"Ready for Christmas," she said with a sigh,
As she gave a last touch to the gifts piled high.
Then wearily she sat for a moment and read,
Till soon, very soon, she was nodding her head.
Then quietly spoke a voice in her dream!
"Ready for Christmas! What do you mean?
I seem to remember that only last week,
You wouldn't acknowledge your friend on the street.
"Ready for Christmas, while holding a grudge?
Perhaps you'd better let God be the judge.
Why, how can the Christ child come and abide
In a heart that is selfish and still filled with pride?
Ready for Christmas, when only today
A beggar lad came and you turned him away
Without even a smile to show that you cared?
So little he asked, which you could have spared.
"Ready for Christmas! You've worked, it is true,
But just doing the things that you wanted to do.
Ready for Christmas! Your circle's too small.
Why, you are not ready for Christmas at all!"
She awoke with a start, and a cry of despair,
"There's so little time, and I've still to prepare!
Oh, Father, forgive me. I see what you mean:
To be ready means more than a house swept clean.
"Yes, more than the giving of gifts and a tree.
It's the heart swept clean that He wants to see,
A heart that is free from bitterness, sin--
Ready for Christmas means ready for Him!"