As my children are entering into the ability to understand the depth of Christmas, I am filled with the desire to present them with the truth: that, yes, we eagerly await the joy the gifts will bring on Christmas morning, but we also anticipate the forever joy that the birth of our Savior brings.
Toys, a temporal joy. Jesus, a forever joy. Both are gifts.
My 5-year-old son was on to something when he said, “Christmas has 2 awesome things in it: candy, and Jesus. But mostly Jesus.”
In an effort to proclaim this truth – that Santa is good but Jesus is best – I have rewritten the internationally beloved Christmas poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
Enjoy! And as you read this, encourage your children that even more delight is to be found in their Savior than in their Santa.
“Twas The Night Before [The First] Christmas”
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the camp
not a creature was stirring, not even a lamb.
The Scriptures were read and explained with great care,
in hopes that Messiah soon would be there.
The shepherds were waiting, their eyes to the sky,
while the promise of His coming delighted their mind.
And they all with their goats, and I with my sheep,
had just settled down for a winter night’s sleep.
When out in the darkness there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my blankets to see what was the matter.
Away to the meadow I ran with my staff,
For fear that a wolf was attacking a calf.
The moon in full circle gave light to my haste,
And it seemed the darkness had been fully erased.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a host of bright beings engulfing the sphere.
With the glory of Heav’n surrounding that squad,
I knew right away they were angels of God.
More splendid than lilies, their garbs they adorned,
And they sang with clear voices and blew with loud horns.
“Messiah! Good Shepherd!
Alpha and Omega!
To earth He has stooped,
He made Himself small.
But that small, helpless babe
Will be Lord of All!”
As the wind that precedes a great tempest does blow,
And the roar is acknowledged by the mighty and low,
So up to the heavens the messengers flew,
leaving us with the tidings of a King to pursue.
And then, in the sky, I heeded our guide,
We followed its light and away we did ride.
As I drew close I scarce believed what I saw,
For I discovered my Lord, reclining in straw.
He was wrapped in soft rags from His feet to His chin,
And He lay among cattle, for there was no room at the inn.
The Lamb dwelled with lambs; He slept in their fodder,
And He looked like a baby who never would matter.
His eyes – how they held me! Full deity within!
And His hands seemed prepared for His work to begin.
His body, now whole, would one day be broken;
For His wounds and His shame had all been forespoken.
His frame, now so small, would shoulder a burden
In order that man may take hold of His pardon.
But this night His great submission would be
That the Almighty God would be rocked to sleep.
He was God become man, the manifestation of Himself.
And I knelt when I saw Him, because of myself.
For in the presence of that Babe all my sin was displayed,
But that Babe was my Savior, so I wasn’t afraid.
He spoke not a word, but His manner told all.
He loved His creation! He would undo our fall!
I watched as the King reclined on His mother,
And knew that His dreams were up with the Father.
I sprang from my knees, to my friends gave a whistle,
Made one final tribute ‘ere taking dismissal.
I ran to the city, proclaimed loud and clear,
“Salvation to all! Your Messiah is here!”