There’s always time to stop and reflect on Christmas Eve.
I’m heading home to Kansas for a couple of days. Thought I’d share a little story of Christmas in the Sheets family growing up.
Christmas. Christ - mas.
That’s right.There is no holiday without Christ. He was born on Christmas Day and later would die so we can live in His glory.
The Sheets family — as every family does — has its Christmas traditions. Two weeks before Christmas, Mom had it planned out. Homework done and before we went to bed all the lights in the house were turned out, candles and a oil lamp were lit and the Christmas tree lights glowed. Oh, there was one other light — the one that allowed the star on the manager scene to shine.
Mom chose several Christmas stories, poems or legends for us to read by the glow of the candles and lamp. She’d have stories of Christmas in other countries, Santa Claus stories, little shepherd boy stories, stories from the Bible of the coming of the King of Kings, stories of elves and snowmen, of little girls dancing with nutcrackers. After each reading that night, each of us children got to choose a Christmas song to sing.
With Mom gone now, we still have our version of that on Christmas Eve. We still have many of the special Christmas books she had to read stories out of and we sing on Christmas Eve. We read the most important Christmas story at the end and sing a special Christmas song.
Years ago when I was a youth leader at my church, I found this story in some of the youth material. I shared it with my family and Mom loved it.
So to all of you, who have become part of my extended family, I share this special Christmas story with you. Merry Christmas!
’Twas the Night Before Christmas
’Twas the first night of Christmas a long time ago
The hillside was peaceful, the moon was aglow.
The world couldn’t know from what happened before
That men would remember this night evermore.
The sheep on the hillside--their days journey over
Were dreaming sweet dreams of a field full of clover.
The shepherds were watchful while guarding their flock
The earth was their pillow, the stars were their clock.
Then all of a sudden, they jumped at the sight
Of the sky all ablaze with a heavenly light.
They huddled in fear, then they started to rise
As the lightening-like flash tore open the skies.
The heavens were split by the silvery ray.
The dark disappeared and the night became day.
And lo, at the end of the rainbow of light
Appeared then an angel to banish their fright.
The angel brought news of a birth in a manger
And bade them to hasten to welcome the stranger.
For Mary had just given birth to a boy
Whose coming would bring so much comfort and joy.
A choir of angels looked down from the sky
And heavenly voices were heard from on high:
Peace be on earth and good will to all men.
The Savior has come on this night, Amen.
The heavenly angels then faded from sight.
The sky once again turned from day to night.
The shepherds all quietly rose from the ground
And hurried to go where the child would be found.
As they reached Bethlehem and the inn was in sight
It led like a path to a soft little bed
And shone very tenderly on a child’s head.
The child in the manger was sleeping so sound
His eyes were still closed, as the shepherds stood round.
Thousands of years would be warmed by the glow.
Guided by light from a bright shining star
Came a pilgrimage led of three kings from afar.
They were dressed in the finest of satins and lace.
Their complexions were that of an Orient race.
The three wealthy kings were wise men and proud
But they went to the Christ child and solemnly bowed.
They came bearing treasures of incense and gold
To that sweet little child, still not very old.
The star in the sky twinkled down from above
The world was awakened to kindness and love.
The past was forgotten, the future was bright.