An early Christmas present (Hurry to Bethlehem!)

14 Dec

Last November I wrote a children’s Christmas poem just for fun. It was a countdown poem, starting with ten multitudes of angels, dwindling down to the one baby in the manger. I shared it with my writing friend Laurel, who liked it.

Fast forward to this fall, when Laurel took a job at our church in the children’s department. One of her responsibilities was to help plan the Christmas concert. She asked whether she could use that poem I’d written. Of course I gave permission, we made some changes, and I gave her carte blanche to use it as she liked.

A few weeks ago when I was setting up for a women’s class with the help of our pastor in charge of the technical stuff, he said as an aside, “Your book turned out really well.”

“My book?! I never wrote a book.”

“But didn’t you write the poem?”

Then it dawned on me. Laurel & company must have developed my little poem into a book.

Indeed, that is what happened.

So this Christmas, the little book I never knew I’d written has been distributed to hundreds of kids (the Sunday School children were given copies to help them memorize it for the concert) and on Sunday it will part of the show. That’s a pretty fine early Christmas present, I’d say!

I photographed it to show you…


Front and back cover of Hurry to Bethlehem


A multitude of angels
brightening the sky.
“Do not fear,” their leader says.
“I will tell you why.

“To you shepherds I bring news
of the greatest joy.
In Bethlehem is born this night
Messiah baby boy!


Leave your sheep behind you here
travel to the town.
You’ll find Him in a manger
dressed in a swaddling gown.”

They hurry into Bethlehem
as fast as they are able.
On many streets they search and search
seeking the right stable.


In barns they visit one by one
are donkeys, cows, and sheep
but then they hear a baby dry.
“Not all the town’s asleep!”

They race at once toward that barn
knock on the flimsy door.
“Come in,” a voice from inside says,
“What do you come here for?”


The door swings wide, they come inside
watched by four pairs of eyes—
a cow, a donkey, man and wife
who can’t hide their surprise.

The light is dim inside the barn
shepherds can hardly see
but then, by the low lantern light
they make out there are three.


Father stands beside the two
guarding them from danger.
Mother rocks the crying babe
then puts Him in the manger.

Here is the One in swaddling clothes
just like the angel said
in a straw-filled cattle trough
for His newborn bed.


Then countless times they tell the tale
by their excitement driven,
“This night our simple eyes have seen
Christ the Saviour given!
Glory, glory to our God
in the highest heaven.”

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

You might want to check out my friend Laurel’s Toward Christmas blog, where she posts a poem a day throughout Advent (following the stories of people in Jesus’ lineage—sometimes called the “Jesse Tree”)

And now I wish you and yours every blessing of the season!


poetryfridayThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Diane Mayr at Random Noodling.


Posted by on December 14, 2017 in Christmas, Religious


Tags: , , , ,

17 responses to “An early Christmas present (Hurry to Bethlehem!)

  1. joyacey

    December 14, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    I like your little book too. How clever. Mele Kalikimaka/


    • Violet Nesdoly

      December 15, 2017 at 5:27 am

      Thank you, Joy! Enjoy your Mele Kalikimaka Christmas to the music of swaying palms.



  2. bjleepoet

    December 15, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Way to get a book pubbed, Violet! That is so adorable! They did a good job!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Irene Latham

    December 15, 2017 at 6:01 am

    Violet! What a lovely Christmas surprise!! The book is really sweet. Look how your words are blessing others. Thank you for sharing. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tabatha

    December 15, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Terrific surprise, Violet! Laurel had a great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Donna Smith

    December 15, 2017 at 8:25 am

    What a wonderful Christmas surprise! So, so adorable, sweet and ministering.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Diane Mayr

    December 15, 2017 at 8:30 am

    She kept a surprise for longer than I would have! What a gift she gave you this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jama

    December 15, 2017 at 10:08 am

    What a lovely surprise!! Thinking how happy you must be to have all the kids enjoying your new little book. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dorireads

    December 15, 2017 at 10:30 am

    What fun! and what a wonderful Christmas surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. margaretsmn

    December 15, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    How fun to have your poem become a book and a program for children! Have a joy-filled Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Brenda Davis Harsham

    December 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    That is adorable. Well done, Violet!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lindabaie

    December 15, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    It may be the best Christmas surprise, Violet. How special that your friend did this. Everyone, especially the children, must adore the book. Best wishes during this wonderful season of joy and celebration.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kay McGriff (@kaymcgriff)

    December 16, 2017 at 7:11 am

    That is a fabulous Christmas gift! And quite the fabulous Christmas poem, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Buffy Silverman

    December 16, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    What a wonderful surprise, Violet! How great to share your writing gift with hundreds of kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. maryleehahn

    December 17, 2017 at 4:16 am

    Lucky kids! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. cvarsalona

    December 17, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    What a fabulous book this is, Violet, and it is wonderful that the children have access to it. Congratulations. Enjoy your holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Linda Mitchell

    December 18, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Violet! What a smashing success. I’m so happy for the words flying out into the world and delivered by children. You most fortunate writer. This is wonderful. Merry Christmas, friend. I wish you continued countless tellings of the story in the New Year and beyond.

    Liked by 1 person


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