Father Joseph M. Corley

Father Joseph M. Corley

“Little Drummer Boy” is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It is about a little poor boy who is called to provide a gift for the newborn King (Jesus) as he rests with Mary and some farm animals.

Since he does not own any “finest gifts” to bring the infant, he asks Mary for permission to play his drum for the baby. Mary says yes, he plays and the child smiles at him. The song is about humility.

Before God we are poor little boys and girls. We lack any fine gifts to bring to Jesus except humility, trust, hope and love.

During Advent remember, and tell your children, Jesus is God’s Christmas gift to us. Our response of faith and love for others is our little gift to God.

In that spirit of remembrance, keep in mind these seven ways your Christmas spirit can be hijacked:


  1. Shopping until you are tired, angry, frustrated and in serious debt.
  2. Being absorbed into a culture that often seems afraid to mention the word “Christmas.”
  3. Thinking material gifts are more important than consistent love, presence, friendship, mercy, support and kindness.
  4. Using a sacred and wonderful event as an excuse to overindulge.
  5. Forgetting the celebration of Christmas is about the joy, hope and grace God offers us each year we remember the birth of Jesus.
  6. Presuming Jesus did not come to save you from sin, despair and death itself.
  7. Not opening the doors of your soul, heart, mind and will to the spirit of almighty God revealed in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Finding hope and a meaningful life in Jesus is why we celebrate his birth.


Father Joseph M. Corley is pastor of Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Darby.