This piece is about a holiday legend of Santa Mouse who rides with Santa in his sleigh on Christmas Eve and leaves little presents in the tree if you believe in him.
“So when I was a little girl we had a story my mom use to tell us at Christmas that there was a little mouse that would ride in the sleigh with Santa and he was called Santa Mouse. And Santa Mouse would leave you a little present at the top of the tree if you believed in him. And the way he would find out if you believed in him is if you put a white light at the top of the tree, so when we put all the lights on our tree every year, we had to make sure there was a white light at the top to alert Santa Mouse to leave his presents. On Christmas Eve he would climb up to the tree, with his little mouse body climbing up the tree, to leave presents for us – little tiny presents at the top of the Christmas tree.”
This subject learned this story as a child from her mother. She is from Buffalo New York and her mother’s side was German and her father’s side was Irish. She remembers this story because it was a tradition she and her family would follow every year. She passed it along to her children and there is even an authored story these days that she reads to her family now as part of the tradition now.
I think this is a similar tradition to Elf on the Shelf. It seems to have started in a cute way to bring more celebration to the holiday season, though it is not certain when this tradition started. Today, like Elf on the Shelf, it seems to be commercialized with books and other products to be sold along with the tradition. The white light part of the tradition is interesting, because other people who participate in this tradition don’t always do that particular aspect of the story. In other versions, people must leave out crumbs of cookies for Santa Mouse, like leaving out carrots for the reindeer.
Citation for Santa Mouse Book:
Brown, Michael, and Elfrieda DeWitt. Santa Mouse. Sandy Creek, 2008.