Favorite Christmas Poems
Want to know the best way to get your family into the spirit of the season? Print out copies of these famous CHRISTMAS POEMS and sit around the fireplace together sipping hot chocolate. While the cocoa warms your toes, these moving words will warm your heart. Start a family CHRISTMAS TRADITION today!
T’WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
by Clement Clark Moore is the perfect story to tuck children in on Christmas Eve. They will lie awake, “nestled all snug in their beds”, anxiously waiting for the “eight tiny reindeer” to appear on their rooftop.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled down for a long winter's nap;
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter; Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash;
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below; When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer;
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick; More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, DASHER! Now, DANCER! Now, PRANCER and VIXEN! On, COMET! On CUPID! On, DONNER and BLITZEN! To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too;
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof; As I drew in my hand, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound;
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack;
His eyes -- how they twinkled! His dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly;
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk; And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle; But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
is a fun way to pass the time on the way to grandmother's house for a Christmas feast and celebration. Print off these lyrics and sing along in the car. Everyone can pick a day or two to be the soloist on. It is better than listening to “Are we there yet?” a dozen times or more.
The first day of Christmas My true love sent to me A partridge in a pear tree
The second day of Christmas My true love sent to me Two turtle doves, and A partridge in a pear tree.
The third day of Christmas My true love sent to me Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and A partridge in a pear tree.
The fourth day of Christmas My true love sent to me Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and A partridge in a pear tree.
The fifth day of Christmas My true love sent to me Five gold rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and A partridge in a pear tree.
The sixth day of Christmas My true love sent to me Six geese a-laying, Five gold rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and A partridge in a pear tree.
The seventh day of Christmas My true love sent to me Seven swans a-swimming Six geese a-laying, Five gold rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and A partridge in a pear tree.
The eighth day of Christmas My true love sent to me Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five gold rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and A partridge in a pear tree.
On the ninth day of Christmas My true love sent to me Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five gold rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and A partridge in a pear tree.
The tenth day of Christmas My true love sent to me Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five gold rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and A partridge in a pear tree.
The eleventh day of Christmas My true love sent to me Eleven pipers piping, Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five gold rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and A partridge in a pear tree.
The twelfth day of Christmas My true love sent to me Twelve drummers drumming, Eleven pipers piping, Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five gold rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and A partridge in a pear tree.
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is a beautiful poem that has also been turned into a Christmas Carol over the years. It brings thoughts of world peace to mind and the enormous job ahead of us if we are ever to accomplish this great feat! Bringing a little good will to strangers will keep Longfellow's sentiments alive and well during this giving time of year.
I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till, ringing, singing on its way The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, A chant sublime Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound The Carols drowned Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth,” I said; “For hate is strong, And mocks the song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead; nor doth he sleep! The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men!”
A SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS
by Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt was written for his fellow marines and was immediately circulated for its thought-provoking sentiment. This classic poem was first published in Leatherneck Magazine in 1991 with the original title Merry Christmas, My Friend. This poem has been set to music and is read on many radio stations for the holidays. It is a twist on the classic Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore.
Twas the night before Christmas, He lived all alone, In a one bedroom house made of Plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney With presents to give, And to see just who In this home did live.
I looked all about, A strange sight I did see, No tinsel, no presents, Not even a tree.
No stocking by mantle, Just boots filled with sand, On the wall hung pictures Of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, Awards of all kinds, A sober thought Came through my mind.
For this house was different, It was dark and dreary, I found the home of a soldier, Once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, Silent, alone, Curled up on the floor In this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, The room in such disorder, Not how I pictured A United States soldier.
Was this the hero Of whom I’d just read? Curled up on a poncho, The floor for a bed?
I realized the families That I saw this night, Owed their lives to these soldiers Who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, The children would play, And grownups would celebrate A bright Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom Each month of the year, Because of the soldiers, Like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder How many lay alone, On a cold Christmas Eve In a land far from home.
The very thought Brought a tear to my eye, I dropped to my knees And started to cry.
The soldier awakened And I heard a rough voice, “Santa don’t cry, This life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more, My life is my God, My Country, my Corps.”
The soldier rolled over And drifted to sleep, I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, So silent and still And we both shivered From the cold night’s chill.
I didn’t want to leave On that cold, dark, night, This guardian of honor So willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, With a voice soft and pure, Whispered, “Carry on Santa, It’s Christmas Day, all is secure.”
One look at my watch, And I knew he was right. “Merry Christmas, my friend, And to all a good night.”
