What Are Some Christmas Poems?

Some famous Christmas poems are "Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore, "Journey of the Magi" by T.S. Eliot and "The Oxen" by Thomas Hardy. The first poem discusses Santa Claus, while the others discuss Jesus' birth.

"Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas," sometimes called "The Night before Christmas," is a jolly, rhythmic narration about a visit from Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, the entire house is asleep, but a commotion on the lawn awakens the narrator. He sees St. Nicholas go down the chimney, after which the jolly old elf distributes toys. A Christmas classic, this 1823 poem consolidated the popular image of Santa Claus, which has lasted through contemporary times.

Originally written for a Christmas pamphlet, Eliot's "Journey of the Magi" is a much more somber poem that details the thoughts of one of the magi who visited the baby Jesus soon after his birth. The speaker ponders the meaning of the birth of Jesus, seeing that it is a beginning of something new but also "Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death." With the rise of Christianity, the magi believes, the old religions may become obsolete.

"The Oxen" begins with a nostalgic description of childhood when the children would gather around to hear the Christmas story. Although not skeptical as a child, the speaker doubts the story today, but hopes that if a similar miracle happened today he would be willing to believe in it.