A long time ago, I read somewhere that at midnight on Christmas Eve, all animals can talk. It was a fairly random quote not attached to any story or explanation. I spent years realistically knowing this wasn't possible, but intrigued by the idea that there must be a story behind it. After some research found out it is a Norwegian folktale/legend.
According to the legend, Christ's birth occurred at exactly midnight. Inside the stable, the animals watched in wonder as the new-born babe was lovingly wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger.
Suddenly, God gave voice to the animals and immediately they began to praise God for the miracle they had just seen. This went on for several minutes and, just before the entrance of the shepherds – who had hurried to the stable because angels had told them the Christ had been born there – the animals again fell silent. The only humans who had heard them were Mary, Joseph and, of course, the Christ child.
As a much younger person, I was torn. Should I check this theory out for myself? Or should I continue to believe in the magic that is Christmas and what God has created, believing in my heart that there is an interesting conversation going on in our barns just for a few moments on Christmas Eve?
A livestock barn is one of my favorite places to be on what can be a busy night. The sights and sounds in a livestock barn don't change for the holidays and I find that a calming feeling when things can be overwhelming and busy.
It is a privilege to raise and care for livestock, a love I hope to pass on to my children.
Merry Christmas to all!