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 Christmas 2

Welcome to Christmas at Living Life Fully!
  

"There are many things from which I might have derived good,
by which I have not profited, I dare say," returned the nephew:
"Christmas among the rest.  But I am sure I have always thought
of Christmas time, when it has come round--apart from the
veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything
belonging to it can be apart from that--as a good time: a kind,
forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in
the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by
one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to
think of people below them as if they were really fellow-
passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures
bound on other journeys.  And therefore, uncle, though it has
never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe
it has done me good, and will do me good;
and I say, God bless it!"

Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol

   

  
On Christmas morning, our joy or our happiness can be at a
very high level, not because of our anticipation of what we
might receive but, rather, in anticipation of watching our loved
ones open our gifts to them.  In fact, if we're not careful, we
can fail to register sufficient excitement and joy upon opening
the gifts we receive from others.  We must remember that
they are happiest at that time and to give them top billing,
to stretch their happiness to its full length.

Earl Nightingale
  

Christmas is the most human and kindly of seasons,
as fully penetrated and irradiated with the feeling of human
brotherhood, which is the essential spirit of Christianity, as the
month of June with sunshine and the balmy breath of roses.

George William Curtis

   

For me, the spirit of Christmas is about
letting the loving but messy little rituals
become just as important as the solemn
and graceful ones.  It's about making
room for everyone.

Ann Michael

  

  
And so the good news was told to shepherds, to working men who were toiling in the fields.  The coming King would hallow the common work of man, and in His love and grace all the problems of labour would find a solution.
  The Lord of the Christmas-tide throws a halo over common toil.  Even Christian people have not all learnt the significance of the angels' visit to the lonely shepherds.  Some of us can see the light resting upon a bishop's crosier, but we cannot see the radiance on the ordinary shepherd's staff.  We can discern the hallowedness of a priest's vocation, but we see no sanctity in the calling of the grocer, or of the scavenger in the street.  We can see the nimbus on the few, but not on the crowd; on the unusual, but not on the commonplace.  But the very birth-hour of Christianity irradiated the humble doings of humble people.  When the angels went to the shepherds, common work was encircled with an immortal crown.

John Henry Jowett
  

When we work so hard at our preparations for Christmas,
we often feel cheated and frustrated  when others fail
to notice the results of our efforts.  We need to ask
ourselves why we are doing the things we choose to do.
If love motivates us--love for our families, for our neighbors--
then we are free to simply enjoy the actual process of what
we do, rather than requiring the approval and admiration
of others for the results of our labors.

Ellyn Sanna

   

The Art of Keeping Christmas

How can we best keep Christmas?  How can we best defeat the little bit of Scrooge in all of us and experience the glory of the Great Day?

By sinking the shafts of our spirits deep beneath the sparkling tinsel of the surface of Christmas and renewing within us the radiance of the inner meaning of the season.

By following the Star on an inward journey to Bethlehem to stand again in awe and wonder before the Babe in a Manger.

By rediscovering the faith and simplicity of a little child, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.

By being still and listening to the angels sing within our hearts.

By quietly evaluating our lives according to the Master's standards as set forth in the Sermon on the Mount.

By reaffirming the supremacy of the spirit in our conquest of ourselves.

By rededicating ourselves to the Master's ideals of Peace, Brotherhood, and Good Will.

By resolving to give ourselves away to others in love, joy and devotion.

By using the light of Christmas to guide us through the darkness of the coming year, refusing to go back to the dim kerosene lamps of the spirit when the brilliant electricity of Christmas is available to show us the way.

Wilferd A. Peterson

  

  

I heard the bells on
Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth,
good-will to men!

Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow

  

Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellow-people are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own that probably  the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness--are you willing to do these things even for a day?  Then you can keep Christmas.

Henry van Dyke

    
It is good to be children sometimes,
and never better than at Christmas,
when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.

Charles Dickens
  

We have finally mastered the meaning of Christmas
when Christmas becomes a way of life.

attributed to Leo Buscaglia

  

 
The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens,
easing each others' loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives
with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas.

