A couple of years ago I was asked to write something for St. Andrew’s upcoming post-Christmas pageant, a fundraiser that benefits the St. Louis Boy’s Center. In writing up this little ditty, I came across a number of intriguing customs and details about Christmas around the world that I wanted to share with you today . . . While my family and I enjoy one more day on the beach in West Palm Beach!
‘Tis the season of Christmas,
And since the Word became Man,
Every nation and culture
Has told the story most grand.
Posadas[i] and crèches and szopkes[ii] abound,
And carolers make music[iii], heard all the world ‘round.
In Ghana[iv] and Holland[v], Belize and Brazil[vi]
All gather together with joy and good will.
In the islands[vii], the most festive carols are played
With singers and dancers in bright masquerade.
In Egyptian legend, a large cherry tree[viii]
Bent low to feed the dear Lord’s family.
In England[ix], the “Holly” and “Ivy” entwine[x]
As they worship the wonderful Child divine.[xi]
In Russia, a miserly old woman[xii] brings
To children the gifts[xiii] she kept from the Three Kings[xiv]!
Near the City of David, a star from the east[xv]
Still beckons to you, both the greatest and least[xvi].
In China, paper lanterns all beckon and gleam,[xvii]
In Japan, feast on cakes with strawberries and cream.
Down under, Australia spells joy “barbecue”
As Saint Nick comes riding a large kangaroo.[xviii]
And here in the States, land of plenty and more,
We stop from our labors, bow down, and adore.[xix]
The angels[xx], ethereal; the shepherds[xxi], so lowly.
The Mother, so gentle; the Infant, so holy.
And as ornate Wise Men in tribute bend down,[xxii]
“O Come, All Ye Faithful,” to Bethlehem Town!
Copyright 2008 by Heidi Hess Saxton