A Catholic Monthly Magazine

A Christmas Letter

by Joy Cowley

Two thousand years ago, a special baby was born far away in a town called Bethlehem. The baby’s name was Jesus. His parents were travelling at the time of his arrival, and the only shelter for them was a place where animals were kept. I guess it was like a barn. Anyway, he was born with a cow and a donkey and maybe some sheep by him.

You were our special baby and you were born in a hospital. We went there as fast as we could when we knew you were coming. A nurse was waiting at the hospital door. Other nurses and a doctor took us into a delivery room and helped with your birth.

When Jesus was born, his mother Mary and his father ]oseph wrapped him in warm blankets. They cuddled him and talked to him. I’m certain they knew he was the best baby in the world. I knew that you were absolutely the best baby in the world. You were small when you were born, and perfect. Your head was wet and your face was like a beautiful flower folded in bud. A nurse wrapped you in a cloth and put you in my arms. To begin with, your eyes were shut but then they opened and looked right into mine and I said, “Hello, little baby. Welcome to the world”. And I kissed your wet hair. 

Angels sang when Jesus was born. They say that the sky was full of music and there was a great star shining over his birthplace in Bethlehem.

When I looked at you, my heart was full of starlight and angel song. I was sure that no one in the world could be as happy as I was with my beautiful baby. And you know something else? I still remember that light and music which the universe gives to new mothers. Often, when I look at you now, I feel the wonder of it singing in my heart.

When Jesus was born, people came to visit. Some shepherds left their sheep in a nearby field and ran to see the baby. Later, some wise men came many miles on their camels, bringing gifts to Jesus.

There was such excitement when our family and friends heard the news of your birth. Everyone wanted to see you. Your grandparents came. Your uncles and aunts and cousins. Sometimes, they talked about you as though you were a jigsaw puzzle. You had my eyes. No, you had your father’s eyes. You had a mouth like your uncles. You had your cousin’s nose. You were going to be tall like another cousin. But they all agreed on one thing. You were absolutely wonderful. They brought you little sleeping suits and hats and fluffy rabbits, teddy bears and rattles. One of your aunts gave you a heap of books for the time when you could read. You still have most of them. Imagine a whole box of books for a newborn baby! You closed your little hands on their fingers, while they made baby noises at you and welcomed you into the family. They were all so proud of you.

The birth of that special baby, two thousand years ago, was the beginning of Christmas. That’s why, in December, people give each other gifts. They are celebrating the gift that baby Jesus was to the world.

My precious one, you too, are a gift to the world. Always remember that. Each person is born with a job to do. And each person’s job is to help make the world  a better place. But most of all, dearest child, you are a gift to your family. Everything that you are enriches our lives and we love you very much. You are the Christmas present that we have every day of the year and we never stop saying ‘thank you’ to God for you.

Happy Christmas, precious one,

with love from Mum  

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