A Christmas Banquet for Younger Listeners









The Friendly Beasts

Jesus our brother, kind and good,

Was humbly born in a stable rude,

And the friendly beasts around Him stood,

Jesus our brother, kind and good.


"I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown,

"I carried His mother up hill and down,

I carried her safely to Bethlehem town;

I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown.


"I," said the cow all white and red,

"I gave Him my manger for His bed,

I gave Him my hay to pillow His head.

I," said the cow all white and red.


"I," said the sheep with curly horn,

"I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm;

He wore my coat on Christmas morn;

I," said the sheep with curly horn.


"I," said the dove, from the rafters high,

"I cooed Him to sleep so He would not cry;

We cooed him to sleep, my mate and I;

I," said the dove from the rafters high.


Thus every beast by some good spell,

In the stable dark was glad to tell,

Of the gift he gave Immanuel,

The gift he gave Immanuel.

Choose a story.

The Christmas Story by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Holy Night by Selma Lagerlöf

How the Fir Tree Became the Christmas Tree by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

Babouscka by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Christmas Rose by Frances Jenkins Olcott

The Legend of St. Christopher by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Legend of the Christmas Tree by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Three Purses by Frances Jenkins Olcott

Little Piccola by Frances Jenkins Olcott

Mrs. Santa Claus by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Elves and the Shoemaker by Frances Jenkins Olcott

The Golden Cobwebs by Sara Cone Bryant

The Stranger Child by Frances Jenkins Olcott

The Jar of Rosemary by Maud Lindsay



Choose a poem.

Bethlehem Anonymous

Carol by Kenneth Grahame

A Christmas Carol by G. K. Chesterton

The Christmas Child by George MacDonald

Christmas Day and Every Day by George MacDonald

Cradle Hymn by Martin Luther

An Old Christmas Carol Anonymous

An Old English Carol Anonymous

Santa Claus Anonymous

How Far Is It to Bethlehem? by Frances Chesterton

I Saw Three Ships Old Carol

I Heard a Bird Sing by Oliver Herford

The Friendly Beasts Anonymous

Long, Long Ago Anonymous

Christmas Song by Eugene Field

How the Fir Tree Became the Christmas Tree

T HIS is the story of how the fir tree became the Christmas tree.

At the time when the Christ Child was born all the people, the animals, and the trees, and plants were very happy. The Child was born to bring peace and happiness to the whole world. People came daily to see the little One, and they always brought gifts with them.

There were three trees standing near the crypt which saw the people, and they wished that they, too, might give presents to the Christ Child.

The Palm said: "I will choose my most beautiful leaf, and place it as a fan over the Child."

"And I," said the Olive, "will sprinkle sweet-smelling oil upon His head."

"What can I give to the Child?" asked the Fir, who stood near.

"You!" cried the others. "You have nothing to offer Him. Your needles would prick Him, and your tears are sticky."

So the poor little Fir tree was very unhappy, and it said: "Yes, you are right. I have nothing to offer the Christ Child."

Now, quite near the trees stood the Christmas Angel, who had heard all that the trees had said. The Angel was sorry for the Fir tree who was so lowly and without envy of the other trees. So, when it was dark, and the stars came out, he begged a few of the little stars to come down and rest upon the branches of the Fir tree. They did as the Christmas Angel asked, and the Fir tree shone suddenly with a beautiful light.

And, at that very moment, the Christ Child opened His eyes—for He had been asleep—and as the lovely light fell upon Him He smiled.

Every year people keep the dear Christ Child's birthday by giving gifts to each other, and every year, in remembrance of His first birthday, the Christmas Angel places in every house a fir tree, also. Covered with starry candles it shines for the children as the stars shone for the Christ Child. The Fir tree was rewarded for its meekness, for to no other tree is it given to shine upon so many happy faces.


— Aunt Hede, "Kindergarten Magazine"