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”?