Archive for the ‘christmas poems’ Category

A CHRISTMAS CARD? (22nd card) [1]

I really have no l-o-n-g standing need,

To sit and sit and read, read and read

About the facts of “southern living,”

     (Laura is now a baby sitter!)

I like the plain Christmas Card giving.

Spare me from the mammoth form letter.


Plain Christmas Cards have been no doubt proved,

     (You did change pastorates? What you moved?

     I thought you liked Loogootee people.

     Didn’t Don and Mary treat you right?

     God lead you? Sounds a little feeble.

     Maybe Bedford or Sankey’s “bite”?)


I was saying, Uh, we keep our cards.

– Letters don’t rhyme like jingles by “bards” –

Our pretty ones we have on display,

     (I heard you resigned – that’s not the word,

     As head of W E A A.

     Felt lost? Unless that’s what you preferred.)


It’s OK if one must write on card,

     (Oh! You found leaving them all quite hard!

     Well, we DO understand, don’t you fret.

     – But let me get this next very straight.

      [Cause I thought it was concrete set]

     You’re working on a Master’s of late ? ? ?)


You do-o-o agree with me, do you not.

Cards say it all – that’s why they are bought.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, no words contrary.

     (Jackson’s a long way to drive, I’d say.

     Wesley Biblical Seminary!

     Interstates! You don’t go every day!)


You will pardon please my views about

Holiday Cards and how they’re sent out.

Can’t stand letters with head line stories –


     (Andrew got hitched? Tell me the “Gories”!!

     Love to have been there, caught in the whirl.)


And another thing I don’t care for

Is the computerized letter, nor

Its matching label on the outside.

     (Poncha what? Pon-cha-tou-la, What names!

     So that’s were you pastor and abide,

     You and all three the fair Bryan dames?)


I hope I’ve set out, clear as a bell;

Send a plain card, buy just what they sell.

     (And Lincoln’s in Florida – dating?

     Heather is doing paces at home?

     And Laura is working and waiting,

     Next year she off to college will roam?)


Cards yes. Letters are so dull and long.

     (So you’re getting along like a song.

     A great pounding a few weeks ago?

     Glad you like people, parsonage, and all.

     God’s entire family is nice to know.

     You’ve had a fine move, summer, and fall!)


Well, I’ve said enough about my peeves.

And pardon my long parentheses.

     (May you have a Great Remembrance

     Of HIS coming as a Baby King.)

And if YOU send a letter by chance.

Don’t ask; You’ll know I read the whole thing!! 

– eab, Dec. ‘87

[1] Written my first year at Wesley Biblical Seminary. If it seems too light, it was probably a release valve after all that study.

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Twenty-five firecracker chimes

Revolutionary birthday times

And twenty-five Augusts, nightly growing corn’s tower

Twenty-five September morns

Red schoolhouse bells and yellow bus horns

And kids of all ages held in learning’s strong power.


Twenty-five wonderful falls

Chirping squirrels, rustling leaves, wild geese calls

And twenty-five feasts of black pilgrim hat and feather

Martha and I have enjoyed

First alone and then gratefully toyed

Twenty-five celebrations of His birth together.


Twenty-five blue and white ways

Frost/snow filled, first-month, icicled days

Twenty-five months to remember Abraham and George

Twenty-five advents of spring

Mud on the ground and robin on wing

An’ lambs all respecting wind that came as from a forge


Ah twenty-five daffodils

April arrives with Easter frills

And twenty-five Mays with cricket and frog all attune

Then comes the long awaited

The one for which our breath was baited

That hot last long nineteen and sixty-one night in June


Twenty-five full great love years

A lot of happiness, a few tears

And the joys of Andrew, Lincoln, Laura and Heather

Now this month we celebrate

The birth of Christ, earth’s true Potentate

We’ve hallowed it these twenty-five seasons…together

– eab,Dec. ‘86

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Twas the darkest of nights,

Far from village lights,

In a stable, lonely, forlorn;

That the Kings of kings,

The Brightest of “brights,”

Descended to be born.

– eab, 12/22/06

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John Thomas McFarland died 12/22/1913, at Ma­ple­wood, NJ.  He was ed­u­cat­ed at Simp­son Coll­ege, Io­wa Wes­ley­an Un­i­ver­si­ty, & Bos­ton Un­i­ver­si­ty School of The­ol­o­gy and pastored in IA, IL, RI, NY & KS.  It was while Sec­re­ta­ry of the Board of Sun­day Schools (NYC) however that he came to national attention. It was there he wrote, “Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay” (3rd verse to Away in a Manger) in about an hour from when he started.  Some believe Mar­tin Lu­ther wrote verses 1&2, some reject that but we DO know who wrote verse 3.  Mcfarland was born 1/2/1851 at Mount Ver­non, IN.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;

Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care, And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.

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Color Christmas red.

For bright young cheeks on Suzie and Fred,

For dogwood seed pods as they shed,

For flying, feathery cardinals bred.

And He who was Bethlehem born

Was also red – bloodily torn.

Christmas was the beginning,

Calvary the sad ending.

Color Christmas red.


Color Christmas white.

For mistletoe berries and their rite,

For snow that fell from the realm of kite,

For icicles’ unique snappy bite.

Whitish was the symbolic dove

That descended then from above,

White the sand on which He walked,

Purer still, the way He talked.

Color Christmas white.


Color Christmas green.

For pointed holly leaves with their sheen,

For blue spruce and white spruce, oh so keen,

For every evergreen ever seen.

The fish and bread Breaker did pass

Fifty by fifty on the grass

While fig found it did not suit

To be full but without fruit.

Color Christmas green.


Color Christmas gold.

For all the shiny tinsel that’s sold,

For candle flame, regardless of mold,

For merchant’s profit in crispy fold.

The old temple He did replace,

A golden prayer-house in disgrace.

King He was; deserved the crown

In spite of religion’s frown.

Color Christmas gold.


Color Christmas dark.

For wintery trees in “formal” bark

For gray-to-brown mountains, unclad, stark

For snow clouds’ own horizontal mark.

Dark was the world before His gift,

The veil did rend! Sin’s night did lift!

Its no longer dark – He came.

Since; things haven’t been the same.

Hark, angels, men hark.   

– eab Dec. ‘85

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Thank God for Redemption’s plan

Which came down this time of year

Giving hope to hopeless man

Caught in trouble and in fear.

– eab, 12/21/06

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Mary, the carpenter’s wife,

Has been delivered of a Man child.

She conceived and then bore,

Heaven’s Seed and remained undefiled.

She gave birth in a peasant “home”

Of linage Royal and old.

Bearing her reproach she thus gave,

Divinity a fine human mold.


He came, He loved, He cried,

He walked by the azure sea side.

He cared, He worked,

He sought those who had never been taught.

He touched, He scattered, He plead.

The Holy Scriptures He read.

He stood, He bore, He died.

The Christ of Christmas, crucified.

– eab, Dec. ’82

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