Christmas 2

Christmas

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.


Norman Vincent Peale
   

Those who have not Christmas in their hearts
will never find it under a tree.

Roy L. Smith

   

Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the
revolving year--and yet, for all that, when it
speaks, its voice has strong authority.

W.J. Cameron

   

   
Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love
of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having,
in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.

Laura Ingalls Wilder
   

Instead of being a time of unusual behavior, Christmas is perhaps
the only time in the  year when people can obey their natural
impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling
self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish.  Christmas, in short,
is about the only chance a person has to be him- or herself.

Francis C. Farley

   
   
It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.

W.T. Ellis
   

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself.

Norman W. Brooks, "Let Every Day Be Christmas"

   

It is the one season of the year when we can lay aside all gnawing
worry, indulge in sentiment without censure, assume the carefree
faith of childhood, and just plain "have fun."  Whether they call it
Yuletide, Noel, Weinachten, or Christmas, people around the earth
thirst for its refreshment as the desert traveller for the oasis.

D.D. Monroe

   

   

There's nothing sadder in this world
than to awake
Christmas morning and not be a child. 

Erma Bombeck

   

I hear that in many places something has happened to Christmas; that it is
changing from a time of merriment and carefree gaiety to a holiday
which is filled with tedium; that many people dread the day and the obligation
to give Christmas presents is a nightmare to weary, bored souls; that the
children of enlightened parents no longer believe in Santa Claus;
that all in all, the effort to be happy and have pleasure makes
many honest hearts grow dark with despair instead of
beaming with good will and cheerfulness.

Julia Peterkin
A Plantation Christmas, 1934

   
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before:
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store?
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?

Dr. Seuss
   

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

   

This Christmas I would light a candle
In some forlorn child's eye,
Place a new star of friendship
In someone's lonely skies.
I would put a sparkling wreath of joy
Where it might melt a bitter heart;
Be steadfast in my prayer for peace
For all the world, not just a part.
So in this season, love-beguiled,
Would I gift the small Christ child.

Elizabeth Searle Lamb

   

   
Let me not wrap, stack, box, bag, tie, tag, bundle, seal, keep Christmas.
Christmas kept is liable to mold.
Let me give Christmas away, unwrapped, by exuberant armfuls.
Let me share, dance, live Christmas unpretentiously, merrily,
responsibly with overflowing hands, tireless steps and sparkling eyes.
Christmas given away will stay fresh—even until it comes again.

Linda Felver
   

Christmas is the one day of the year that carries real hope
and promise for all humankind.  It carries the torch
of brotherhood.  It is the one day in the year when most of us
grow big of heart and broad of mind.  It is the single day when
most of us are as kind and as thoughtful of others as we know how
to be; when most of us are as gracious and generous as we would
like always to be; when the joy of home is more important  than the
profits of the office; when peoples of all races speak cheerfully
to each other when they meet; when high and low wish each other well;
and the one day when even enemies forgive and forget.

Edgar Guest

   

The Best Gift
Betty Werth

On Christmas Eve, a young boy with light in his eyes
Looked deep into Santa’s, to Santa’s surprise
And said as he sat on Santa’s broad knee,
"I want your secret. Tell it to me."

He leaned up and whispered in Santa’s good ear
"How do you do it, year after year?"
"I want to know how, as you travel about,
Giving gifts here and there, you never run out.

How is it, dear Santa, that in your pack of toys
You have plenty for all of the world’s girls and boys?
Stays so full, never empties, as you make your way
From rooftop to rooftop, to homes large and small,
From nation to nation, reaching them all?"

(Find out the answer by reading the whole poem!  Click here!)

   

    

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This Christmas mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss
suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer.
Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a
promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to
understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone
else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude.
Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in
the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love,
and then speak it again.

Howard W. Hunter
   




The expanded edition of Just for Today from Living Life Fully Publications:
Over a year of "Just for Today" passages from our popular e-mail daily quotations, and our expanded edition includes over 180 reflections on those thoughts.  Full of ideas and focal points that you can use to help to make your day brighter and more fulfilling as you focus on different ways of giving and awareness of the blessings in your life!  Click on the image to the left for the print version.    
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Every year people think about how to have the perfect Christmas, and of course there's no such thing.

What's a perfect Christmas?  Is it really necessary to build a tree out of 362 cream puffs?  Most of us have one or two things that make us feel Christmas is perfect, but we may not even have time to ask ourselves what they are.

For me, it's being reminded to give to family, to friends, to strangers.  But it's also decorating.  I love to decorate the house for Christmas and I always give myself some extra time so I can do it.

My stepdaughter likes a lot of things, but especially being able to hang her stocking on our chimney.  For my husband and his brother, it's being able to cook together.

