This is from Rhymes of Childhood (1924) by Edgar A. Guest. This is a really cute poem!
The Approach of Christmas
Edgar A. Guest
There’s a little chap at our house that is being mighty good—
Keeps the front lawn looking tidy in the way we’ve said he should;
Doesn’t leave his little wagon, when he’s finished with his play,
On the sidewalk as he used to; now he puts it right away.
When we call him in to supper, we don’t have to stand and shout;
It is getting on to Christmas and it’s plain he’s found it out.
He eats the food we give him without murmur or complaint;
He sits up at the table like a cherub or a saint;
He doesn’t pinch his sister just to hear how loud she’ll squeal;
Doesn’t ask us to excuse him in the middle of the meal,
And at eight o’clock he’s willing to be tucked away in bed
It is getting close to Christmas; nothing further need be said.
I chuckle every evening as I see that little elf,
With the crooked part proclaiming that he brushed his hair himself.
And I chuckle as I notice that his hands and face are clean,
For in him a perfect copy of another boy is seen—
A little boy at Christmas, who was also being good,
Never guessing that his father and his mother understood.
There’s a little boy at our house that is being mighty good;
Doing everything that’s proper, doing everything he should.
But besides him there’s a grown-up who had learned life’s bitter truth,
Who is gladly living over all the joys of vanished youth.
And although he little knows it (for it’s what I never knew),
There’s a mighty happy father sitting at the table, too.