Songs for Christmas, #10: “A Classic Christmas”

New England Farm in Winter, 1850 or after, via the National Gallery of Art, open access

“A Classic Christmas”
Cut out of my teenage (I think age 14) journal/diary

Whatever my family’s Christmases were like,
however our Christmas was celebrated,
whoever celebrated our Christmas with us,
Christmas was a special time,
a time of celebration, a time to rejoice,
a time to give, to receive, to love, to forgive,
to reach out to a person in need, and, most of all,
to celebrate the birth of Christ, God come to Earth.

Christ Jesus was born in a manger,
a crude place that held food for animals,
in a barn, a place to keep livestock.
He was the King of Kings, but he was born
in a place where a poor man might be: a stable.
He came down to earth. He was a king,
but still he came for the poor, for rich.
He came for all men alike. He is the Christ.
He is Jesus, the reason we celebrate Christmas.

I remember a Christmas past, a classic Christmas.
We had just bought a cow that past summer,
a Jersey, to milk. Before we opened presents,
any presents at all, we had to milk her.
I rolled out of bed that morning,
and I used my LED flashlight to make some coffee.

The stockings were stuffed, the presents sat
under the tree waiting to be opened.
Christmas lights were strung around the tree,
and they glowed with a yellow light that lit
the surrounding wall, the presents, the floor.
It was Christmas morning, an exciting time.

Dad got out of bed and, when we dressed,
Dad and I went out into the frosty cold.
The milked foamed white in the bucket.
A propane lantern’s light glowed orange.
Nana, our Jersey, munched her grain.

The milking done, we walked the fields
to get some hay for our cow.
It was a time of suspense,
made much worse for my siblings in the house.
They were doing little to while away the time:
watching Mom cook breakfast, staring
at the stockings, at the presents, guessing.

Finally, we all sat down in the living room,
gathered around the tree. Dad read
the Christmas story from the Bible,
and we opened presents. Paper flew
all around the living room floor. Shouts of laughter
rang out. It was a joyous time, a time of gladness,
a time of celebration. It was a happy time.

You know what, come to think of it,
I don’t remember any year we didn’t have
a good time on Christmas Day.

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