The King James Bible
The Gospel according to St. Luke
2. The Birth of Jesus
1 And it
came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus,
that all the world should be taxed.
this taxing was first made when Cyre'nius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all
went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto
the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, (because he was of the house and
lineage of David,)
5 to be
taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so
it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should
7 And she
brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid
him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
8 ¶ And
there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch
over their flock by night.
9 And, lo,
the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round
about them; and they were sore afraid.
10 And the
angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great
joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto
you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this
shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,
lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly
there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and
14 Glory to
God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 ¶ And it
came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds
said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing
which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they
came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when
they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them
concerning this child.
18 And all
they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the
19 But Mary
kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the
shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they
had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible
The birth of Christ.
 And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a
decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled.  This
enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria.  And all went to
be enrolled, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from
Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is
called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David,  To be
enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.
 And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days
were accomplished, that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her
firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger;
because there was no room for them in the inn.  And there were in the same
country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock. 
And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone
round about them; and they feared with a great fear.  And the angel said to
them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall
be to all the people:
 Her firstborn: The meaning is, not that she had
afterward any other child; but it is a way of speech among the Hebrews, to call
them also the firstborn, who are the only children. See annotation Matt. 1. 25.
 For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ
the Lord, in the city of David.  And this shall be a sign unto you. You
shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. 
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army,
praising God, and saying:  Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace
to men of good will.  And it came to pass, after the angels departed from
them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to
Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath
shewed to us.
 And they came with haste; and they found Mary and
Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.  And seeing, they understood of
the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child.  And all that
heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. 
But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.  And the
shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had
heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus
O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick
response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of
veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most
reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of
languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.
"DEAR EDITOR: I
am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
"115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the
skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They
think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds.
All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this
great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as
compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence
capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and
generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your
life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there
were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There
would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this
existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal
light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might
get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to
catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what
would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no
Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children
nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not,
but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all
the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but
there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even
the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart.
Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view
and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA,
in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years
from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will
continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
The Night Before Christmas
Clement Clarke Moore (1779 - 1863) wrote the poem Twas the night
before Christmas also called “A Visit from St. Nicholas" in 1822. It is
now the tradition in many American families to read the poem every Christmas
Eve. The poem 'Twas the night before Christmas' has redefined our image of
Christmas and Santa Claus. Prior to the creation of the story of 'Twas the
night before Christmas' St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, had never
been associated with a sleigh or reindeers! Clement Moore, the author of the
poem Twas the night before Christmas, was a reticent man and it is believed
that a family friend, Miss H. Butler, sent a copy of the poem to the New York
Sentinel who published the poem. The condition of publication was that the
author of Twas the night before Christmas was to remain anonymous.
The first publication date was 23rd December
1823 and it was an immediate success. It was not until 1844 that Clement Clarke
Moore claimed ownership when the work was included in a book of his poetry.
Clement Clarke Moore came from a prominent
family and his father Benjamin Moore was the Bishop of New York who was famous
for officiating at the inauguration of George Washington. The tradition of
reading Twas the night before Christmas poem on Christmas Eve is now a Worldwide
institution and tradition.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"