~*~ Christmas Quotes & Thoughts to Share ~*~

Gingerbread

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With the busy season upon us, I thought I'd share some holiday inspirations :candycane2:

Feel free to add your own to the thread, any jokes, quotes, stories...anything to help us stay in the Christmas-y spirit!



Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of
year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to
find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the
parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much
the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after
week, until it led them to a parking space.
~ Dave Barry



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"



Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
~ Francis Pharcellus Church in "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus"



And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 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. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men...that's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.
~ Linus on Luke 2:9-14
 

Gingerbread

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and this one which is very long but also a big favorite. I believe it was written in the 1920's, which just reminds me that no matter how much things change, they stay the same...

Let's Keep Christmas
A Sermon By Peter Marshall

Changes are everywhere. Many institutions and customs that we once thought sacrosanct have gone by the board. Yet there are few that abide, defying time and revolution.

The old message: "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" is still the heart of Christmas. It can be nothing else. And this message can neither be changed - nor quite forgotten although there are many things that tend to make us forget.

The idea of Santa Claus coming in a helicopter does not ring true. No interior decorator with a fondness for yellow or blue could ever persuade me to forsake the Christmas colors of red and green.

I must confess that modernistic Christmas cards leave me cold. I cannot appreciate the dogs and cats the galloping horses the ships in full sail . . . or any of the cute designs that leave out the traditional symbols of the star . . . the manger . . . the wise men on their camels.

Angels there must be - but not modernistic angels in evening dress with peroxide permanents.

There is no need to search for stories new and different. There is only one after all - and no modern author can improve it:

" And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they where sore afraid.

"And the angel of the Lord said unto them, Fear not, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you this day is born in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

We all fee the pressure of approaching Christmas. The traffic is terrible. You can't find a parking space . . . The stores are crowded . . . Mob scenes make shopping a nightmare.

You are thinking about presents - wondering what in the world to get for so-and-so. You can think of friends and loved ones who are so hard to shop for. You can't think of anything they need (which is rather strange when you take time to think of it).

Maybe there is nothing in the store that they need. But what about some token of love- what about love itself . . . and friendship . . . and understanding . . . and consideration . . . and a smile . . . and a prayer? You can't buy these things in any store, and these are the very things people need. We all need them . . . Blessed will they be who receive them this Christmas or at any time.

Let's not permit the crowds and the rush to crowd Christmas out of our hearts . . . for that is where it belongs. Christmas is not in the stores - but in the hearts of people.
Let's not give way to cynicism and mutter that "Christmas has become commercialized." It never will be - unless you let it be. Your Christmas is not commercialized, unless you have commercialized it.

Let's not succumb to the sophistication that complains: "Christmas belongs only to the children." That shows that you have never understood Christmas at all, for the older you get, the more it means, if you know what it means. Christmas, though forever young, grows old with us.

Have you ever been saying, "I just can’t seem to feel the Christmas spirit this year"? That's too bad. As a confession of lack of faith, it is rather significant.

You are saying that you feel no joy that Jesus came into the world . . . You are confessing that His Presence in the world is not a reality to you . . . Maybe you need all the more to read the Christmas story all over again, need to sit down with the Gospel of Luke and think about it.

I thank God for Christmas. Would that it lasted all year. For on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, all the world is a better place, and men and women are more lovable. Love itself seeps into every heart, and miracles happen.

When Christmas doesn’t make your heart swell up until it nearly bursts . . . and fill your eyes with tears . . . and make you all soft and warm inside . . . then you'll know that something inside of you is dead.

We hope that there will be snow for Christmas. Why? It is not really important, but it is so nice, and old-fashioned, and appropriate, we think.

Isn’t it wonderful to think that nothing can really harm the joy of Christmas . . . Although your Christmas tree decorations will include many new gadgets, such as lights with bubbles in them . . . it's the old tree decorations that means the most . . . the ones you save carefully from year to year . . . the crooked star that you've been so careful with.

And you'll bring out the tiny manger, and the shed, and the little figures of the Holy Family. . . and lovingly arrange them on the mantel or in the middle of the dining room table. And getting the tree will be a family event, with great excitement for the children . . . And there will be a closet into which you will forbid your husband to look, And he will be moving through the house mysteriously with bundles under his coat, and you'll pretend not to notice . . .

There will be a fragrance of cookies baking spices and fruitcake . . . and the warmth of the house shall be melodious with the lilting strains of "Silent Night, Holy Night." And you'll listen to the wonderful Christmas music on the radio, Some of the songs will be modern - good enough music perhaps - but it will be the old carols, the lovely old Christmas hymns that will mean the most.

And forests of fir trees will march right into our living rooms . . . There will be bells on our doors and holly wreaths in our windows . . .

And we shall sweep the Noel skies for their brightest colors and festoon our homes with stars.

There will be a chubby stocking hung by the fireplace . . . and with finger to lip you will whisper and ask me to tip-toe, for a little tousled head is asleep and must not be awakened.

And finally Christmas morning will come. Don't worry - you'll be ready for it - You'll catch the spirit all right, or it will catch you which is even better.

And then you will remember what Christmas means - the beginning of Christianity . . . the Second Chance for the world . . . the hope for peace . . . and the only way. The promise that the angels sang is the most wonderful music the world has ever heard. "Peace on earth and good will toward men"

It was not a pronouncement upon the state of the world then Nor is it a reading of the international barometer of present time . . . but it is a promise - God's promise - of what will come to pass.

The years that are gone are graveyards in which all the persuasions of men have crumbled into dust. If history has any voice, it is to say that all these ways of men lead nowhere. There remains only one way - The Way - untried, untested, unexplored fully. . . the way of Him Who was born a Babe in Bethlehem.

In a world that seems not only to be changing, but even to be dissolving, there are tens of millions of us who want Christmas to be the same . . . with the same old greeting "Merry Christmas" and no other.

We long for the abiding love among men of good will which the season brings . . . believing in this ancient miracle of Christmas with its softening, sweetening influence to tug at our heart strings once again.

We want to hold on to the old customs and traditions because they strengthen our family ties, bind us to our friends, make us one with all mankind for whom the Child was born, and bring us back again to the God Who gave His only begotten son, that "whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

So we will not "spend" Christmas . . .

nor "observe" Christmas.

We will "keep" Christmas - keep it as it is . . .

in all loveliness of its ancient traditions.

May we keep it in our hearts,
that we may be kept in its hope.
 
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