‘twas the night before Christmas

“Twas the night before Christmas and people were jaded
From hustling and bustling through malls they had waded.
They’d spent all their money and shopped till they’d dropped
But the meaning behind it seemed more and more cropped.
The joy and the laughter had gone from the season,
As media and retailers perverted the reason.

But for one group of people the light still shone through
The hype and commercialism they knew wasn’t true.
The jingles and trappings they chose to ignore,
For them, Christmas wasn’t something bought in a store.
Sure, the essence of Christmas is all about giving,
But God’s kind of presents – a quality of living.

For this group of people Christmas wasn’t about shopping
Or holidays and tinsel and food till you’re popping.
To them it was time to worship and recall
The fact that God gave them the best gift of all;
The coming of Jesus and the changes he made
In the lives of his followers and the debt he repaid.

Rather than copy others and try to compete
They resolved to become a new Christmas elite.
They shunned all the junk mail and specials unending,
Refusing to be lured by material spending.
To all of the pressure and tension they cried, “Enough!
We want to get back to the true Christmas stuff!”

That night before Christmas these people decided
To stand up for truth that their culture derided.
They cut through commercialism and retailer bluster
With all of its hype and its tension and fluster,
And paused to give thanks to the God they adored
For his mercy and grace and their lives he’d restored.

They put to one side all the presents received
The goodies that tempted and kept them deceived;
They turned their attention once more toward the Lord
To receive with both hands his heavenly reward.
The rest of their lives to Jesus surrendered,
And this Christmas became the best they remembered!

Brian Winslade, written 1998. Published Prac10.