A Poem for Advent

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“The House of Christmas”

by G.K. Chesterton

There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honor and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam,
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost—how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.

This world is wild as an old wives’ tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

Found in The Home Book of Verse – Volume 1 by Burton Egbert Stevenson, on Gutenberg.org

 

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Christmas Booklist

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Every year after Christmastide we put our Christmas-themed books away so that when Advent begins it is the first time my children have seen them all year. I check out the ones we don’t own from the library and we place them in a basket with a festive bow. I love how these stories work their magic all Advent long as we prepare our hearts for Christmas morning. Here are our favorites. 

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Christmas Picture Books

Baboushka and the Three Kings by Ruth Robbins, illustrated by Nicholas Sidjakov

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The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale by Aaron Shepard

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Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck

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The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P.J. Lynch

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The Christmas Story Golden Books

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The Dolls’ Christmas by Tasha Tudor

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The Donkey’s Dream by Barbara Berger

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The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola

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The Nativity by Ruth Sanderson

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Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell

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The Story of the Three Wise Kings by Tomie dePaola

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The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston, illustrated by Barbara Cooney

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Books About Christmas Hymns

Good King Wenceslas by John Mason Neale, illustrated by Christopher Manson

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The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats

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Stephen’s Feast by Jean Richardson

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The Twelve Days of Christmas by Gennady Spirin

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Christmas Poetry

 A Wreath of Christmas Legends by Phyllis McGinley, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard

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~ ADDITIONS! ~

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The Christmas Story illustrated by Gennady Spirin

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The Story of Holly & Ivy by Rumer Godden, illustrated by Barbara Cooney


What are your family’s favorite Christmas books? Please share in the comments below.

You may also like . . . the Winter & Snow Booklist.

 

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