‘Twas the night before Christmas,
and here in this place
the excitement is rising,
in every child’s face.
The greens on the walls
have been swagged to and fro.
There’s holly and cedar
‘neath candles aglow.
The choirs are all practiced,
the ushers in line,
guilds altar and flower
have made this house shine.
The costumes are ready,
the lines learned by heart,
for Inn-keeper, Gabriel,
and Narrator’s part.
The grandmas are swooning,
the moms a bit tired,
The dads do their part
‘cause the children are wired.
All praise for Miss Maggie,
Miss Viv and LaPlant,
who loved us and taught us
to never say “Can’t.”
On Drama! On Donuts!
On Scripture! On time!
Kids teaching each other
makes chaos sublime.
And what do you think
Of the Ravens these days,
With Jackson as QB
And running the plays?
We’ve got the momentum,
The defense, the spin.
And Harbaugh has said,
“Baby, we just need to win.”
But it’s been a tough year
for many nearby
with sisters who passed
and brothers who died.
The schools need our help
with funding, in-kind,
so each child progresses
and none left behind.
Some streets are too dark,
some jobs are too few.
But B’more can rise
with me and with you.
We’ll marshal our forces
and build where we can.
We invest in the future
when we reach out a hand.
So we sing the old carols
and tell the sweet tale,
of shepherds and angels
and Jesus’ Noel.
He was born in a stable
where the animals fed,
with straw for a blanket
and a manger his bed.
And wise men arrive
with gifts that they bring.
What swaddling child
could be praised as a king?
But the story is clear
if you listen real close:
the least and the last
meet the heavenly host.
And Christmas arrives
when enemies wed,
when the poor are brought in,
and the hungry are fed.
It comes without ribbons,
or boxes, or bows.
It comes without presents,
or stockings, or shows.
It comes when we welcome
the stranger as guest.
It comes when we offer
each other our best.
It comes when there’s peace
in our hearts, in the land.
Christmas comes when we love
each child, sister, and man.