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Bethlehem at the time that Mary and Joseph went there was probably a noisy, busy place. People crowded into the narrow streets, and all of them were tired. They had been traveling for a long time to get to Bethlehem. The king had ordered a count, called a census, of everyone who lived in the country. Each man had to take his family to the place where he had been born to have their names written in a record book. All these people had come to Bethlehem to be counted and registered.

Two of those people were Mary and Joseph. They lived in Nazareth, and like all the other visitors to this busy little town, they had come to Bethlehem to register because Joseph’s family came from there. It had been a long trip, and they were tired. And Mary was about to have a baby.

Mary and Joseph tried to find a guest room where they could stay. But, there were a lot of other people looking for guest rooms too. Unfortunately, there were no guest rooms left in Bethlehem.

However, a place was found for them in the shelter where animals were kept. At least they would be warm and safe. And that’s where Mary’s baby was born.

Mary wrapped her newborn boy in warm cloths and held Him close. He was so precious and so beautiful! Quietly she laid Him in the manger filled with hay. That was the only bed she had for Him.

But Mary’s son was no ordinary baby. He was Jesus, the Prince of heaven! He had come to earth as a baby to show us what God is really like. He was willing to leave heaven to save the whole world from sin.

Jesus’ birth is the reason people celebrate Christmas. Christmas is about Christ, another name for Jesus. Every Christmas we remember that He chose to live here to show us what God is really like. Christmas is a good time to thank Him for coming to save us. Christmas is also a good time to share His love with everyone.