Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking:
Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child’s cry. A blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven’t forgotten that night down the centuries. We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, the sound of bells, and with gifts—but especially with gifts. You give me a book; I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer. Uncle Henry could do with a new pipe. Oh, we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled.
All, that is, except one.
And we have even forgotten to hang it up. It’s the stocking for the Child born in a manger. It’s His birthday we’re celebrating. Don’t let us ever forget that. Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most, and then let each put in his share: loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.
David Niven, The Bishop’s Wife, 1947