I wrote this poem back in 1999. Mom had a manger like this one and some years I would sneak and put it under the tree and just lay in the floor and gaze at it. My memory of this sweet little plastic manger was my inspiration for A Christmas Story.
Packages wrapped up with ribbons and bows,
Stockings over fires with embers aglow;
A tree in the corner strung with tinsel and lights;
A soft falling snow on a cold winter night.
Under the tree on a soft woolen skirt,
Sat a nativity scene of the dear Savior’s birth.
As I knelt down close to take a good look,
My mother would read from an old worn book.
She told of a mother, weary and worn,
The inns were all full, no room could be found.
They were shown to a stable with hay on the ground.
She read how the shepherds were watching their sheep
When angels came to them with voices so sweet.
She read of their messages of tidings of joy
As they told the shepherds about the birth of a boy.
We’d listen intently, eyes glued on that book
As she told how the shepherds went to go look.
How they found the sweet baby in a manger that night
And how they gave praise to God for the sweet blessed child.
We hung on her words, the picture so clear,
For this was a child the world would hold dear.
She flipped back some pages as we knelt at her feet,
While she read of some wise men and a star in the east.
She told of their journey to see the small babe.
She read of their worship and the gifts that they gave.
We heard about the frankincense, the myrrh and the gold,
As Mom quietly finished her story of old.
As she closed the worn book that she’d just read,
We’d get our kisses from Daddy and scoot off to bed.
As she tucked us all in and kissed us good night,
We’d think of that story as she covered us tight.
For we had been raised to know the Lord’s love,
And we knew that sweet Child was a gift from above.
We knew that a great sacrifice had been made,
That started with the birth of Jesus that day.
So forget all the presents, the ribbons and bows.
Forget all the stockings and lights all aglow.
For the greatest gift you’ll find on your Christmas morn,
Was given by God, the year our Savior was born.
Brenda Garretson Keefer ©