One blustery twenty-fourth night of December;
Time's candle had snuffed leaving nary an ember.
I lay in my bed knowing all was not right;
Christmas would come at the first break of light.
The cards were not sent and the pies were not ready,
A burden much worse made my heartbeat unsteady.
No gifts had been bought for each daughter and son,
Christmas ... and everything didn't get done.
My pillow was trumped and stained with fresh tears;
And I felt alone with my fate and my fears.
I wondered how God would approach such a trial
And wake in the morning still wearing a smile.
Then, amidst my emotion, a single thought stirred,
It fluttered and gently alit like a bird;
God in his infinite, wonderful way
Had left out so much on that first Christmas Day.
He left out the gingerbread and fruitcake making,
In fact, he left out all the holiday baking.
He left out the candy canes, chestnuts, and eggnog,
He left out the turkey, the toffee, and Yule log.
He left out the good cheer of "Frosty" and snow,
He left out the wreaths and the warm fire's glow.
He left out the ornaments, parties, and pageants;
He left out the toys that each young child imagines.
Instead of the pomp and the trimmings and trappings,
Instead of the presents in colorful wrappings,
God offered his gift from an animal's stall,
Wrapped in crude bands and a young mother's shawl.
Just one little baby, so gentle and mild,
A common occurrence, the birth of a child;
Yet this special baby salvation has won,
For God so loved the world that He gave His own Son.
I knew in that moment that all would be well,
Christmas would come with its usual spell;
I could survive without even one elf,
I could give presents right out of myself.
And so, Christmas morning, the family awoke,
We laughed and we played even though we were broke;
With plenty to eat, we were warm and content,
Our happiness seemed, for the most, heaven sent.
And so I suggest if you're ever in doubt
And need to know what Christmas fuss is about,
Reach deep inside you and pull out your best,
Give something better than toys or a vest.
Give something meaningful, something unique,
It may be as small as the words that you speak;
You'll find, if you do, that when Christmas is past,
You have given a gift like God's Son that will last.