May God’s light shine brightly in the darkness of the world this Christmas Eve.
May you enjoy the company of angels, good shepherds, and friendly beasts alike. You might find these at a local live nativity. Or elsewhere, perhaps where you least expect them.
Infant Holy, infant lowly, for his bed a cattle stall;
Oxen lowing, little knowing, Christ the babe is Lord of all.
Swift are winging angels singing, noels ringing, tidings bringing,
Christ the babe is Lord of all.
–Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
Polish carol, trans. and arranged by Edith Reed, 1926
Kiko vouches for the friendliness of this little beast.
Of course, no camels or kings attended the birth of the holy baby; they arrived much later to pay their respects. But there’s nothing like a camel to stop traffic. And to remind passers-by that this is no ordinary night.
Jesus, our brother, strong and good,
was humbly born in a stable rude,
and the friendly beasts around him stood,
Jesus, our brother, strong and good.
All the beasts, by some good spell,
in the stable dark were glad to tell
of the gifts they gave Emmanuel,
the gifts they gave Emmanuel.
–The Friendly Beasts
12th Cent. French carol