Christmas Thoughts for all the Year

I first heard this, on Christmas 1960, (at the ripe old age
of Eight) and it has remained one of my favourites!

Christmas Thoughts for all the Year

By the Editors of Mc Call’s, December, 1959

CHRISTMAS is celebration; and celebration is instinct in the
heart.  With gift and feast,  with scarlet ribbon and fresh
green  bough,  with  merriment and the sound  of  music,  we
commend the day —  oasis in the long, long landscape of the
commonplace.  Through  how many centuries,  through  how may
threatening circumstances,  has Christmas  been  celebrated,
since that cry came ringing down the ages,  “Fear not:  for,
behold,  I bring you good tidings of great joy,  which shall
be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city
of  David,  a Saviour,  which  is Christ  the  Lord.”  (Luke
2:10-11 KJV)

Christmas  is celebration,  but the  traditions that cluster
sweetly  around the  day  have  significance  only  if  they
translate the heart’s intention — the yearning of the human
spirit  to  compass  and  express faith  and hope and  love.
Without  this  intention,   the  gift  is  bare,   and   the
celebration a touch of tinsel, and the time without meaning.
As  these  attributes,  exemplifying  the  divine  spark  in
mankind,  informed the first Christmas and have survived the
onslaughts of relentless time,  so do they shine untarnished
in this present year of our Lord.

Faith and hope and love,  which cannot  be bought or sold or
bartered,  but only given away are the wellsprings, firm and
deep of Christmas celebration.  These are the gifts  without
price, the ornaments incapable of imitation, discovered only
within oneself and therefore  unique.  They  are  not always
easy to  come by,  but  they are in unlimited supply ever in
the province of all.

THIS CHRISTMAS. mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion,  and replace it with trust.  Write a love
letter.  Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage
youth.  Manifest  your loyalty  in  word and  deed.  Keep a
promise.  Find the time.  Forgo a grudge.  Forgive an enemy.
Listen.  Apologize  if you were wrong.  Try  to  understand.
Flout envy.  Examine your demands on others.  Think first of
someone  else.  Appreciate.  Be  kind;  be  gentle.  Laugh a
little.  Laugh a little more.  Deserve  confidence.  Take up
arms  against  malice.   Decry  complacency.  Express  your
gratitude.  Go to church.  Welcome a stranger.  Gladden the
heart of a child.  Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of
the earth.  Speak your love.  Speak it again. Speak it still
once again.

These are but inklings of a vast category; a mere scratching
of the surface.  They are simple things; you have heard them
all before; but their influence has never been measured.

Christmas is celebration,  and  there is no celebration that
compares with the  realization of  its true meaning —  with
the sudden stirring of  the  heart that has extended  itself
toward the core of life.  Then, only then, is it possible to
grasp the significance of the first Christmas — to savor in
the inward ear the wild,  sweet music of the angel choir; to
envision  the  star-struck  sky,  and  glimpse,  behind  the
eyelids the  ray of light that feel  athwart a darkened path
and changed the world.

Happy Holidays