Christmas: Then and Now

This is a poem I wrote sometime back in college.  It needs a lot of work, but the main thought should be clear.

Christmas: Then and Now


The tree is all aglow

With twinkling lights;

Shiny glass balls and tinsel

Glitter from the boughs.

Garlands of holly and mistletoe

Hang from every mantle and banister

While candles glow in the window..


                        No tree, no candles, no garland

                       Announced that first Christmas.

                      The stable where Mary and Joseph stayed

                      Was bare and cold,

                      The darkness only broken by a million twinkling stars.


On the floor amid scattered pine needles

Lie brightly-wrapped, beribboned gifts.

The appointed hour arrives;

In a flash of eager hands,

The lovely packages are stripped

Of fancy trim.

What has lain for days in elegance

Is undone in the blink of an eye.


                        The gift sent by God to the world

                        Was not wrapped in showy paper

                        And placed beneath a tree.

                        He was delivered to two ordinary people

                        Who swaddled him humbly in plain cloths

                        And laid him in a lowly manger.


Hasty “thank yous,” muttered without meaning,

Are all but drowned out by the endless din

Of shouting children, remote control cars,

And a thousand other catalog treasures.

Even the jubilation blaring from radio, TV and CDs

Goes unnoticed in the chaos.


                        As the Christ child lay sleeping,

                        No pre-recorded carols played,

                        No excited children fought and screeched

                       Over trendy toys.

                       Only angels’ heavenly choruses rang over the fields

                      And exclamations of wonder, joy, and praise

                     From seeking shepherds

                    Broke the silence of that night.


Much later, with wrapping paper discarded,

Once-hungry guests stuffed with rich food,

Brand new batteries all but worn out,

And spoiled children fussy and bored,

Everyone heaves a sigh and mutters,

“Thank God it’s over

For another year!”


                               When the clamor ceased in Bethlehem,

                              No cross words were uttered

                              At the event’s passing.

                             All who had witnessed that first Christmas


                           And tirelessly told the story

                          With true joy and awe.

                         The coming days were not for Mary and Joseph

                         A time to recover from excess

                        But a time to reflect

                       And ponder the mystery

                      Of the wondrous gift God had sent.


One thought on “Christmas: Then and Now

  1. I like this. You say it needs work, I don’t know maybe it does, it is not my poem. I like it just .the way it is. Pure and honest. I LOVE Christmas time. I love everything about it, even the crowds and chaos. Mostly I love the family time.

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