'Twas the night before Christmas
and in the shopping mall
crowds of children waved goodbye as
jolly Santa left the hall.
Harried parents dashed out of the stores
clutching their bags of toys
and gathered up their waiting youngsters,
the happy girls and boys.
Then off to the church they went
just across the street
for the children's evening program
and the promise of a treat.
Soon Christmas carols echoed
and the pastor led in prayer;
they heard the Gospel Story,
blessing everyone there.
While Bobby in his bathrobe
and Sue in soft blue shawl
stood at the wooden manger
in the makeshift cattle stall.
The shepherds knelt before them
as the little choir sang,
then up in the steeple
the joyous bells rang.
And parents gazing at the manger
didn't see the solemn stranger.
The church door had slowly opened
in the darkness of night;
a weary man walked down the aisle
by glowing candlelight.
All at once it was plain to see
who this visitor might be.
When Santa knelt there at the altar,
eyes glistening bright,
he asked Jesus to be his Savior;
an astonishing sight.
The littlest angel exclaimed
as the children drew near,
"Why, Santa loves Jesus!"
and all shed many a tear.
Then afterwards they shook his hand
ere he drove out of sight;
everyone agreed it had been
a most remarkable night!
by Elaine Hardt ©1998