Christmas Poems and Songs

There have been so many poems and songs written for the Christmas season, both religious and secular, that the difficult part about this post is choosing what to include! We first acknowledge that the reason we celebrate Christmas is to remember every year the beautiful gift that God gave to us.


John 3: 16-17: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

dividerhollyThe Advent, a time of expectant anticipation, and preparation for the Nativity of Christ.

Isaiah 7:14:  The Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.


Moonless darkness stands between
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Moonless darkness stands between.
Past, the Past, no more be seen!
But the Bethlehem-star may lead me
To the sight of Him Who freed me
From the self that I have been.
Make me pure, Lord: Thou art holy;
Make me meek, Lord: Thou wert lowly;
Now beginning, and alway:
Now begin, on Christmas day.

dividerhollyO Come O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.


The Nativity, the birth of Jesus, the fulfillment of prophecy.

Isaiah 9:6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

dividerhollyI Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

dividerhollyIn the Bleak Midwinter
by Christina Rossetti

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.


A Visit From St. Nicholas
by Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas’, when all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

“As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
so up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook, when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
Laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,


dividerhollyJingle Bells
by James Pierpont

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

A day or two ago
I thought I’d take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh yeah



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10 Responses to Christmas Poems and Songs

  1. Lucille says:

    The Christina Rossetti poem IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER is lovely. I’ll use it in one of my Christmas emails. Thanks, Stella!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Lucille says:

    “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
    December 2021 – Luke Sulic

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Menagerie says:

    This is the reading of Isaiah from Midnight Mass. I specifically love this translation because Wonder Counselor is used. Years ago it began to stick in my head, something I pondered after Mass was over, and sometimes for a few days after Christmas. At first, it was a bit of an irritant, something out of place and uncomfortable.

    After years of hearing this, perhaps my favorite passage of the Bible, it has become beloved specifically for that term as much as the rest of the beautiful reading.

    If Jesus is a wonderful counselor, that’s great, a well deserved accolade, beautiful words. Ah, but if I think of him as a Wonder Counselor then I approach in a new and profound way the depth and breadth and beauty of the gifts he brings to me this Christmas.

    Wonder is a rare and precious gift, and probably one of the things Jesus had in mind when he told us to be like children.

    For me, all that Christmas is, every possibility, hope, dream, joy, it all begins the moment I hear this reading at Midnight Mass. Unfortunately, the parish we now attend doesn’t have a midnight service and the Basilica we always went to now celebrates the Mass in the Ancient Form, in Latin, which I have no objection to but don’t want to attend. So, I read it and savor it at home.

    Isaiah 9, 1-6

    The people who walked in darkness

    have seen a great light;

    Upon those who lived in a land of gloom

    a light has shone.a

    You have brought them abundant joy

    and great rejoicing;

    They rejoice before you as people rejoice at harvest,

    as they exult when dividing the spoils.

    For the yoke that burdened them,

    the pole on their shoulder,

    The rod of their taskmaster,

    you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.* b

    For every boot that tramped in battle,

    every cloak rolled in blood,

    will be burned as fuel for fire.c

    For a child* is born to us, a son is given to us;

    upon his shoulder dominion rests.

    They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,d

    Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.

    His dominion is vast

    and forever peaceful,

    Upon David’s throne, and over his kingdom,

    which he confirms and sustains

    By judgment and justice,

    both now and forever.e

    The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Menagerie says:

    I watch the silent monks every year! There’s also a really good on some school kids in Alaska made.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. weather257 says:

    I don’t know whether or not this is accurate, but I read this humorous observation as part of a commentary written about James Pierpont and Jingle Bellls:
    “The second verse is more risqué than the first, describing a boy and girl sleighing together behind the fastest horse they could find, with the lyric:

    Now the ground is white

    Go it while you’re young,

    Take the girls to night

    And sing this sleighing song”


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