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Stories For Christmas

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'Twas The Night Before Christmas
Clement C. Moore



'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap.
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,-

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from by bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below;

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys,-and St. Nicholas too.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump,-a right jolly old elf,
And I laughted, when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a work, but went straight to his work
And filled all the sockings; then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

 

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

 

On the First day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the Second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Two turtle doves
And a Partridge in a Pear tree

On the Third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear tree

On the Fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Four Calling Birds,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear tree

On the Fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Five Golden Rings,
Four Calling Birds,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear tree

On the Sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Six Geese a-laying,
Five Golden Rings,
Four Calling Birds,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear tree

On the Seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Seven Swans a-swimming,
Six Geese a-laying,
Five Golden Rings,
Four Calling Birds,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear tree

On the Eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Eight Maids a-milking,
Seven Swans a-swimming,
Six Geese a-laying,
Five Golden Rings,
Four Calling Birds,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear tree

On the Ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Nine Ladies Dancing,
Eight Maids a-milking,
Seven Swans a-swimming,
Six Geese a-laying,
Five Golden Rings,
Four Calling Birds,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear tree

On the Tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Ten Lords a-leaping,
Nine Ladies Dancing,
Eight Maids a-milking,
Seven Swans a-swimming,
Six Geese a-laying,
Five Golden Rings,
Four Calling Birds,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear tree

On the Eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a-leaping,
Nine Ladies Dancing,
Eight Maids a-milking,
Seven Swans a-swimming,
Six Geese a-laying,
Five Golden Rings,
Four Calling Birds,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear tree

On the Twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Twelve Drummers Drumming,
Eleven Pipers Piping,
Ten Lords a-leaping,
Nine Ladies Dancing,
Eight Maids a-milking,
Seven Swans a-swimming,
Six Geese a-laying,
Five Golden Rings,
Four Calling Birds,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear tree

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Christmastime

What says it's time for Christmas?
Is it the merry bells?
Or is it when the kitchen
Is sweet with spicy smells?

Or do we know when packages
are hiding in the hall?
Or when the tree, all tinseled,
stands rainbow-bright and tall?

Is it caroling . . . or candy canes
or teddy bears, or drums . . .

Is it dolls, or toys, or puddings,
that tell when Christmas comes?

What says best "It's Christmas!"
Is it all these things?
Or is it when we feel the Love
that Christmas always brings?

Joan Walsh Anglund
Back to the Top

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The "W" in Christmas

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience.

I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending.  Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant."   I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then.

Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.  So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.   Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as "Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.

So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title. Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in front row-center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.   As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had represented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down -totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W". The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".  Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:
"CHRISTWAS LOVE" And, I believe, He still is.

[author unknown]

 

Back to the Top

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Christmas :: Going Home :: Christmas Stories
Giving Gifts :: Santa Claus :: Decorating I
Decorating II :: Traditions I :: Traditions II
Birth of Christ

 

 


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Updated: January 07, 2006
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