Disheveled Theologian: T’was the week before Christmas

O'Donnell Gretchen

T’was the week before Christmas when all through the flat

Not a creature was stirring except for the cat.

The stockings were hung on the railing with care,

Because we don’t have a mantel to hang them up there.

The children stay up after I go to bed,


And I’m not really sure what goes on in their heads.

Both Papa and I wear warm fuzzy caps,

But generally not when we’re taking a nap.

Out on the lawn some squirrels make a clatter

But I hardly notice because other things matter

Much more, like wrapping the stash

Of Christmas gifts hidden (more fun than mere cash).

Some baking has happened, with a jolly “ho, ho”!


And yes, we even got pizza to go.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a pile of letters, with stories to hear.

The mailman appears to be lively and quick,

And hopefully will not become seasonally sick.

Out from Rapid City, our son even came,

Back home to the place where we all know his name.

My menus are planned — all the stirrin’ and mixin’


(It’s really not easy to rhyme words with “Blixin”).

The wee Advent doors on our calendar call

That the time’s almost here — we’ll all have a ball!

Christmas is my favorite — you might ask me, why?

It’s because Jesus came so that he could then die.

The balance of Santa and Jesus Christ, too,

Is vital because if you don’t know who’s who,

You might get confused by St. Nick on the roof,

He’s fun and he’s jolly — this isn’t a spoof —

But it’s Jesus who saves you, his joy’s all around.

Christmas is his birthday, the day that we’ve found

To honor the fact that he came here to put

Upon the lowly earth his dear holy foot.

(I must point out that this poem’s a hack.)

My point is that though we love Santa’s pack,

We mustn’t forget midst the bright holly berry

That Jesus is the one who makes this time merry.

Now it’s time to wrap gifts and I must find a bow

Or two, or three or a dozen or so.

I’ve come from the dentist; he looked at my teeth

And I think that I saw on his wall a nice wreath.

I’m going to make cookies I saw on the telly

With Grandmother’s special red raspberry jelly.

I might watch a movie, there may be an elf

Or a sweet little donkey (there’s one on my shelf)

Who learns about Christmas, his wee manger bed,

Full of hay that he gives up for Jesus’ head.

That is, after all, what makes Christmastime work,

The purpose, the point, so we don’t act like big jerks.

We’re called to be kind, as everyone knows,

As we know God more, our relationship grows.

(This is horrible poetry, and now the word “whistle”

Doesn’t rhyme with anything else but “thistle”.)

Thankfully now the end is in sight,

God loves you, you know, believe me, I’m right!

Gretchen O’Donnell is a freelance writer who lives in Worthington with her husband and three children. She has a master’s degree from Bethel Seminary and enjoys writing about the things she sees and applying theological truths to everyday situations. Her column, The Disheveled Theologian, is published weekly. Her email is .

Related Topics: FAITH
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