25 Days of Christmas Quotes: Day 3

Today’s Christmas quote needs some explanation. Yesterday, our little family visited a Christmas Crèche Exhibit at a nearby meetinghouse. (locals: it runs through this Wednesday!) Celebrating its 25th year, the impressive and inspiring exhibit displays hundreds of nativity sets from all over the world. It also features several musical performances.

We slunk into the chapel just as a handbell group performed one of my favorite Christmas songs: What Child is This?

Oh my. It just got to me.

Travel back in time with me. The night is crisp. The smell of animal and hay cling to you as you enter the stable, but the cramped space seems surprisingly quiet. You hesitate to approach the couple with the baby—how do you explain the strange events that brought you and your fellow shepherds here?—but they quickly bid you to come closer. It’s almost as if they’re expecting you. As you approach the manger, the hay rustles underfoot. Your heart beats a little quicker.

And then you see the child the angel spoke of. Baby Jesus, with his perfect little fingers and toes. He’s sleeping. Even though you are familiar with the prophecies, you suddenly sense you don’t know much at all. But at that moment, it doesn’t really matter, because you feel much. More than you’ve ever felt before.

The baby stirs. Mary is quick to pick him up. She rocks him, but Jesus does not want to sleep right now. His eyelids flutter. He looks up at you, and in his eyes you see the world. Except, the world has never looked so beautiful, so filled with hope. And you suddenly know—truly know—that’s because this baby boy is Hope.

It’s just a little baby, you tell yourself, yet you know that’s not really true. The reverence and awe that squeezes your chest…how can you already feel so tied to this being you’ve only just met? Like an invisible piece of string connected your heart to his tiny hands. Mesmerized, you find yourself asking:

What Child is This?

And that is how we arrive at quote number three.

Ps. I don’t have a video of the actual handbell performance, but this one is in the same spirit. You can find the text to the song here. (along with a very interesting note about its creator)


  1. Angelica–the picture you painted was so moving, so real. I’ve never thought of this beautiful carol in the way you describe it. I may never be able to hear it again without getting all emotional! 😉 Thank you for your insights.

    • angelicahagman says:

      Thank you, Sharman! I actually hadn’t thought of it quite that way before either! I think I need to put myself ‘in the scene’ more often when it comes to the events found in the scriptures – powerful!

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