Adults often speak of Christmas as being for children. When those words are spoken, our minds fill with images of children with bright eyes, gazing at the Christmas tree, anticipating a visit from Santa. It does seem that little ones find a special joy in the season, as they look forward to visiting their grandparents, decorating cookies, preparing for their Christmas programs, and of course, finding brightly wrapped surprises under the tree. Parents, too, derive a special sense of pleasure as they hear squeals of delight when their children open their carefully and lovingly chosen gifts.
Of course, even more than Christmas being ‘for children,’ Christmas is about ‘a child.’ It’s about one particular child whose coming changed the course of history forever. As we scramble about ensuring that Christmas is nearly perfect for our own loved ones, it’s easy for that particular child to get lost among the twinkling lights, the wrapping paper and Santa’s jolly, “Ho, ho, ho!”
According to one of my favorite Christmas poems, though, the significance of the Christ child’s birth hasn’t been lost to all children. As poet John Shea introduces us to a little girl named Sharon, we discover that she truly ‘gets’ what Christmas is all about. May we all ‘get it’ as well as she does!
She was five, sure of the facts,
And recited them with slow solemnity
Convinced every word was revelation.
They were so poor
They had only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
To eat and they went a long way from home
Without getting lost. The lady rode a donkey,
The man walked, and the baby was inside the lady.
They had to stay in a stable
With an ox and an ass (hee-hee)
But the Three Rich Men found them
Because a star lighted the roof.
Shepherds came and you could pet
The sheep, but not feed them,
Then the baby was borned.
And do you know who he was?
Her quarter eyes,
Inflated to silver dollars when she said,
The baby was God!
And she jumped in the air, whirled around, dove into the sofa
And buried her head under the cushion—
Which is the only proper response
To the Good News of the Incarnation.
May your response to the Good News of God’s incarnation in Christ Jesus
be as awestruck and joyous as was Sharon’s!
I wish you and yours a Blessed and Merry Christmas. Thanks be to God!