Quotation Saturday: Christmas

quotation saturday, mamacita's blog, jane goodwinMamacita says: It’s been a while since I’ve done Quotation Saturday. I’ve missed it. I hope you have, too.  So often, we struggle with what to say about things we feel deeply and sincerely about, and then we find that someone else has said it for us, perfectly.  Thank you, dear people who help me express myself by your example.

Let’s talk about Christmas. I consider it the crown: the end of the year, the thing that makes winter endurable.  Remember, Narnia was nothing but ice, snow, and bone-chilling cold while the White Witch ruled it.  “Always winter and never Christmas” is still one of the scariest descriptions I’ve ever heard.  Terrifying.

The White Witch still wants to erase Christmas from our winter.  I’ve got an idea:  Let’s not allow it.

Honestly, I don’t care if people choose not to view December as the highlight of winter.  Celebrate something, or not.  I’m a firm believer in families doing whatever they want in their own homes.  Once outside that home, however,  people need to go with the flow.  Don’t like it?  Move. No one person is the center of the universe.  It is only in our own homes that we deserve to get our own way.  And not all the time, unless you’re the only one living there.

Grinches will get no attention from me, except the smirk and snark when they turn their backs.  I expect the same consideration (until I turn my Grinch[1]back) from them.  And if they’re nice and do what’s right, nobody will ever know they’re Grinch-y.  I’m sorry for their children, though.

In public, however, only rude beasts throw greetings back into someone’s face, or take offense if someone puts a symbol on their lawn.  Or throws a hissy fit at the sight of a symbol anywhere, for that matter.  Chill.

Good manners are free.  Let’s all take advantage of that!


1. Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don’t quite know how to put our love into words. –Harlan Miller

2. The only real blind person at Christmas-time is he who has no Christmas in his heart. –Helen Keller

3. Off to one side sits a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor, perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear him – and so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds. –Max Lucado

4. Of course, this is the season to be jolly, but it is also a good time to be thinking about those who aren’t. –Helen Valentine

5. When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness. –Bob Hope

Christmas stockings, home

6. 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

7. We should try to hold on to the Christmas spirit, not just one day a year, but 365. –Mary Martin

8. Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it “white.” –Bing Crosby

9. There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. –Erma Bombeck

Peanuts, children at Christmas

10. May we not “spend” Christmas or “observe” Christmas, but rather “keep” it. –Peter Marshall

11. A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together. –Garrison Keillor

12. Late on a sleepy, star-spangled night, those angels peeled back the sky just like you would tear open a sparkling Christmas present. Then, with light and joy pouring out of Heaven like water through a broken dam, they began to shout and sing the message that baby Jesus had been born. The world had a Savior! The angels called “Good News,” and it was. –Larry Libby

13. 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 find morning and suddenly saying to myself: “Why, this is Christmas Day!” –David Grayson

14. . . . God’s visit to earth took place in an animal shelter with no attendants present and nowhere to lay the newborn king but a feed trough. . . For just an instant the sky grew luminous with angels, yet who saw the spectacle? Illiterate hirelings who watched the flocks of others, “nobodies” who failed to leave their names. . . . –Philip Yancy

Nativity, holy family


15. Christmas isn’t just a day. It’s a frame of mind. –Valentine Davies

16. Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas. –Dale Evans

17. Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree. –Charlotte Carpenter

18. To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world. –Calvin Coolidge

19. My first copies of Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn still have some blue-spruce needles in the pages. They smell of Christmas still. –Charlton Heston

20. They err who thinks Santa Claus comes down through the chimney; he really enters through the heart. –Mrs. Paul M. Ell

21. The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect! –Charles N. Barnard

perfect Christmas tree, Sara Goodwin

Little Sara in awe of our Christmas tree.

22. This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone. –Taylor Caldwell

23. My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that? –Bob Hope

24. 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 melody that would last forever. –Bess Streeter Aldrich

25. Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. –Oren Arnold

26. Which Christmas is the most vivid to me? It’s always the next Christmas. –Joanne Woodward

27. 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

28. One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly. –Andy Rooney

29. Christmas is the keeping place for memories of our innocence. –Joan Mills

30. Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. –Hamilton Wright Mabie

31. So here comes Gabriel again, and what he says is “Good tidings of great joy. . . for all people.” That’s why the shepherds are first: they represent all the nameless, all the working stiffs, the great wheeling population of the whole world. –Walter Wangerin Jr.

heavenly host, shepherds


32. Christmas is the day that holds all time together. –Alexander Smith

33. A Christmas candle is a lovely thing. It makes no noise at all. But softly gives itself away, While quite unselfish, it grows small. –Eva K. Logue

Christmas candle

34. Christmas is not an eternal event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart. –Freya Stark

35. The magi, as you know, were wise men – wonderfully wise men, who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. –O. Henry

wise men, magi

36. Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles. –Unknown

37. Christmas is the time to let your heart do the thinking. –Patricia Clafford

38. Christmas is for children. But it is for grownups, 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

39. Christmas Day is a day of joy and charity. May God make you very rich in both. –Phillips Brooks

40. I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph. –Shirley Temple

41. The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. –Burton Hillis

42. So if a Christian is touched only once a year, the touching is still worth it, and maybe on some given Christmas, some quiet morning, the touch will take. –Harry Reasoner

43. A scientist said, making a plea for exchange scholarships between nations, “The very best way to send an idea is to wrap it up in a person.” That was what happened at Christmas. The idea of divine love was wrapped up in a Person. –Halford E. Luccock

44. 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. –Donald E. Westlake

45. Ask your children two questions this Christmas. First: “What do you want to give to others for Christmas?” Second: What do you want for Christmas?” The first fosters generosity of heart and an outward focus. The second can breed selfishness if not tempered by the first. –Anonymous

46. Christmas has lost its meaning for us because we have lost the spirit of expectancy. We cannot prepare for an observance. We must prepare for an experience. –Handel H. Brown

47. In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!” –Dave Barry

48. Nothing’s as mean as giving a little child something useful for Christmas. –Kin Hubbard

sad child at Christmas, practical gift for a child

49. Selfishness makes Christmas a burden. Love makes it a delight. –Unknown

50. There has been only one Christmas — the rest are anniversaries. ~W.J. Cameron

creche, real meaning of Christmas, manger scene

We are all still preparing, but it’s the preparing that’s the best part, for me.  Making lists, checking them twice, and thinking hard about each person I love and wanting very much to make them happier than they were when they walked into the room.  Maybe that’s what it’s all about – wanting other people to be happy and doing things to make it happen.

Rejoice in your preparing, friends.  It means we’re thinking about other people instead of ourselves.  We choose gifts that we hope someone else will like.  That is a wonderful thing.

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