W.C. Jones
 

Christmas is for children.  But it is for grown-ups, too.
Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a
period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts.

Lenora Mattingly Weber

 
Christmas reminds us we are not alone.  We are not unrelated atoms, jouncing and ricocheting amid aliens, but are a part of something, which holds and sustains us.
   As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December's bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.  Christmas shows us the ties that bind us together, threads of love and caring, woven in the simplest and strongest way within the family.

Donald E. Westlake
 

The most vivid memories of Christmases past are usually not
of gifts given or received, but of the spirit of love,
the special warmth of Christmas worship,
the cherished little habits of home.

Lois Rand

  Christmas 2

  

At Christmastime, children play an essential part in our
celebrations.  So much of what we do is intended to please
them--and all the while our hearts keep hearkening back to
the Christmas memories of our own childhoods.  On Christmas
Eve, sometimes we can't help but envy our children the stars
in their eyes, especially when our own eyes are dull with
exhaustion.
  
   Christmas is so much simpler for a child.  Can we open our
tired, adult eyes to that same simplicity?

Ellen Sanna

   

  

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past,
courage for the present, hope for the future.
It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow
with blessings rich and eternal, and that every
path may lead to peace.

Agnes M. Pharo

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old the pleasures of their youth, and transport the travelers back to their own firesides and quiet homes!

Charles Dickens

I am not alone at all, I thought.  I was never
alone at all.  And that, of course, is the message of Christmas.  We are never alone.  Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent.  For this is still the time God chooses.

Taylor Caldwell

Whatever else be lost among the years,
Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing:
Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears,
Let us hold close one day, remembering
Its poignant meaning for the hearts of men. 
Let us get back our childlike faith again.

Grace Noll Crowell

  

I sometimes think we expect too
much of Christmas Day.  We try
to crowd into it the long arrears
of kindliness and humanity of
the whole year.  As for me, I like
to take my Christmas a little
at a time, all through the year.
And thus I drift along into the
holidays--let them overtake me
unexpectedly--waking up some
fine morning and suddenly saying
to myself:  "Why this is Christmas Day!"

David Grayson

 

     

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.
To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy,
is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

Calvin Coolidge

   

Christmas--that magic blanket that wraps itself about us,
that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance.
It may weave a spell of nostalgia.  Christmas may be
a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day
of remembrance--a day in which we think of
everything we have ever loved.

Augusta E. Rundel

  

  
Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas.
All else is outward display--so much tinsel and decorations.
For it isn't the holly, it isn't the snow.
It isn't the tree not the firelight's glow.
It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men
when the Christmas spirit returns again.

Unknown
  

Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself
about you like a shawl.  But it warmed more than
your body.  It warmed your heart . . . filled it, too,
with a melody that would last forever.

Bess Streeter Aldrich

  

Christmas!  The very word brings joy to
our hearts.  No matter how we may dread
the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts
and cards to be bought and given--when
Christmas Day comes there is still the same
warm feeling we had as children, the same
warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.

Joan Winmill Brown

   

The whole idea of Christmas is the birth of Christ.
It symbolizes for each of us, whether Christian or not, the possibility
of rebirth, the winter before the spring.  We are reminded how
we can add more quality to our lives.  We are told to be more
tolerant, to be more compassionate, to be more generous, to give
to our family, our friends, our community, to draw our family
close around us.
Now, it's hard to find all these messages under all the presents and
the decorations and all the food, but they're there. . . There are an
infinite number of acts of kindness that are possible within
your family and friends.
Let the kids make a few more mistakes; be less critical; put your
arms around someone from whom you may be a little estranged.
Make peace within your family.
There are many possibilities for those acts of kindness.  That's what
Christmas is all about--acts of kindness that will stay with us
all year long.

Jennifer James
Success Is the Quality of Your Journey 

   

Christmas is a necessity. There has
to be at least one day of the year
to remind us that we're here for
something else besides ourselves.

Eric Sevareid

  Christmas 2

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