Preserving the Good – 31 Christmas Carols/The Gifts They Gave

The more the words, the less the meaning,
and how does that profit anyone? ~Ecclesiastes 6:11

Years ago, a lady I worked with ridiculed this version of The Gifts They Gave, not realizing Johnny Cash singing this sweet song was one of my favorites. It reminds me to watch what I say and to not criticize much, if at all. Something I dislike, or find laughable, just might be precious to someone else.

The Adoration of the Magi – Gentile da Fabriano (1423)

THE GIFTS THEY GAVE (12th Century)

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.

I, said the donkey shaggy and brown,

I carried His mother up hill and down

I carried her safely to Bethlehem town;

I, said the donkey shaggy and brown.

I, said the cow all white and red,

I gave Him my manger for His bed,

I gave Him my hay to pillow His head;

I, said the cow all white and red.

I, said the sheep with curly horn,

I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm,

He wore my coat on Christmas morn;

I, said the sheep with curly horn.

I, said the dove, from the rafters high,

Cooed Him to sleep that He should not cry.

We cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I;

I, said the dove, from the rafters high.

And every beast, by some good spell,

In the stable dark was glad to tell

Of the gift he gave Immanuel;

The gift he gave Immanuel.[3]