In Bethlehem, In Judea on that first Christmas Day.
A little child, our Lord was born and in a manger lay.
Three Sages from the Orient were guided by a star
To seek the infant Jesus they’d travelled very far.
They found at last the stable where at his feet they lay
The precious gifts they’d brought for him from lands so far away.
Although it’s not recorded I think Mary and Joe
Would wish to show their gratitude and likewise gifts bestow.
Some padding for hard saddles. A balm for tired feet
An icon of the baby, or something nice to eat.
To help them on their journey. To treasure all their lives
To take back to their home land and show them to their wives.
The Shepherds heard the tidings and hurried to the place.
They brought with them a baby lamb and gave it with good grace.
Now Joseph was a Carpenter and may have carved some toys
He’d give them to the Shepherds to take home to the boys.
Or since it wasn’t far away perhaps he might have said,
“Let’s slip across into the Inn and wet the baby’s head.
And so began the practice observed both far and wide
Of exchanging of presents at every Christmastide
So merrily the Christmas tills are rattling away
As customers are eagerly divested of their pay.
The harassed shoppers worry to work out what to get
Some person who has everything? Perhaps a fondue set?
I can’t give Henry socks again. He’s had those three years running.
Maybe this year I’ll get a tie. The pink one’s rather stunning.
No toilet soap for Elsie. I gave her some last year.
She said, “Is that you telling me to wash behind my ear.”
I must be careful if I send some Table Mats to Fred
If he receives the same one’s he sent to me I’m dead.
I spend a lot of money. Receive things I don’t need
The thought is there. I’m grateful. But really I must plead.
My cupboards full of tiny jars of Conserve I’ll not eat.
I’ve fifteen pairs of slippers and only have two feet.
And have more tins of biscuits than ever I’ll consume
I don’t know where to put them. I haven’t got the room.
I’ve just received the first gift. Some Plums preserved in Brandy.
They’re out of date but I suppose the jar will come in handy.
The whole thing has got out of hand and so I think it wise
That we should get together. Come to a compromise.
The answer is quite simple and will not leave us poor
It’s very odd that nobody has thought of it before
So here’s the proposition I lay upon the table.
We buy ourselves the present and just exchange the label.