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.

Christmas

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.

Candlelit Heart

 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,

Icy-window filigree,

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.

The gift

Author unknown

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,

Silent, alone,

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.