Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen
When the snow lay ’round about
Deep and crisp and even
This is my favorite Christmas song, but I could never listen to it without getting teary eyed.
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel
The story always touches me no matter how many times I hear it…
“Hither, page, and stand by me,
If thou know’st, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence,
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”
“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine-logs hither
Thou and I shall see him dine
When we bear them thither.”
Such goodness is a beautiful thing to witness…in a song, or in your fellow man.
Page and monarch, forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather.
“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how
I can go no longer.”
I could never get past that stanza without crying after my mom passed away. The part about the failing heart got me every time.
She’s been gone almost 26 years – you’d think I’d be over it by now. And missing her made me question my tradition of offering my baking to others as a gift. I started asking myself why I do it, thinking maybe it’s an old custom and not necessary – other people don’t do it.
Then I played the song again and in the King’s lines, I heard my mom’s message…
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shall find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”
And I knew that I should’t quit, but boldly follow in Mom’s footsteps because she created a beautiful tradition. She showed me the way to treat friends, family, co-workers, even strangers.
In his master’s step he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Those were some pretty warm foot prints to walk in.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye, who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.
Generosity of spirit never goes out of style.
I wish you all a beautiful Christmas. May you find joy in whatever the day brings, Drop your expectations and just accept what happens – it makes for a much happier time. And hang on to your traditions — they are priceless.