Christmas Poems

henry_wadsworth_longfellowChristmas in April? Actually, there is really no reason why people can’t discuss seasonal poems at times other than the season they were composed for. Christmas poems have been included in the traditions of Christmas for hundreds of years. Over the centuries, these poems have been written by both famous and little known poets. Most of these poems are written as part of the celebration of Christmas, along with discussions of its origins, history, and traditions. Some of the earliest examples of poems written specifically for Christmas go back to the 16th century, as noted in the rather famous poem by John Donne: Nativity.

Nativity
by John Donne

There have been many other poets how have made contributions to the large collection of both secular and religious Christmas poems. Well known poets such as Henry Wordsworth Longfellow, Thomas Hardy, and O. Henry, all have written Christmas poems during their careers. Some of these Christmas poems were written as a dedication to the special celebration of Christmas. Others were written more from a religious point of view and dedicated to recognizing the birth of Jesus Christ. Others are meant more for the enjoyment of children, where they can share poems or songs as they celebrate Christmas traditions.

Christmas Bells
by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

Poems, of course seem to have a life all their own. Experienced poets are able to build lines that rhyme and flow easily, making them enjoyable to read. But one doesn’t need to be a seasoned poet in order to pen wonderful Christmas poems. It doesn’t matter whether the poem was written by well known poets who have thousands of readers or if they were written by a young child for a Christmas school project — all are heartfelt and full of expressions about this special holiday season. It doesn’t take an expert critic to find the lines that are hidden with each poem that describe emotional stories of previous Christmases or from ancient teachings from ages long past. Christmas poems can be written in any number of forms, from traditional four-line verse to Haiku or free verse. Each and every form is appropriate for a poem written to celebrate Christmas.

It’s Christmas Eve
by Anonymous

It’s interesting to note that so many Christmas poems are written discussing cold, winter weather. They talk of snow and sleigh rides, ice skating and the making of snow men. But not everyone lives in such frigid climates. I myself spend many months each year in the tropics of the Philippines where I gather with friends and work with needy children. The only time I have seen “cold” weather is at the indoor ice skating rink at the Mall of Asia in Manila. So Christmas in places like that are usually quite different than what we consider ‘traditional’ Christmas weather. Here is a Christmas poem that offers a slightly different view of the holiday, from the perspective of one living in much warmer climate.

Christmas in India
by Rudyard Kipling



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