A well-known story that I told to the (grand)children on Christmas Eve.
Once upon a time, very long ago, a miracle happened in a country far away from here. There lived the most beautiful, lovely and sweetest girl on earth. She was so beautiful that even if her dress was plain, it seemed to be stitched with gold and gems of all kinds. She shone with beauty and pureness without knowing it...
One special morning she was startled by a violent noise, as if wind was blowing. She was alone in the house, but still there was this noise. Frightened she turned around to see where it came from and saw a great being in front of her - she knew that it was an angel. She sat down and crossed her arms before her breast in devotion, but the angel made himself known as Gabriel and he said, comfortingly, something really beautiful to her: She would have a child who would be born in winter and who would grow into a man that would be the greatest of all men, greater than any man that had ever been born or would ever be born, full of glory, truth and goodness.
Maria, for that was the girl's name, accepted the words without hesitation and so it happened that many months later she would have her little child, in the deepest winter night.
With her husband she had gone on a journey because they had to go to the town where Joseph had been born, to Bethlehem. Maria had to have her child and they still had not found a place to sleep. It was already dark, it was evening and it was cold...
Joseph asked in all the taverns and also at the doors of the houses, but they all said: There is no room for you!
At last they found themselves in a stable where an ox and a donkey stood with their food crib with straw in it. There, in this place, Maria, the loveliest and most beautiful woman in the world, had her baby that would become the most glorious, good and great man that ever lived and will live!
They called their child Jesus, laid him in the crib on the straw - and the ox and donkey were looking, wondering at the child and its parents.
In the meantime there were shepherds with their sheep on the fields. They slept and watched, watched and slept, under the starry sky. Suddenly they were wakened by the singing of angels. They fell on their knees, full of fear for these divine sounds. But an angel appeared and said that they should not be afraid. The sky was full of jubilation because the little child Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem, the town where long ago king David had been born. The angel said: Go and greet the child Jesus and bring him honor and devotion - and then tell all the people about this birth!
Then the angel disappeared and the divine choir of angels sang:Gloria in excelsis deo - et in terra pax, hominibus bonae voluntatis.Glory to God in heaven and peace on earth to people of good will.Christmas 2017 by Mieke Mosmuller