Christmas Blessings: Prayers and Poems to Celebrate the Season

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In today's changing world, many people are looking for more meaning in the Christmas season than just Santa and sleigh bells. Now, author June Cotner has created the perfect gift for all those seeking a richer and more spiritual Christmas experience: CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS, a keepsake collection of over 100 poems and prayers. From angels and shepherds to memories, inspiration, and Christmas through the eyes of a child, this treasury celebrates every aspect of the holiday and includes blessings, toasts, and prayers ...
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Overview

In today's changing world, many people are looking for more meaning in the Christmas season than just Santa and sleigh bells. Now, author June Cotner has created the perfect gift for all those seeking a richer and more spiritual Christmas experience: CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS, a keepsake collection of over 100 poems and prayers. From angels and shepherds to memories, inspiration, and Christmas through the eyes of a child, this treasury celebrates every aspect of the holiday and includes blessings, toasts, and prayers for every occasion. Comprised of a mix of contemporary and classic selections, the volume features writers such as Christina Rossetti, Edgar Guest, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Madeleine L'Engle, and Jane Yolen. The collection is certain to become a perennial holiday favorite, fostering a deeper appreciation for the blessings of Christmas.

Author Biography: June Cotner has written numerous prayer compilations and has appeared on national radio programs. She lives in Poulsbo, Washington.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Most of the selections in this short poetry collection are classics, some of which have been immortalized as Christmas carols. There's Martin Luther's "Away in a Manger," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," Edmund Sears's "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" and Christina Rossetti's "What Can I Give Him?" There is also a sampling of 20th-century poetry, including some fine contributions from Madeleine L'Engle, Henri Nouwen, e.e. cummings and G.K. Chesterton. But many of the other contemporary poems, unfortunately, are not destined for the ages; contributions such as "Grandfather's Christmas Rocking Chair," "The Sights and Sounds of Christmas," and "Angels" don't manage to rise above their sentimentality. In contrast, Barbara Crooker's contemporary poem "The Meteorology of Loss" manages to be both fresh and melancholy while musing on a time-honored subject: the absent friends we remember at Christmas. (Oct. 21) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446531009
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/21/2002
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 6.42 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Read an Excerpt

 

A Letter to Readers

Christmas Blessings grew in my heart long before it became a book. My fondest memories of Christmas include our family traditions of putting ornaments and lights on the tree, decorating our home, and placing special Christmas books on the coffee table. Because I love Christmas so much, I wanted to create a book that celebrates the meaning of Christmas and captures the feelings associated with our most cherished memories and traditions.

When I was a child I loved decorating the tree and attending the candlelight Christmas Eve church service. I loved baking with my mother, singing and listening to Christmas music, and the laughter-filled family gatherings. As the years have passed, my role at Christmas has changed from daughter to wife and mother, but I still get the same warm feelings about this special season. I still love to bake—now with my daughter; listen to Christmas music—that my son plays for us (he's a musician); sing—sometimes just with cats and dogs; and family gatherings are still filled with the love and joy of Christmases from my childhood.

So I've decided that, although some may say that Christmas has gotten too commercial or lost its meaning, we can keep Christmas alive in our hearts. We can maintain old traditions and create new ones, we can pause to appreciate the joy in our lives, and we can put life in perspective by remembering the birth of Christ.

In reading this book, my hope is that you will find yourself filled with the spirit of the season. For me, I want to pick it up again and again throughout the year and be inspired to be kinder, more giving, and more appreciative of my family. I hope you enjoy this book; it has been such a delight to create!


ONE
Christmas Joys

The Sights and Sounds of Christmas

The sound of joyful church bells Heard from a distant hill,
A warm and cozy fireside
To chase the winter's chill.

The jingle of the sleigh bells,
A Christmas candle's glow,
The cherished celebrations
Each heart has come to know.

A child's anticipation
As he peers beneath the tree,
And finds the gift he asked for When he sat on Santa's knee.

The sights and sounds of Christmas
Woefully will depart,
But the wondrous love of Jesus Can remain within each heart.

Catherine Janssen Irwin

If I Were a Christmas Tree

I'd
like
to be a
Christmas
tree with pres-
ents all around;
with golden ropes,
and silver
tinsel hanging
to the ground. I'd
trim my boughs with
crystal balls of red and blue
and white, and watch them glow
and catch the gleam of every Christmas
light. I'd wrap myself in
candy canes and popcorn balls,
and such. And, last, I'd have a shining
angel for my crowning touch! Then early
Christmas morn when little ones, with shouts
of joy, rush in to see and claim and treasure every
wondrous toy, I'd lean my boughs to brush up close and
touch each child like this, and place upon each shining cheek my
loving
Christmas
kiss!

Bonnie Compton Hanson

Everywhere Christmas

Peace on earth—
It's Christmas;
Silent is the night.

All about
the beauty—
Earth is dressed in white.

Listen;
Hear the angels—
Songs are in the air.

Wide eyes
shine in wonder—
It's Christmas everywhere.

Joan Stephen

Compilation copyright © 2002 by June Cotner Graves

 

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