It was Christmas eve. Old Santa Claus was just ready to start out upon his long journey over the snowy treetops and roofs to find the waiting chimneys and the little empty stockings. Such a busy day as it had been—with the brownies finishing the packing and Mrs. Santa Claus sewing buttons on the last doll’s dress, and tying the last hair ribbon, and smoothing the last curl! But everything was ready. The sleigh was packed from top to bottom, so full that it seemed as if old Santa Claus could never squeeze in himself. There were tops, and drums, and Jack-in-the-boxes, and steam engines, and hundreds of dolls, and barrels of chocolate drops; and peppermint canes were hanging out from the back. The reindeer were harnessed and prancing—Dasher, and Dancer, and Donner, and Vixen, and the rest. The sleighbells were ringing gaily, and old Santa Claus jumped in and took the reins.