Christmas Thoughts and Poems

The Secret of Christmas          Can Santa Be Black? 
The Christmas See Mother, Funny Funny Mother
Some Children See Him Jest 'Fore Christmas
Nativity The First Christmas
Christmas Jam The Friendly Beasts
I Wish

The end of all learning is to come to know Christ.

To catch the real meaning of the "Spirit of Christmas," we need only to drop the last syllable of the word, and it becomes the "Spirit of Christ." It beckons us to follow him, and become worthy of the blessedness which he promised to the most unlikely people—the poor in spirit, the sorrowful, the meek, the seekers after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and even the persecuted and the oppressed.
—Hugh B. Brown

Whosoever on the night of the nativity of the young Lord Jesus in great snows shall fare forth bearing a succulent bond for the lost and lamenting hound, a wisp of hay for the shivering horse, a cloak of warm raiment for the stranded wayfarer, a flagon of red wine for him whose marrow withers, a garland of bright berries for one who has worn chains, gay arias of lute and harp for all huddled birds who thought that song was dead, and divers lush sweetmeats for such babes' faces as peer from lonely windows—

To him shall be proffered and returned gifts of such an astonishment as will rival the hues of a peacock and the harmonies of heaven, so that though he live to the great age when man goes stooping, yet shall he walk upright and remembering, as one whose heart shines like a great star within his breast.

For this day of the dear Christ's birth, for its hours of home gladness and world gladness, for the love within these walls, which binds us together as a family, for our food on this table, for our surroundings in a land of freedom, we bring to Thee, our Father, our heartfelt gratitude. Bless all these, Thy favors, to our good, in Jesus' name. Amen.
—H. B. Milward

No one's hangin' stockings up,
No one's bakin' pies;
No one's lookin' up to see
A new star in the sky.

No one's talkin' brotherhood,
No one's givin' gifts;
And no one loves a Christmas tree
On March the 25th.

The Secret of Christmas

It's not the glow you feel when snow appears,
It's not the Christmas card you've sent for years,
Not the joyful sound when sleigh bells ring,
Or the merry songs children sing.

The little things you do on Christmas Day
Will not bring back the friend you've turned away.
So may I suggest the secret of Christmas
Is not the things you do at Christmas time,
But the little things you do all year through.

The Christmas

Soft, relieved-of-suffering face.
Smooth and shining so gentle.
Looking with reflective eyes,
Weary in body, but spirit still full.
A miracle, a mother, Mary.

Joseph, concerned, sweat-beaded brow,
With love-mellowed wondering eyes,
And attentive manner,
Watching his Mary, a mother.

A miracle, a miracle birth.
Baby born with crumpled, red face,
Moist hair.
New life noises from his fresh, air-filled lungs.

Jesus, this babe, Prince of Peace.
And angels shout, hosannahs at His coming to be Savior.
Healing hands touch blinded eyes,
Darkened spirits, to cleanse sin-weary souls.

Son of the Most High God, diety,
Powerful in virtue,
Able to overcome death,
Command all things.

Master, a loving, forgiving, atoning Master.
Christ pure and clean to give us life.
A miracle, a mother,
This Lord and King,

Baby Jesus.

Some Children See Him

Some children see him lily white
The baby Jesus born this night.
Some children see him lily white
With tresses soft and fair.

Some children see him bronzed and brown
The Lord of Heaven to earth come down
Some children see him bronzed and brown
With dark and heavy hair.

Some children see him almond eyed
This Savior whom we kneel beside
Some children see him almond eyed
With skin of yellow hue.

Some children see him dark as they
Sweet Mary's son to whom we pray
Some children see him dark as they
And, ah, they love him too.

The children in each different place
Will see the baby Jesus face,
Like theirs, but bright with heavenly grace
And filled with holy light.

O lay aside each earthly thing
And with thy heart as offering
Come worship now the infant king
Tis love that's born tonight.


The blessedness of Christmas
Is the miracle of birth,
When Christ, a child, called Jesus,
Was born upon this earth.

A star shone in the heavens
As darkness touched the night,
Attracting the poor shepherds
Who watched in awesome fright.

The wise men in the cities
Had heard the story told,
That a King, Lord and Saviour,
Lay in a manger cold.

The shepherds and the wise men
Who saw the brilliant star,
Followed it in wonder
To Bethlehem afar.
And there they found the manger
Enshrined in golden light,
Where laid the Christ Child Jesus
In swaddling clothes of white.

They knelt before their Master
As angels sang above,
A song that made it Christmas
So filled with joy and love.

Christmas Jam

Don't boil yourself in the Christmas jam
Of unwise spending and social cram.
Preserve your fruit with the spiritual things,
And the lasting joy the holiday brings.

I Wish

I wish I could see how it was that night,
I've prayed about it before.
I'd like to feel and know and see
The night angels opened heaven's door.
I know the words that were sung.
They are recorded in Holy Writ.
But the music itself, how did it sound?
If I could hear just a little bit.

