by Père Robért
for Maria, Ida, Isabel, Maxine, Crozet & Audrey

Twas the morning of Christmas,
When all through the house
All the family was frantic,
Including my spouse;
For each one of them had
One thing only in mind,
To examine the presents
St. Nick left behind.

The boxes and wrapping
And ribbons and toys
Were strewn on the floor,
And the volume of noise
Increased as our children
Began a big fight
Over who got the video games,
Who got the bike.

I looked at my watch
And I said, slightly nervous,
"Ready for church,
So we won't miss the service."
The children protested,
"We don't want to pray:
We've just got our presents,
And we want to play!"

It dawned on me then
That we had gone astray,
In confusing the purpose
Of this special day;
Our presents were many
And very high-priced
But something was missing --
That something was Christ!
I said, "Put the gifts down
And let's gather together,
And I'll tell you a tale
Of the greatest gift ever."

"A savior was promised
When Adam first sinned,
And the hopes of the world
Upon Jesus were pinned.
Abraham begat Isaac,
Who Jacob begat,
And through David the line
Went to Joseph, whereat
This carpenter married
A maiden with child,
Who yet was a virgin,
In no way defiled."

"Saying 'Hail, full of Grace,'
An archangel appeared
To Mary the Blessed,
Among women revered:
The Lord willed she would bear --
Through the Spirit -- a son.
Said Mary to Gabriel,
'God's will be done.'"

"Now Caesar commanded
A tax would be paid,
And all would go home
While the census was made;
Thus Joseph and Mary
Did leave Galilee
For the city of David
To pay this new fee."

"Mary's time had arrived,
But the inn had no room,
So she laid in a manger
The fruit of her womb;
And both Joseph and Mary
Admired as He napped
The Light of the World
In his swaddling clothes wrapped."

"Three wise men from the East
Had come looking for news
Of the birth of the Savior,
The King of the Jews;
They carried great gifts
As they followed a star --
Gold, frankincense, myrrh,
Which they'd brought from afar."

"As the shepherds watched over
Their flocks on that night,
The glory of God
Shone upon them quite bright,
And an angel explained
The intent of the birth,
Saying, 'Glory to God
And His peace to the earth.'"

"For this was the Messiah
Whom prophets foretold,
A good shepherd to bring
His sheep back to the fold;
He was God become man,
He would die on the cross,
He would rise from the dead
To restore Adam's loss."

"Santa Claus, Christmas presents,
A brightly lit pine,
Candy canes and spiked eggnog
Are all very fine;
Let's have fun celebrating,
But leave not a doubt
That Christ is what
Christmas is really about!"

The children right then
Put an end to the noise,
They dressed quickly for church,
Put away all their toys;
For they knew Jesus loved them
And said they were glad
That He'd died for their sins,
And to save their dear Dad.

©1986 F.R. Duplantier

Help us put Christ back in Christmas
by circulating this verse widely.
Permission to publish or post is hereby granted,
with attribution to F.R. Duplantier.

May you keep the
Joy of Christmas
in your Heart
all through
the year.