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Jean Penner

The Meaning of Christmas

I peered through my window this evening,
Searching for signs of the time,
Looking for sprinkles of Christmas,
Dreaming of things I would find.

But all that I saw was a blanket,
An empty shadow of white,
With flakes blowing strong in the wind,
I strained to see in the night.

Then the view that appeared at my window,
Wasn't the one which I planned,
I saw an old, homeless person,
Making his way 'cross the land.

Why doesn't he move from my window?
He is terribly blocking my view,
How can I see Christmas 'wonder'?
That man should find something to do.

I couldn't stand seeing his image,
His filth was ruining the snow,
Just seeing him caused me to shiver,
His eyes were so empty and cold.

His body was thin and repulsive,
Barely a thread did he wear,
Tattered and torn was his clothing,
I forced myself not to stare.

Quickly I pulled down the shutters,
And heaved a sigh of relief,
How dare he intrude on my vision,
My Christmas 'wonder' was grieved!

So I warmed in a mug of hot cocoa,
I toasted so snug by the fire,
Lights twinkled love from the tree limbs,
The presents were full of desires.

Then I turned all my dreams to the manger,
Reflecting what Christmas did mean,
And there in the midst of the stable,
Was a horrible, saddening thing!

The baby Jesus was missing!
The wise men had tears in their eyes,
The cattle were mournfully lowing,
The star didn't shine in the sky.

Who took away Baby Jesus?
Who robbed from the manger this way?
Who escaped with the meaning of Christmas?
I dropped to my knees, and I prayed.

Then a wintry blast blew the shutters,
And I rushed to the window to see,
There in the midst of the flurries,
Baby Jesus was waiting for me.

He looked so tiny and helpless,
So little clothing He wore,
His eyes looked saddened and empty,
I couldn't help staring some more.

Quickly I pulled down the shutters,
And heaved a sigh of despair,
Just seeing him caused me to shiver,
The King of all Kings, lying there.

'Why did you leave Him there in the snow? '
The wise men that followed me asked.
'Why didn't you feed Him and give him some clothes,
And offer Him love as he passed? '

'Didn't you see the look in His eyes,
Could you not offer Him more?
The meaning of Christmas is still out in the snow,
You need to open the door! '

With tears pouring fast from my eyes,
I ran to the door - but too late,
Baby Jesus was gone from the snow,
And the old man stood in His place.

Then with a sudden gust of the wind,
I peered with my heart, not my eyes
The meaning of Christmas I searched for,
Stood looking at me in disguise.

All of the things which I dreamed of,
The 'wonder' I had from the start,
Could never compare to the 'Christmas',
I found that night in my heart.

Submitted: Sunday, December 18, 2005
Edited: Monday, December 19, 2005

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Comments about this poem (The Meaning of Christmas by Jean Penner )

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  • Liz Munro (12/18/2005 8:30:00 PM)

    A truly wonderful poem.
    It's details no just how easy it can be to ingnore someone
    but also how easy it can be to help someone.
    Very well written.
    Liz Munro. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

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