The shepherds, I'd like to see them too,
Hasting down from the quiet hill.
Did they really know exactly where to go?
Or did they search and search until....

I'd like to see Mary so special, so pure,
And Joseph so honorable and so good.
How choice to meet them, to see them myself,
Oh, if only I could.

And the baby, I know just how he would be.
His small face shining with a Godly soul.
Oh, if only, if only I could see.
Someday I will, on Father's scroll.
—Maxine Crossley

Can Santa Be Black?

It happened in the kindergarten class,
Right at the table where they were having snack.
Joanie asked the question and they all sat back:
"Mr. Slater? Can Santa Claus be black?"

Poor Mr. Slater didn't know what to say,
Christmas vacation was twenty days away.
There were snowflakes to cut and
Window wreaths to be hung,
Christmas cards to be painted,
And Christmas songs to be sung.

He hadn't time to think
What Christmas was about,
In twenty more days,
School would be out!
Why couldn't they wait
And ask their questions then,
When mommies and daddies
Were home to answer them?
"Mr. Slater? Can Santa be thin?"
"Is Santa Clause always a him?"

Mr. Slater looked at twenty pairs of eyes,
Twenty children of every shape and size.
He ate a bit of cracker and finished his drink.
"Children," he said,
"I'll need some time to think."
As soon as class was over,
He ran down the hall,
Skidded 'round a corner,
Crashed into a wall.
Ran up the steps to the second floor,
Rapped on the window of the principal's door.

"Ms. Frazer, Ms. Frazer, what can I do?
The children asked these questions
That now I ask of you:

'Can Santa Claus be black?'
'Can Santa Claus be thin?'
'Does Santa always have to be a him?'"

"Mr. Slater, it's a difficult task
To find answers to the questions you ask.
I think with these I'll need some assistance,
But I'll get you the answers with a little persistence."

Ms. Frazer turned in her swivel chair,
Picked up the phone and dialed Mr. Dare.
Mr. Dare was the head of the P.T.A.,
He called for a meeting the very next day.

"Thank you for coming,"
He began with a greeting.
"I'd like to get right to the point of this meeting.
Mr. Slater, in charge of the kindergarten class,
Needs the answers to some questions
And he needs them fast."

"'Can Santa be black?'
"'Can Santa be thin?'
"'Does Santa always have to be a him?'"

The parents didn't know what to say,
Christmas vacation was nineteen days away.
There were cookies to bake and lights to string,
Gifts to wrap and carols to sing.

They hadn't time to think
What Christmas was about,
In nineteen more days
School would be out!
Why did children have to ask questions when
Parents had no time to sit and answer them?

"Well, Parents?
Are there any suggestions?
Do we have any answers
To these difficult questions?"

"Who knows best
What Christmas is about?
Let's ask Santa!"
Someone called out in a shout.

The secretary of the P.T.A.
Sent a letter to Santa the very next day.
The reply came back very, very fast,
Addressed to Mr. Slater
And the kindergarten class.

Dear Mr. Slater, Dear Girls, Dear Boys,
Once a storywriter caught me bringing you toys.
The year he spied me opening my sack,
My skin was white, my boots were black.
You probably know how that story goes . . .
I laid a finger aside my nose?
All these years, needlessly,
That story worries children who don't have a chimney.
All year long I listen to the news,
Read people's thoughts, see people's views.
At the end of the year, when I see what's needed most,
I take that shape, like a Christmas ghost.
I can pass through keyholes, windows and locks,
Apartment buildings, hospitals, tents, and trailer lots.

One year I used a wheelchair in place of my sleigh,
Once I was blind and had to feel my way.
It's hard to understand when I don't leave a toy:
You can't unwrap a gift like hope or health or joy.
My skin has been black, white, yellow, red, brown;
My eyes have been slanted, crossed, and round.
Sometimes I have been a she:
All these things are a part of me.
You may not believe all this is true,
But that's okay, boys and girls, because . . .
I believe in you.
—B. J. Wrights

See Mother, Funny Funny Mother

See Mother. See Mother laugh. Mother is happy.
Mother is happy about Christmas.
Mother has many plans. Mother has many plans for Christmas.
Mother is organized. Mother smiles all the time.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother smile. Mother is happy.
The shopping is all done. See the children watch TV.
Watch, children watch.
See the children change their minds.
See them ask for different toys.
Look, look, Mother is not smiling.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother sew.
Mother will make dresses.
Mother will make robes.
Mother will make shirts.

