little match girl asleep in the snow.
Frosty was singing and Rudolph was glowing,
The drummer boy drumming. And I had trouble knowing
Just what I should do. If I had a choice
I’d go back to bed. But I heard a voice.
“Let me in,” the voice said. What an odd piercing line.
I immediately looked for a wolf and three swine.
Not the voice of a wolf though, I knew from the start.
But a voice that could best be heard in the heart.
“Let me in,” came again, and the crowd seemed to hear
And turned to a manger that lay at the rear
Of my untidy lawn. How embarrassed was I
That the sod was unfinished. I started to cry.
But not for the lack of good grass nor from shame,
But because that sweet voice had called me by name.
The Cratchits, Miss Piggy, the whole motley scene
All fell to their knees in a manner serene.
The girl in the snow awoke from her dream
And lit her last match as a lamp for her King.
I ventured to walk down the stairs and go out.
As I walked through the crowd I started to shout
“Oh, help me, please help me. I have bills to pay.
My job is in trouble and I’ve lost my way.”
“We’ve too many mouths to feed and to dress.
I’m just a failure, a wash-out, I guess.”
I said what I felt. I said it out loud.
And I looked for support from the odd-looking crowd.
But their faces were filled with contentment, not thought.
They had not the depth for the comfort I sought.
Nostalgia, some laughs, and some heart-warming plots,
All the magic of childhood — of this there was lots
In my friends just behind me. But they don’t possess
The power of true love; the power to bless.
My friends faded then — fairy tales all.
But the Lord of All Hosts was still at my call.
I fell to my knees, folded hands at my chin.
I heard the voice say, “Please, let me come in.”
I awoke in my bed and turned to my wife.
Her snoring repose took away all my strife.
The day of all days, Christmas Eve came.
We sat round the fire and called them by name,
“On Dasher, On Dancer, On Prancer and Vixen.”
We sang Jingle bells. The kids got their licks in.
The Grinch carved his Beast. Tiny Tim God-Blessed all.
Then we looked at the painting I’d hung on the wall.
I opened to Luke. We read of His birth.
We read of His life, and His works here on earth.
We read of our Lord, of our Savior, my friend,
Then prayed to the Father and asked that he send
All the spirit of Christmas; the Spirit of Love;
All the blessings befitting us, down from above.
Christmas day came, and Santa Clause too.
And our own little Whos never cried Boo-hoo.
In fact, though their list had been shortened a tad
They whispered together and then asked me, “Dad,
“Is there someone out there, some girl or some boy,
Whom we could help out with a game or a toy?”
I did lose my job, then along came a better.
And we paid all our bills to the dot and the letter.
Our home now abounds not with money, nor fame,
But with unfettered love for the Holy of Name.
I remember the stress and the fear that has been,
But my soul now rejoices, ‘cause I let him in.