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Fruitcake for the soul

Pour a cup of hot chocolate, turn on the tree, and enjoy some sweet and some nutty Christmas poetry and prose.

Christmas at Macy's

Christ walked into Macy's on Christmas Eve.
His eyes blinked in amazement as He
     wandered though the silver evergreens,
     while red, yellow, and blue stars blinked
     above His head.
Surely, this was not the way He had remembered it
     at that glorious time of creation.
Relief filled His heart as He glimpsed familiar shepherds,
     But they were lifeless, hard and hollow;
     not anything like His Father had made.
They bowed before the silent angels revolving
     on steel wires above their heads.
It was all so cold and heartless.
     Plastic shells of humanity.
I came to give life, to give it abundantly, He pondered
     as electronic ornaments beeped "Joy to the World."
"Don't you want life?"
     He called out to the villagers.
But they just smiled with their hand-painted
     expressions as they hurriedly shopped for more
     plastic and vinyl
          and stared past the life lying in the manger.

Copyright © 1976 James N. Watkins

Christmas at K-mart

ATTENTION SHOPPERS. Now for the next three minutes, at the flashing blue light, we have on sale this beautiful hand-crafted teak wood nativity set. Each figure is elegantly clothed in beautiful satin and . . .

. . . she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

While you're there, be sure to see our three-foot weather-proof hand-painted plastic nativity figures. They'll look perfect on your front lawn. Plus they come complete with 100-watt bulbs and . . .

. . . there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

In our hardware department burglar alarms and security lights are on sale this week only. And in our sporting department, check out the low prices on our rifles, shotguns, and . . .

. . . and the angel said to the, Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto us is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

. . . And don't forget to stop by our Entertainment Center for the latest Christmas hits including "Rudolph the Redneck Reindeer," "Rappin? Around the Christmas Tree," and . . .

. . . suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men.

And don't forget, Santa Claus will be arriving in just a few moments. The first ten boys and girls will receive a special gift from Santa and . . .

. . . they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

We hope you've found everything on your list, to make this a joyful Christmas. Please come again, and . . .

. . . the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen.

Copyright © 1983 James N. Watkins

Christmas presents

Direct from my home office in snow-swept Corn Borer, Indiana, I have in my bright red mitten:

Top ten signs you've spent too much money on Christmas presents

10. Your letter carrier develops a hernia delivering your MasterCard bill.

9. Your new computer has more RAM than Microsoft headquarters.

8. The Federal government is offering you a bailout.

7. You've taken out a second mortgage to pay for the "Nuclear-powered 3-D Brain Blaster" video game system.

6. A guy named "Nick the Kneecap" keeps calling you at 3 a.m.

5. You spend all your time away from the office or assembly line asking, "Do you want fries with that?"

4. You use cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, and computer manuals to heat your home.

3. The Ghost of Christmas Future reveals your family living at a homeless shelter, but—hey—of all the people there, your family is the best dressed.

2. Your children are being sponsored by a Zambian orphan.

1. You've forgotten the true reason for the season.

Wishing you and your family a generous Christmas!

© Copyright 1997, 2008 James N. Watkins

Mystery (of Nativity)

Holy God of life and light,
In a stable in the dead of night,
It's a myst'ry of Nativity.
Maker of all human flesh,
Nursing at a virgin's breast,
It's a myst'ry of Nativity.

That God would become Man
To die and live again,
That humanity might know Divinity.

Ruler of the wide cosmos,
Bound and tied in swaddling clothes,
It's a myst'ry of Nativity.
King of Kings and Lord of Lords,
Bound and nailed on two rough boards,
It's a myst'ry of Nativity.

That God would become Man
To die and live again,
That humanity might know Divinity.

Copyright © 1993 James N. Watkins

The Fragrance of Christmas

Evergreen boughs. Fruitbreads. Wassail. Fresh- baked cookies. Frosty winter air. Bayberry candles. The festive fragrances reminded our family that this was Christmas Eve as we visited my wife's mother in Wisconsin.

"Dad, can we go down to the barn and see the kittens?" Faith and Paul asked. We bundled up and trudged through the snow to the barn.

As we opened the door, the smell of urine burned our eyes and nostrils. Steam from the cattle's body heat carried the scent of fresh manure throughout the barn.

"Let's see the kittens and then get out of here," my teen-aged daughter urged. "My hair is going to smell just terrible after being here!"

We did carry the odor of the barn's manure, old wooden beams, grain, and fresh straw back to the house with us.

"This smells better," Paul announced as the aroma of roasting turkey greeted us at the door.

But the true scent of the season clung to our clothes. The holy and pure God had chosen to arrive on earth, not between scented candles in a tabernacle of cedar paneling, but in the stench and filth of a stable. And in his sacrificial acts, he offered us the "fragrance of life" (2 Corinthians 2:16).

© Copyright 1988 James N. Watkins

Have a meaningful holiday!

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Copyright © James N. Watkins. All text and graphics on my sites, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted © in my name and are protected by United States copyright law and international copyright law under the Berne Convention. Please visit the press room for information on reprinting any text or graphics. Thanks!

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