It happened one day near December's end,
Two neighbors called on an old friend.
And they found his shop so meager and mean
Made gay with thousand bows of green
And Conrad was sitting with face a-shine
When he suddenly stopped as he stitched a twine
And he said "Old friends, at dawn today,
When the cock was crowing the night away
The Lord appeared in a dream to me
And said "I'm coming your guest to be."
So I've been busy with feet astir
Strewing my shop with branches of fir.
The table is spread and the kettle is shined.
And over the rafters the holly is twined.
Now I'll wait for my Lord to appear
And listen closely so I will hear
His step as He nears my humble place.
And I'll open the door and look on His face.
So his friends went home and left Conrad alone
For this was the happiest day he had known,
For long since, his family had passed away
And Conrad had spent many a sad Christmas Day.
But he knew with the Lord as his Christmas Guest
This Christmas would be the dearest and best.
So he listened with only joy in his heart
And with every sound he would rise with a start
And look for the Lord to be at his door.
Like the vision he had had a few hours before.
So he ran to the window after hearing a sound
But all he could see on the snow covered ground
Was a shabby beggar whose shoes were torn
And all of his clothes were ragged and worn.
But Conrad was touched and he went to the door
And he said, "Your feet must be frozen and sore.
I have some shoes in my shop for you
And a coat that will keep you warmer too."
So with grateful heart the man went away
but Conrad noticed the time of day
And wondered what made the Lord so late
And how much longer he'd have to wait.
When he heard a knock, he ran to the door
But it was only a stranger once more.
A bent old lady with a shawl of black
With a bundle of kindling piled on her back.
She asked for only a place to rest
But that was reserved for Conrad's Great Guest.
But her voice seemed to plead "Don't send me away,
Let me rest for awhile on Christmas Day",
So Conrad brewed her a steaming cup
And told her to sit at the table and sup.
But after she left he was filled with dismay