BELLEAU WOOD – Garth Brooks (Seven album)
a song on Garth Brooks’ CD Seven, tells the story of a Christmas truce to cease firing during World War I between British and German troops. It began on Christmas Eve 1914 when the German troops put up candles and began singing Silent Night. The British responded by singing carols. The soldiers crossed “No Man’s Land” and exchanged gifts of whiskey, jam, cigars and chocolate. The truce also allowed them proper burial time for their fallen comrades. The truce lasted through Christmas night and the fighting resumed.
Oh, the snowflakes fell in silence Over Belleau Wood that night For a Christmas truce had been declared By both sides of the fight
As we lay there in our trenches The silence broke in two By a German soldier singing A song that we all knew
Though I did not know the language The song was "Silent Night" Then I heard my buddy whisper, "All is calm and all is bright"
Then the fear and doubt surrounded me "Cause I'd die if I was wrong But I stood up in my trench And I began to sing along
Then across the frozen battlefield Anothers voice joined in Until one by one each man became A singer of the hymn
Then I thought that I was dreaming For right there in my sight Stood the German soldier 'Neath the falling flakes of white
And he raised his hand and smiled at me As if he seemed to say Here's hoping we both live To see us find a better way
Then the devil's clock struck midnight And the skies lit up again And the battlefield where heaven stood Was blown to hell again
But for just one fleeting moment The answer seemed so clear Heaven's not beyond the clouds It's just beyond the fear
No, heaven's not beyond the clouds It's for us to find it here
LET US KEEP CHRISTMAS
by Grace Noll Crowell is a short, but meaningful sentiment, especially in these times when the economy will not allow the spending that has occurred in the past. Remember your childlike faith of the past.
Whatever else be lost among the years, Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing; Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears, Let us hold close one day, remembering It's poignant meaning for the hearts of men. Let us get back our childlike faith again.
THE HOLY NIGHT
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning reflects on the story of the birth of Jesus on one holy night and the wonder of a star that guides the magi to bring gifts to him.
We sate among the stalls at Bethlehem; The dumb kine from their fodder turning them, Softened their horned faces To almost human gazes Toward the newly Born: The simple shepherds from the star-lit brooks Brought their visionary looks, As yet in their astonied hearing rung The strange sweet angel-tonge: The magi of the East, in sandals worn, Knelt reverent, sweeping round, With long pale beards, their gifts upon the ground, The incense, myrrh, and gold These baby hands were impotent to hold: So let all earthlies and celestials wait Upon thy royal state. Sleep, sleep, my kingly One!
WHAT CAN I GIVE HIM?
by Christina Rossetti is about what to bring the Baby Jesus for a gift and has a religious tone about giving your heart this holiday season.
What can I give Him, Poor as I am? If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb. If I were a Wise Man I would do my part. Yet what can I give Him? I give Him my heart.
THE CHRISTMAS HOLLY
by Eliza Cook is a joyful poem all about the holly’s burst of green and red color against the white backdrop of the snow, and its beautiful meaning in nature and the tales it tells when other plants hibernate for the winter.
The holly! the holly! oh, twine it with hay -- Come give the holly a song; For it helps to drive the stern winter away, With his garment so sombre and long.
It peeps through the trees with its berries of red, And its leaves of burnished green, When the flowers and fruits have long been dead, And not even the daisy is seen. Then sing to the holly; the Christmas holly, That hangs over peasant and king; While we laugh and carouse 'neath its glittering boughs, To the Christmas holly we'll sing.
The gale may whistle, the frost may come To fetter the gurgling rill; The woods may be bare, and warblers dumb, But holly is beautiful still. In the revel and light of princely halls The bright holly branch is found; And its shadow falls on the lowliest walls, While the brimming horn goes round.
The ivy lives long, but its home must be Where graves and ruins are spread; There's beauty about the cypress tree, But it flourishes near the dead; The laurel the warrior's brow may wreathe, But it tells of tears and blood; I sing the holly, and who can breathe Aught of that that is not good? Then sing to the holly, the Christmas holly, That hangs over peasant and king; While we laugh and carouse 'neath its glittering boughs, To the Christmas holly we'll sing.
EXCERPT FROM LITTLE WOMEN
by Louisa May Alcott is not really a poem, but the Christmas sentiments of the four March sisters, facing a lean Christmas while their father is away fighting battles in war, and a time when frivolities are scarce.
"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
"It's so dreadful to be poor!" sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
"I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff.
"We've got Father and Mother, and each other," said Beth contentedly from her corner.