Narrator: This is Mr. Henry Corwin, normally unemployed, who once a year takes the lead role in the uniquely popular American institute, that of department-store Santa Claus in a road company version of "The Night Before Christmas." But in just a moment Mr. Henry Corwin, ersatz Santa Claus, will enter a strange kind of North Pole which is one part the wondrous spirit of Christmas and one part the magic that can only be found in the Twilight Zone.
Corwin: As to my drinking, this is indefensible. And you have my abject apologies. I find of late that I have very little choice in the matter of expressing emotions. I can either drink, or I can weep. And drinking is so much more subtle.
Mr. Dundee: Will you please leave?
Corwin: But as to my insubordination, I was not rude to that woman. Someone should remind her that Christmas is more than barging up and down department store aisles and pushing people out of the way.
Mr. Dundee: Now, Corwin...
Corwin: Someone has to tell her that Christmas is another thing finer than that. Richer, finer, truer, and should come with patience and love. Charity, compassion. That's what I would have told her if you'd given me a chance.
Corwin: You know another reason why I drink, Mr. Dundee? So that when I walk down the tenements, I can really think it's the North Pole and the children are elves and that I'm really Santa Claus bringing them a bag of wondrous gifts for all of them. I just wish, Mr. Dundee, on one Christmas, only one, that I could see some of the hopeless ones and the dreamless ones, just on one Christmas, I'd like to see the meek inherit the Earth. That's why I drink, Mr. Dundee, and that's why I weep.
Narrator: A word to the wise to all the children of the twentieth century, whether their concern be pediatrics or geriatrics, whether they crawl on hands and knees and wear diapers or walk with a cane and comb their beards. There's a wondrous magic to Christmas, and there's a special power reserved for little people. In short, there's nothing mightier than the meek.
Trains by Lionel Corp. Reindeer furnished by Santa's Village, Skyforest, CA.
This is one of six episodes originally shot on videotape, then transferred to sixteen-millimeter film for broadcast. This was done as a cost-cutting measure.
Serling's voiceover - "...and a Merry Christmas to one and all" - was edited out for non-holiday rerun showings.