Christmas trees and Christmas carols, Christmas lights and reindeer, too.
Christmas cards and Christmas presents, wrapped with paper, bows and glue.
Christmas bells and Christmas cookies, Christmas ornaments galore!
Spending money—is this all that Christmas means?  Or is there more?

Is that all that Christmas brings us? Things to buy and things to do?
Things to eat and things to look at? Things for me and things for you?
Set aside the things of Christmas—lock them up away from view.
What is left is all that matters—Christmas is not “what” but “who!”

                   Christmas is a person; Prince of Peace; Immanuel.
                   Jesus, son of Mary; Son of Joseph—Son of God as well.
                   Word of God Incarnate lying in a cattle stall,
                   Born to live among us. Born to die and rise again—to save us all.

Underneath the crumpled paper on the floor on Christmas morn,
Let us not forget to seek the One who on this day was born.
Gifts and lights and trees and carols will all fade and pass away.
In the end all that will matter is the person born this day.

Let us prayerfully remember, on this holy day of days,
That the baby Jesus is the One most worthy of our praise.
Christmas is indeed a person: Jesus Christ, our Lord and King.
He who loves, forgives and saves is worth far more than any “thing.”

                  Christmas is a person: Prince of Peace; Immanuel.
                  Jesus, son of Mary; Son of Joseph—Son of God as well.
                  Word of God Incarnate lying in a cattle stall.
                  Born to live among us. Born to die and rise again—to save us all.

 

.

save us all.

.

.

James A. Tweedie is a recently retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He likes to walk on the beach with his wife. He has written and self-published four novels and a collection of short stories. He has several hundred unpublished poems tucked away in drawers.

 


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21 Responses

  1. Peter Hartley

    James – A salutary reminder that we seem to need every year in a more and more secularised society that CHRISTmas is supposed to be about the birth of Christ and not primarily a time for stuffing faces with expensive fodder we wouldn’t waste our money on for the rest of the year. And Christmas really is a person, or at least two thirds of it are.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I love your train of thought, Peter, especially the mathematical revelation. I hope your Christmas is restful, peaceful, and blessed with the creation of more of your wonderful works.

      Reply
      • Peter Hartley

        Thank you Susan, and the same to you for the little that’s left of it. I had an exceedingly grumpy Christmas which is just the way I like it. For me Christmas just can’t be grumpy enough. I got a flugelhorn, a sousaphone and another bugle for Christmas and I’m trying to work out a way to play them all at the same time in different keys.

    • Mike Bryant

      Peter, I suppose old Oslo is only three-fifths (I mean 6/11ths) a certain, important person.

      Reply
      • Peter Hartley

        Mike – I’d keep out of the house this Thursday night if I were you ‘cos that’s when Susan starts her bugle practice.

  2. Margaret Coats

    Blessed Christ Mass, James, Peter, and all! James, thanks for remembering the music of the angels and the spheres above!

    Reply
  3. Yael

    That’s a lovely song! I like it. Merry Christmas to you too.
    Looks like I’ll be the spelling police again today, I can’t seem to help myself: the last word on line 7 should be “there”, not “their”.

    Reply
    • James A. Tweedie

      Yael, Thanks for being a gift to those of us whose fingers are no longer hard-wired to our brains. If Evan makes the correction good. If not then it will stand as witness to my fallen humanity! Merry Christmas.

      Reply
      • Mike Bryant

        James, I changed the next to last word on line four. I hope that’s right. Yael may be using a phone…

  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    James, simply beautiful! And thank you for singing meaning back into Christmas with sentiments that soar above the stress of shopping and cooking. and bring much-needed perspective to the season. Bravo!

    Reply
  5. Mike Bryant

    James, you’ve nailed the real reason for the season. The words, music and voice are all beautiful and beautifully accomplished.

    Reply
  6. Damian Robin

    Thanks, James. Really up-lifting. I was raised a Catholic. My parents were quite autistic and unable to communicate the heart of their sense of the religion. So I moved away from their version of meaning in life. This is the first Christmas since my teens that I have recognised my roots. And, more than that, felt the Christ in Christmas. Your words, music, and singing have continued this heart-filling feeling. It is a wonderful. Well done and thank you.

    Reply
    • Margaret Coats

      Damian, I can say (from having carried James’s carol to Midnight Mass with me) that “Christmas is a Person” has extra special reverberations for Catholics. At any Mass, the priest is “another Christ” re-presenting His Holy Sacrifice to us and offering us the Person Himself in the Blessed Sacrament at Holy Communion (always the best way to experience His presence). But at Christmas there is also the focus on the Infant in the Nativity scene. As Midnight Mass begins, the priest enters in procession with the figure of the Infant in his arms, and the first thing he does is place it in the manger. The first thing the congregation does after Mass (with no prompting) is go toward the Infant to pay a visit, as if they were shepherds. There is a real sense of “being there,” so well manifested in James’s last stanza and chorus.

      Reply
    • James A. Tweedie

      Paul, that is a lovely thing to say. Thank you. I have written a poem/song like this each Christmas for over 30 years. Before I retired they were featured at my Christmas Eve services. Now they are shared only with my family.

      Reply
      • Margaret Coats

        Sounds like you have enough to share more broadly, as a booklet of Tweedie’s Collected Carols. Please include music, if only as melody lines above or below the poems!

  7. Damian Robin

    To Mike B — thanks, swift re-a-ranger on the wide, screen plains of SCP’s poetry. I can see completely now. :^)

    Reply

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