Dear Santa: Don't bring me new dishes,
I don't need a new kind of game.
Genealogists have peculiar wishes
For Christmas I just want a surname.
A new washing machine would be great,
But it's not the desire of my life.
I've just found an ancestor's birth date;
What I need now is the name of his wife.
My heart doesn't yearn for a ring
That would put a real diamond to shame.
What I want is a much cheaper thing;
Please give me Mary's last name.
To see my heart singing with joy,
Don't bring me a read leather suitcase,
Bring me a genealogist's toy;
a surname with dates and a place.
(seen in Illinois State Gen Soc newsletter 1984)
"Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse.
The dining room table with clutter was spread
With pedigree charts and with letters which said...
"Too bad about the data for which you wrote
Sank in a storm on an ill fated boat."
Stacks of old copies of wills and the such
Were proof that my work had become much to much.
Our children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.
And I at my table was ready to drop
From work on my album with photos to crop.
Christmas was here, and of such was my lot
That presents and goodies and toys I forgot.
Had I not been so busy with grandparent's wills,
I'd not have forgotten to shop for such thrills.
While others had bought gifts that would bring Christmas cheer;
I'd spent time researching those birthdates and years.
While I was thus musing about my sad plight,
A strange noise on the lawn gave me such a great fright.
Away to the window I flew in a flash,
Tore open the drapes and I yanked up the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear?
But an overstuffed sleigh and eight small reindeer.
Up to the housetop the reindeer they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys, and old Santa Claus too.
And then in a twinkle, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of thirty-two hoofs.
The TV antenna was no match for their horns,
And look at our roof with hoof-prints adorned.
As I drew in my head, and bumped it on the sash,
Down the cold chimney fell Santa - KER-RASH!
"Dear" Santa had come from the roof in a wreck,
And tracked soot on the carpet, (I could wring his short neck!)
Spotting my face, good old Santa could see
I had no Christmas spirit you'd have to agree.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
And filled all the stockings, (I felt like a jerk).
Here was Santa, who'd brought us such gladness and joy;
When I'd been too busy for even one toy.
He spied my research on the table all spread
"A genealogist!" He cried! (My face was all red!)
"Tonight I've met many like you", Santa grinned.
As he pulled from his sack a large book he had penned.
I gazed with amazement - the cover it read
"Genealogy Lines for Which You Have Plead."
"I know what it's like as a genealogy bug,"
He said as he gave me a a great Santa Hug.
"While the elves make the sleighful of toys I now carry,
I do some research in the North Pole Library!
A special treat I am thus able to bring,
To genealogy folks who can't find a thing.
Now off you go to your bed for a rest,
I'll clean up the house from this genealogy mess."
As I climbed up the stairs full of gladness and glee,
I looked back at Santa who'd brought much to me.
While settling in bed, I heard Santa's clear whistle,
To his team which then rose like the down of a thistle
And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,
"Family History is Fun! Merry Christmas! Goodnight!"
'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the charts
The lines that were empty would sure break your heart.
The pedigree chart was laid out with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas would know who or where.
As searcher I nestled all snug in my bed
While visions of ancestors danced through my head.
Others sound asleep both upstairs and down
All in a nightcap and ankle length gown.
when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I jumped from my bed to see what was the matter.
When much to my wonderment there did appear
Good old St Nicholas with a grin to each ear.
His bulk was tremendous, his eyes full of glee
He laughed as he picked up the sad pedigree.
He shouted and roared and ripped it to bits
While I swallowed my heart and went into fits.
"Dash it all, dash it all," I heard him then say,
"This clutter and mess is just in my way."
He said not a word as he started his job
He sat down at once and his pencil did jog.
A new pedigree he filled out in two winks
Giving names, dates, and places and all missing links.
Clear back to Adam, and down to the last...
For ageless was he, having served in the past.
I thought, "Oh, how wonderful it would all be
If he did for others what he did for me!!:
As he finished and blotted the ink not quite dry
A sadness came over me and then I did cry!
He gave me the details and seemed to have such fun
But now all my ancestor chasing was done!!!
He bounced out the window and I heard him say,
"For others I'll do the same any old day,
Just tell them my number and be good and kind,"
But then, a sure thought came into my mind...
Nobody wants ancestors that fast and so good
I'll let everyone else do the job just as they should.
(by Dora Mills - Ash Tree Echo Jan 1983)
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