What I wish they had told me about Christmas

By  Michellan Sarile-Alagao of the Philippines

It is about being silent.

How else could angels have been heard on high?

It is about being tender

even when the world is not.

It is about waiting and the memory of waiting.

It is about patience and sorrow and tomorrow

while we are exiled to the present.


Photo by Jason Ortego, Unsplash

It is about finding rest wherever you can:

in mangers

in dreams

in nights with only one star.


It is when the Painter stepped into His painting.

It is the Singer trapped in just one song.

It is the Sculptor making Himself still

to live out a lifetime in stone.


It is about a mother keeping things in her heart

and thinking about them often.

It doesn’t matter how bright the star was

or if an army of angels

or just one shepherd boy


What matters is the first breath He took.

What matters is that He is still the Son of Man.


One day you will say it is too familiar.

One day you will say in frustration:

the lights are too bright

the songs too loud

Be still.

Only close your eyes and look for a quiet place

and whisper to the Grace that hovers over you.

We live in a world haunted by the Ghost of Christ.

Oh Lord, keep haunting us.

May we see you at the corner of our eyes

and in the faces of the tired.


As we remember the night you were born

may You be:

the thrill

the hope

in us

that makes a weary world


This poem, based on Luke 2:1-20, was submitted as an entry in our LittWorld writing contest. Submission guidelines include: “submit an original piece of writing that helps readers see the truth or power of one Scripture passage in a fresh, new way. Use your genre of choice—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, song, prayer, etc. Entries should not exceed 600 words..” Learn more.

Michellan Sarile-Alagao of the Philippines believes that writing helps us heal. She writes about memory, faith, mythology, trauma, womanhood and things in-between. After the Sunstone is her first poetry collection. Michellan has an MFA in Creative Writing, specializing in poetry. She once worked for an organization that provides assistance to women and children survivors of sex trafficking. You can connect with her on Instagram and twitter: @toomichinfo

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