Always Christmas

christmas 2007

(Photo credit: paparutzi)

“…if you can keep it today, why not always?”  ~ Henry Van Dyke

Better than observing Christmas, is the “keeping of Christmas”. Or so says Henry van Dyke, American author, educator, and clergyman.

van Dyke was a bit of a religious guy, being a clergyman and all and he really had  a way with words. They are the words of a formally well educated man of his era (late 1800′s), but his message is clear. In his essay called “Keeping Christmas”  he gives us a recipe of sorts for not only keeping Christmas in our hearts but in being proactive about it.  He asks:

“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 to 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 men (and women) 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 the book of complaints again 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 (1852-1933), a modernist who pu...

Henry van Dyke (1852-1933), a modernist who pushed for revisions to the Westminster Confession of Faith, 1900-1910. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And he adds:  “If you can keep Christmas for a day, then why not always?”

Do you try to keep Christmas “always”?

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42 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a wonderful post!

  2. Great post, I want Christmas every day, minus the shopping and presents that is

  3. yes.. always. Try.

  4. I have always thought if only we could treat every day like we do in the Christmas season…the world would be a different place…and really it falls into the ‘golden’ rule and also scripture…’treat everyone like you yourself would like to be treated’…Diane

    • the unfortunate thing is that we sometimes don’t treat ourselves well–so we should be as kind to ourselves as others don’t you think–I think you are a compassionate woman who forgives others more easily than you forgive yourself

      • Hmmmm….I used to be very much harder on myself for my failings …as I had a ‘perfectionism’ problem within me. I have tried to be kinder to myself but there probably is still some truth in what you say…Note to Self…try harder not to be so hard on me…Thanks Lou Ann ..something to think about…Diane

      • I will make the same note–so many of us do this.

  5. The spirit of Christmas all the time certainly would lead to a happier world :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  6. Absolutely amazing man. I love these quotes! ;)

  7. A beautiful reminder.

  8. Lovely!

  9. Tis the season should be year-round. But – I guess the realities of what goes on in life just seem to get in the way. If only…

  10. If only the love and good feeling could be shown all year and not just this time of year..’)

  11. The first question is easy because my memory is so bad. I can’t remember what I’ve done for other people even if I try. Haha! This is really a beautiful post. I love the idea of keeping Christmas in our hearts all year long. That’s what we should all strive for :)

    • We should (and so should those around us–this is not a one person battle). You have done so much for others, and not kept count–no wonder you can’t remember!

  12. As the years pass, I try harder to keep the spirit of Christmas all year. Some days I don’t succeed but, the golden rule is truly the best rule to live by.

  13. Great post LouAnn. I think many of us find forgiveness of self much more difficult. This certainly applies to me. And keeping Christmas in your heart all year round would make for a most spectacular world. :)

  14. Very inspirational, my friend! How to “keep Christmas” in our hearts and perhaps not let some of those other thoughts & feelings become foremost. May we remember we have this choice.

  15. you are a wonderful person. anyone who follows your blog is a better person for it.

    • wow–what a wonderful thing to say–you know how to make a girl blush–thanks so much

  16. Christmas is so alive and warm in this post. Thanks for sharing with us the joys of this season.

  17. I’d like to say that I do keep it for always, but, sadly, I probably don’t. Maybe that will be my New Year’s Resolution this year.

  18. Excellent thoughts. I’m surprised I haven’t heard of him before. thanks for the education–you don’t charge right since I’m still paying off my college loan.

  19. Great words…very inspiring! Thank you for sharing! ~ Sheila

  20. Didn’t he just hit the nail on the head, and aren’t we all full of good intentions….full stop.
    Excellent post.

    • I am trying to turn my intentions into action and it is not that easy. Thank you for the compliment!


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