Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Christmas Day in the Morning | Narrated by Richard Thomas

Difficulty: 0


Robert woke suddenly and completely.

It was 4 o'clock, the hour when his father had always

called him to get up and help with the milking.

That was 50 years ago but his eyes still

opened every morning at 4:00.

And even if he wanted to go back to sleep, which he usually did,

it wasn't going to happen this morning.

Because this morning was Christmas.

He looked at his wife sleeping beside him,

and remembered Christmases when their children were young.

This had been a joyous day, the day she labored and lived for,

filled with the laughter of little ones.

But now those children were gone, and the house was empty.

And for her, Christmas was becoming just another winter

morning, it's joy a memory of the past.

His mind slipped back further to growing up

on his father's farm.

He'd always loved his father, but he

hadn't realized how much.

And then, one day he overheard his parents talking.

"I wish I didn't have to get Robbie up so early",

his father said.

"He's growing so fast, and he needs his sleep.

If I could just find a way to handle the milking alone."

"well, you can't", his mother said firmly.

"Because he's not a child anymore, and it's time

he do his part."

"It's true", said his father.

"But I still don't like to wake him."

Hearing those words, something awakened in Rob.

His father loved him.

He'd never thought of it before, but now he knew it,

and he could never go back to waiting for his father

to call him in the mornings again and again.

He might stumble out of bed blind with sleep,

pulling on his clothes with his eyes half shut,

but he would get up.

A few days later, on Christmas Eve, Rob was lying in his bed,

thinking about the next morning.

His family was poor, and most of their excitement

was about the turkey they had raised themselves,

and the mince pies his mother made.

His parents almost gave him something he needed,

and he saved to buy them gifts, too.

For his father, it was always a tie from the $0.10 store.

But that Christmas, the tie just wasn't enough.

Rob had to give him something better, something more.

Rob lay on his side, propped up on one elbow,

looking out the attic window.

The stars were bright, much brighter

than he ever remembered them.

And he wondered if one of them was the star that

shone over Bethlehem.


CHOIR: Oh, watch the stars.

See how they run.

Oh, watch the stars.

See how they run.

The stars run down at the setting of the sun.

Oh, watch the stars.

See how they run.

RICHARD THOMAS: "Dad", Rob once asked

when he was a little boy,

"what's a stable?"

"It's just a barn", his father had replied,

"like ours."

"So Jesus had been born in a barn,

into a barn the shepherds had come,

and wise men with their gifts."

In that moment, a thought struck Rob like lightning.

They had a barn, and in it there was a gift for him to give.

He would get up before 4 o'clock and milk the cows.

He'd do it alone while everyone was asleep,

and when his father opened the barn door,

all the work would be done.

A smile broke across Rob's face, and his eyes

danced with the stars.

CHOIR: Go find the child, see where He lays.

Go find the child, see where he lays.

The Child lays down on a manger bed of hay.

Go find the child, see where He lays.

RICHARD THOMAS: Rob must have woken 20 times

that night, scratching a match each time to look

at his old watch.

Midnight, 1 o'clock, half past 2:00.

At a quarter to 3:00, he finally got up and put on his clothes,

crept downstairs, being careful of the creaky boards,

and let himself out.

Inside the barn, he lit the old hurricane lamp.

The cows were looking at him, sleepy and surprised.

It was early for them, too.

Then, with a great rush of energy, Rob set to work.

He smiled as he milked steadily, two strong streams rushing

into the pail, frothing and fragrant.

For once, milking was not a chore.

It was something else, a gift to his father, who loved him.

When he was finished, the two milk cans were perfectly full.

He covered them, and closed the milk house door carefully,

making sure of the latch.

Back in his room, he had only a minute

to pull off his clothes in the darkness and jump into bed.

His father was already coming down the hall.

Rob yanked the covers over his head as the door opened.

"Rob, we have to get up, son, even if it is Christmas."

"All right", he mumbled.

The door closed, and Rob lay still, breathing heavy.

In just a few minutes, his father would know.

His heart was ready to jump from his body.

The minutes seemed endless.

10, 15.

He didn't know how many until he heard his father's footsteps.

Again, the door opened.


"Yes, Dad?"

His father was laughing, a strange sobbing sort of laugh.

"You thought you'd fool me, did you?"

His father was standing by his bed, feeling for him,

pulling away the covers.

"It's for Christmas", Rob cried, finding his father

and clutching him in a great hug.

He felt his father's arms around him in the dark.

"Son," I thank you.

Nobody ever did a nicer thing."

"Oh, dad", Rob said, "I just want to be good."

The words broke from him of their own will.

His heart was bursting with joy.

50 years later, Robert reflected on that Christmas.

And again, something in him awakened.

He looked over at his wife and remembered the years

of Christmas mornings that she had made joyous

for him and their children.

And in that moment, all he wanted

was to give her something, to do something to express his love

and revive their joy.

And then it struck him like lightning,

the true joy of Christmas is to love and to awaken love.

Their children were grown, and their house was empty,

and the laughter of little ones would remain a memory.

And yet, because of his father's love, and because of hers,

love was alive in him, and the joy of Christmas

was his to give.

Quietly, he got up in the dark, pulled on his clothes,

as he had done so many years before, and crept to his desk,

being careful of the creaky boards.

"My dearest love", he wrote, his pen

flowing freely across milk white paper, "on this Christmas day,

on this Christmas Day in the morning--"

CHOIR: Behold the Lamb, see how He loves.

Behold the Lamb, see how He loves.

The Lamb loves you, and will lead you home above.

Oh, watch the stars.

Go find the Child.

Behold the Lamb, see how He loves.

"Merry Christmas, my love."

"Your husband, Rob."

The Description of Christmas Day in the Morning | Narrated by Richard Thomas