See Mother put the zipper in wrong.
See Mother sew the dress on the wrong side.
See Mother cut the skirt too short.
See Mother put the material away until January.
Look. Look. See Mother take a tranquilizer.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother buy raisins and nuts.
See Mother buy candied pineapple and powdered sugar.
See Mother buy flour, and dates, and pecans, and brown sugar, and bananas, and spices, and vanilla.
Look. Look. Mother is mixing everything together.
See the children press out cookies.
See the flour on their elbows.
See the cookies burn. See the cake fall.
See the children pull taffy. See mother pull her hair.
See mother clean the kitchen with the garden hose.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother wrap presents. See Mother look for the end on the scotch tape roll. See Mother bite her finger nails. See Mother go.
See Mother go to the store 12 times in one hour.
Go Mother go. See Mother go faster. Run Mother run.
See Mother trim the tree.
See Mother have a party.
See Mother make popcorn.
See Mother wash the walls.
See Mother scrub the rug.
See Mother tear up the organized plan.
See Mother forget gift for Uncle Harold.
See Mother get hives.
Go Mother go. See the far away look in Mother's eyes.
Mother has become disorganized. Mother has become disoriented.
Funny, funny Mother.

It is finally Christmas morning. See the happy family.
See Father smile. Father is happy.
Smile Father smile.
Father loves fruit cake.
Father loves Christmas pudding.
Father loves all the new neckties.
Look, look. See the happy children. See the children's toys.
Santa was very good to the children.
The children will remember this Christmas.

See Mother. Mother is slumped in a chair.
Mother is crying uncontrollably.
Mother does not look well.
Mother has ugly dark circles under her blood shot eyes.
Everyone helps mother to her bed.
See Mother sleep quietly under heavy sedation.
See Mother smile.
Funny, funny Mother.

Jest 'Fore Christmas

Father calls me William, sister calls me Will,
Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill!
Mighty glad I ain't a girl—ruther be a boy,
Without them sashes, curls, an' things that's worn by Fauntleroy!
Love to chawnk green apples an' go swimmin' in the lake—
Hate to take the castor-ile they give for belly-ache!
'Most all the time, the whole year round, there ain't no flies on me,
But jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be!

Got a yeller dog named Sport, sick him on the cat;
First thing she knows she doesn't know where she is at!
Got a clipper sled, an' when us kids goes out to slide,
'Long comes the grocery cart, an' we all hook a ride!
But sometimes when the grocery man is worrited an' cross,
He reaches at us with his whip, an' larrups up his hoss,
An' then I laff and holler, "Oh, ye never teched me!"
But jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be!

Gran'ma says she hopes that when I git to be a man,
I'll be a missionarer like her oldest brother, Dan...
But gran'ma she has never been to see a Wild West show,
Nor read the Life of Daniel Boone, or else I guess she'd know
That Buff'lo Bill an' cowboys is good enough for me!
Excep' just 'fore Christmas when I'm as good as I kin be!

And then old Sport he hangs around, so solemn-like an' still
His eyes they keep a-saying': "What's the matter, little Bill?"
The old cat sneaks down off her percen an' wonders what's become
Of them two enemies of hern that used to make things hum!
But I am so perlite an' tend so earnestly to biz,
That mother says to father: "How improved our Willie is!"
But father, havin' been a boy hisself, suspicions me
When, jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be!

For Christmas, with its lots an' lots of candies, cakes, an' toys,
Was made, they say, for proper kids an' not for naughty boys;
So wash yer face an' bresh yer hair, an' mind yer p's an q's,
An' don't bust out yer pantaloons, an' don't wear out yer shoes;
Say, "Yessum" to the ladies, and "Yessur" to the men,
An' when they's company, don't pass yer plate for pie again;
But, thinkin' of the things yer'd like to see upon that tree,
Jest 'fore Christmas be as good as yer kin be!
—Eugene Field

The First Christmas

This is Mary
This is Joseph
This is their donkey gray.
This is the town of Bethlehem
Where they would like to stay.
This is an angel.
This is a shepherd.
This is a brand, new star.
Later came the wisemen
Travelling from afar.
This is a stable.
This is a manger
By a cattle stall.
This is the Baby Jesus
The Savior of us all.
This is the very first Christmas
That anyone did keep—
To honor Baby Jesus—
Shh! He's fallen asleep!
—DaLee C. James

The Friendly Beasts

Jesus our brother, strong and good,
Was humbly born in a stable rude,
And the friendly beasts around Him stood,
Jesus our brother, strong and good.

"I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
"I carried His mother up hill and down,
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town;
I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown.

"I," said the cow, all white and red,
"I gave Him my manger for His bed,
I gave Him my hay to pillow His head;
I," said the cow, all white and red.

"I," said the sheep, with curly horn,
"I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm,
He wore my coat on Christmas morn;
I," said the sheep, with curly horn.

"I," said the dove, from the rafters high,
"Cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I,
We cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I;
I," said the dove, from the rafters high.

And every beast, by some good spell,
In the stable dark was glad to tell,
Of the gift he gave Immanuel,
The gift he gave Immanuel.
—English, Traditional

Collection and Design by Nina Whitehead, 1996, Orem, Utah.