A little boy asked as the yuletide drew near.
“I really do hope that someday I will know
the reason we stand out here in the snow,
ringing this bell as people walk by,
while thousands of snowflakes
descend from the sky.”
The mother just smiled at her shivering son
who would rather be playing and having some fun
but soon would discover before evening was done
the meaning of Christmas
the very first one.
The young boy exclaimed, “Mother where does it go?”
“All the pennies we collect - every year in the snow.”
“Why do we do it? Why do we care?”
“We worked for these pennies,
so why should we share?”
“Because once a baby - so meek and so mild
was born in a manger - so humble the child
the son of a King - was born in this way
to give us the message
He carried that day.
“The present God gave the world on that night,
was the gift of his son to make everything right.
Why did he do it? Why did he care?
To teach about loving
and how we should share.”
“The meaning of Christmas, you see my dear son,
is not about presents or just having fun
but the gift of a father - his own precious Son
so the world would be saved
when his work was all done”
Now the little boy smiled - with a tear in his eye
as snowflakes kept falling from out of the sky -
rang louder the bell as the people walked by
while down deep in his heart
at last he knew why.
by John Betjeman
The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain.
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hooker’s Green.
The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that villagers can say
‘The Church looks nice’ on Christmas Day.
Provincial public houses blaze
And Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says ‘Merry Christmas to you all’
And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.
And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children’s hearts are glad,
And Christmas morning bells say ‘Come!’
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.
And is it true? and is it true?
The most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me?
And is it true? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant.
No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare -
That God was Man in Palestine
And lives to-day in Bread and Wine.
by Mary E. Linton
Somewhere across the winter world tonight
You will be hearing chimes that fill the air;
Christmas extends its all-enfolding light
Across the distance…something we can share.
You will be singing, just the same as I,
These familiar songs we know so well,
And you will see these same stars in your sky
And wish upon that brightest one that fell.
I shall remember you and trim my tree,
One shining star upon the topmost bough;
I will hang wreaths of faith that all may see —
Tonight I glimpse beyond the hear and now.
And all the time that we must be apart
I keep a candle in my heart.
Christmas Long Ago
by Jo Geis
Frosty days and ice-still nights,
Fir trees trimmed with tiny lights,
Sound of sleigh bells in the snow,
That was Christmas long ago.
Tykes on sleds and shouts of glee,
Sugarplums and candle glow,
Part of Christmas long ago.
Footsteps stealthy on the stair,
Sweet-voiced carols in the air,
Stocking hanging in a row,
Tell of Christmas long ago.
Starry nights so still and blue,
Good friends calling out to you,
Life, so fact, will always slow…
For dreams of Christmas long ago.
T’was the night before christmas,
He lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of
Plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney
With presents to give,
And to see just who
In this home did live.
I looked all about,
A strange sight i did see,
No tinsel, no presents,
Not even a tree.
No stocking by mantle,
Just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures
Of far distant lands.
With medals and badges,
Awards of all kinds,
A sober thought
Came through my mind.
For this house was different,
It was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier,
Once i could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping,
Curled up on the floor
In this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle,
The room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured
A united states soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families
That I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these soldiers
Who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world,
The children would play,
And grownups would celebrate
A bright christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom
Each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers,
Like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder
How many lay alone,
On a cold christmas eve
In a land far from home.
The very thought
Brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees
And started to cry.
The soldier awakened
And I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry,
This life is my choice;
I fight for freedom,
I don’t ask for more,
My life is my god,
My country, my corps.”
The soldier rolled over
And soon drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it,
I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours,
So silent and still
And we both shivered
From the cold night’s chill.
I didn’t want to leave
On that cold, dark, night,
This guardian of honor
So willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over,
With a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, “carry on santa,
It’s christmas day, all is secure.”
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right.
“Merry christmas my friend, and to all a good night.”
Could There Be Angels Waiting in the Wings
By Domenico Scarlatti
Could there be angels waiting in the wings,
How might we call upon their ecstasy?
Rainbows are mere garnish on the days
In which we are the glory and the light.
So may we hear the songs our sunshine sings,
The words which will the wonder of our ways;
May we know how good it is to be
As we celebrate the holidays,
So much in love we weep as angels might.