Posts Tagged ‘Harry Belafonte’

Not until I met my hubby did I become familiar with the Old English Poem, turned song, “Christmas is Coming.”

It is not known how long ago the words of it were penned, but it is believed that the music was composed by Edith Nesbit Bland (The Railway Children, novel writer) in the late nineteenth century.

“Christmas is coming,
The goose/geese is/are getting fat,
Please put a penny
In the old man’s hat.

If you haven’t got a penny,
A ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny,
Then God bless you.”

Believed to be written during a time a prosperity (as the goose/geese are getting fat), it is a reminder to give to the poor if you have the means, and if you are not able to give even a ‘ha’penny’ to give your blessing.

But what is the value of a blessing? Have you ever taken the time to say, with a smile on your face, a simple ‘hello’ to a lone elderly lady or gentleman? Or to a child in a shopping cart? Or … to a person who appears to be homeless?


I remember so clearly (may I never forget) the time my daughter and I saw a homeless man, with his cart, just sitting on the grass of a business one evening. We decided to go to the nearby grocery store and get him a few fresh food items (milk, fruit, a sandwich). When we returned with the food, I asked her to take them to him. She returned to the van with tears rolling onto her cheeks, “Mom,” she said, through sobs, “he said, ‘God bless you’ to me. I thought I was the one who was blessing him.”

“If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you.”

Our understanding of the Christmas season is one of excesses … excessive food, excessive spending, excessive busyness, and so on. This short, simple poem reminds us of the origins of this CHRISTmas season … it is one of giving. Christ was not born into this world to enable excesses. He, as a child, God’s own son was GIVEN as the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of PeaceĀ (Isaiah 9:6-7). He came as an act of giving, as an act of blessing.



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