My brother likes the music and midnight Mass.  My sister-in-law likes having all of us together around a table.

What's the perfect Christmas?  It may be snow.  If that's true for you, drive up to the mountains with your family or friends and get that feeling.  It only takes the one or two things that mean the most to you.

Give yourself those things and then save your time and energy to enjoy the feeling of Christmas.  There's no such thing as a perfect Christmas unless it's defined by the one thing that's important to you.

Jennifer James
Success Is the Quality of Your Journey
   

I know that I was deep into a Christmas longing.  It's a longing each of
us senses this time of year--especially when we listen to the child inside
of us.  It's a desire to be home, to belong, to find fulfillment, complete
and eternal.  Christmas is an invitation to a celebration yet to happen.
On this side of eternity, Christmas is still a promise.
Yes, the Savior has come, and with Him peace on earth, but the
story is not finished.  Yes, there is peace in our hearts, but
we long for peace in our world.

Joni Eareckson Tada

   
I know it doesn't make sense, but since when is Christmas about
sense, anyway? It is about a child, of long ago and far away, and
it is about the child of now. In you and me. Waiting behind the
door of our hearts for something wonderful to happen. A child who
is impractical, unrealistic, simple-minded and terribly vulnerable to joy.

Robert Fulghum
   

Let us pray that strength and courage abundant be given to all
who work for a world of reason and understanding, that the
good that lies in every person's heart may day by day be magnified,
that people will come to see more clearly not that which
divides them, but that which unites them, that each hour
may bring us closer to a final victory, not of nation over nation,
but of people over their own evils and weaknesses, that the
true spirit of this Christmas season--its joy, its beauty, its hope,
and above all its abiding faith--may live among us, that the
blessings of peace be ours - the peace to build and grow, to live
in harmony and sympathy with others, and to plan
for the future with confidence.

unattributed

  
   
   

I really like Christmas Eve.  I think I like it even more than Christmas
Day.  On Christmas Day, you get to open your presents and see what
you got, but you also know that Christmas is starting to be over for a
year, and by nighttime some of the stuff you got is already broken.  But
on Christmas Eve, all the tree lights are on and carols are playing and
people are saying "Merry Christmas," and everything is about to happen,
but it didn't happen yet.  That's the best time of the year.

Dave Barry
The Shepherd, the Angel, and
Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog

   

At Christmas it is easier to see the wonder of things. I am not
sure whether the wonder wells up closer to the surface and
things actually have more of a glory or whether things look the
way they do because we are looking at them with more
wonder in our eyes.

Is the wonder in the things, or is it in us? I would say it is in both.
Certainly, things take on a special wonder at Christmas. With
candles at our tables, with wreaths in our windows, with holly at
our doors, with our houses festooned with colored lights, with the
lampposts hung with fir boughs and bells, with mailbags bulging
with greeting cards, with every shop window a window dresser's
triumph, with the downtown streets alive with noisy, jostling crowds
of joyous people all bent on bringing happiness to others—it is
as if at Christmas God gift wraps [the] world.

Christmas has power to quicken our sense of wonder because it
turns us into children. Children have a wonderful sense of wonder.

So tonight, before you fall asleep, lie still for a moment, shut your
eyes, and think back to the Christmas of your childhood.
Or better yet, feel for the wonder in your heart.

James Dillet Freeman

  

We expect too much at Christmas.  It's got to be magical.  It's
got to go right.  Feasting.  Fun.  The perfect present.  All that
anticipation.  Take it easy.  Love's the thing.  The rest is tinsel.

Pam Brown

  

  
Christmas is a reminder that I’m invited to be born again and again
in the shape of my God-given self, born in all the vulnerability of the
Christmas story. It’s a story that’s hard to retrieve in a culture that
commercializes this holy day nearly to death, and in churches more
drawn to triumphalism and ecclesiastical bling than to the riskiness
of the real thing. But the story’s simple meaning is clear to
“beginner’s mind,” a mind I long to reclaim at age seventy-five.
   An infant in a manger is as vulnerable as we get. What an infant
needs is not theological debate but nurturing. The same is true of all
the good words seeded in our souls that cry out to become
embodied in this broken world. If these vulnerable but powerful
parts of ourselves are to find the courage to take on flesh--to suffer
yet survive and thrive, transforming our lives along with the life of
the world--they need the shelter of unconditional love.
   For those of us who celebrate Christmas, the best gift we can give
others--whatever their faith or philosophy may be--is a simple
question asked with heartfelt intent: What good words wait to be
born in us, and how can we love one another
in ways that midwife their incarnation?

Parker J. Palmer