What is Christmas?
"What is Christmas?" The teacher asked,
to his class as they sat on the floor.
"When you think of it, what comes to mind?
An excitement? A bit of a bore?"
The looks on their faces were mixed
as they all thought of Christmas day.
Some looking forwards and some thinking back,
others were miles away.
"The presents," one freckle-faced boy offered up,
many smiles taking his side.
"The snow," said one cheery-cheeked wee girl of eight,
"when it covers the fir trees outside."
"Decorations and tinsel!" the cries came in fast,
"Baubles!" and "Stockings!" "Paper chains!"
A raise of a hand and the chatter died down
as the teacher brough order again.
"My mummy and daddy. I, see them more,"
a shy little girl offered up.
A snigger was quoshed by the teacher's warm smile,
as he drank from his warm coffee cup.
"You know, Emma-Jane," (for that was her name),
"That's my favourite Christmas bit too,
apart from the story of one little child
who was actually quite similar to you.
He was born on a night, in the roughest of beds,
just his mum and his dad by his side.
No huggable teddy to snuggle at night,
just straw and a blanket beside.
No family came, nor a single close friend
to cuddle or coo at the child,
just some shepherds who'd left all their sheep in a field
and three strangers who'd travelled a while.
The children leaned closer, all starry eyed,
"Did the boy get no presents?" One asked.
"Well, not what you'd think," the teacher replied,
"each stranger gave one as they passed.
The first gave him gold," the boys' eyes lit up,
"The second gave Frankincense."
"Frankin-what?" several chimed, the teacher just smiled,
"It was used by the priests," he said.
"The last gift was Myrrh, which caused a bit of a stir,
as it was used as a burial spice."
"So they meant he would die?" asked the oldest girl, Vi,
"Well that's just not very nice!"
The teacher just grinned, as he wiped from his chin
the last cooling drop of his drink.
"Mr Smith," piped a child, "Y'know that baby boy?
He had it quite rough, don't you think?"
The teacher just nodded, the magic unspoilt
and lowered his cup to the floor.
A glance at his watch showed a quarter past three,
"All right children, line up at the door."
As the boys and the girls took their jackets and coats,
a hand tugged the old teacher's shirt.
And as he looked down, not a hint of a frown
crossed the beaming blue eyes of young Gert.
"You know, Mr Smith, all his presents aside,
I think he just wanted our love.
A kiss and a cuddle would have made him all smiles.
I reckon that'd be enough."
The teacher beamed back, picking up a stray book,
"That gift, might just go down the best.
It's funny how love in the simplest of things
says more than a lot of the rest."
As the children filed out, each parent to find,
"Happy Christmas!" in each parting word,
The teacher watched Gert kiss and hug her tired mum,
with "I love you," the last words he heard.
As he turned on his heel, a quiet smile to himself,
the story ran back through his mind.
A child was born, many years ago,
who helped a wee girl show love, in her kind.