November 3, 2012
by Maria Fontaine
It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you ... yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.—Mother Teresa
Be an angel to someone else whenever you can, as a way of thanking God for the help that another angel has given you.—Eileen Elias Freeman
One can pay back the loan of gold, but one lies forever in debt to those who are kind.—Malayan Proverb
To give and then not feel that you have given is the very best of all ways of giving.—Max Beerbohm
It isn't the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it.—Eileen Elias Freeman
Christmas is most truly Christmas when you celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.—Ruth Carter Stapleton
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.—Ralph Waldo Emerson
There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.—Sister Mary Rose McGeady
We should make the Yuletide season an occasion not merely for the giving of material things but an occasion for the giving of that which counts infinitely more … the giving of self.—J. C. Penney
To celebrate the heart of Christmas is to forget ourselves in the service of others.—Henry C. Link
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
The Christmas spirit—love—changes hearts and lives.—Pat Boone
Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes—goodwill among men and peace on earth.—Albert Einstein
Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.—Janice Maeditere
There is no ideal Christmas; only the Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions.—Bill McKibben
The spirit of Christmas fulfills the greatest hunger of mankind.—Loring A. Schuler
The world is large and complex, and sometimes there seems to be no sacred ground. But in tent and palace, in adobe hut and castle, in barrack prison and under lighted trees across the land, the language of Christmas is universal.—Marcus Bach
It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.—W. T. Ellis
Christmas is when love is king,
And love can do most anything!—Unknown
Mankind is a vast family with people of all races and creeds. Each Christmas, as we reflect on God’s love, we are reminded that we are brothers.—V. Kaskow
Christmas is not just a time for festivity and merry making. It is more than that. It is a time for the contemplation of eternal things. The Christmas spirit is a spirit of giving and forgiving.—J. C. Penney
Let us have music for Christmas…
Sound the trumpet of joy and rebirth;
Let each of us try, with a song in our hearts,
To bring peace to men on earth.—Mildred L. Jarrell
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.—Unknown
Selfishness makes Christmas a burden; love makes it a delight.—Unknown
Christmas is not in tinsel and lights and outward show.
The secret lies in an inner glow.
It's lighting a fire inside the heart.
Good will and joy a vital part.
It's higher thought and a greater plan.
It's glorious dream in the soul of man.—Wilfred A. Peterson
'Tis not enough that Christ was born
Beneath the star that shone,
And earth was set that holy morn
Within a golden zone.
He must be born within the heart
Before He finds a throne,
And brings the day of love and good,
The reign of Christlike brotherhood.—Mary T. Lathrop
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 prophecies from hundreds of years before had been fulfilled. The angels called it "Good News," and it was.—Larry Libby
[Jesus] slept with the poor. He dined with the rich. He danced with the joyful, and wept with the broken in heart and body. He became like us, so that we could become like Him.—Unknown
Men must recapture the basic conviction that this is a visited planet … that in this vast, mysterious universe, of which we are an almost infinitesimal part, the great Mystery, Whom we call God, has visited our planet in Person. … We must be shocked afresh by the audacious central Fact ... that, as a sober matter of history, God became one of us.—J. B. Phillips
The joy, the beauty, the peace, the love
These are some gifts we receive from above.
Because of that Christmas so long ago
When Jesus graced our earth below.—V. Kaskow
The Light that shines from the humble manger is strong enough to lighten our way to the end of our days.—Vita-Rays
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
God took a meager stable, an animal’s feed trough, some shabby shepherds and two weary and worn travelers about to have a baby with nowhere to stay, no one to give them comfort in their time of desperate need, and He brought from these a Gift that has turned darkness into light, death into eternal life, sin into forgiveness, and our shabby, hurting, dirty, abandoned hearts into the kingdom of heaven where we can look into the face of a loving God without fear or condemnation. That is the true miracle of Christmas.—Unknown
When making a plea for exchange scholarships between nations, a scientist said, "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
When the compass of your heart feels the pull of attraction towards the Divine lodestone born in that manger long ago, let it draw you out of the vanity of time into the riches of eternity. Follow its guidance gladly, as the wise men of the east followed the star. It will do for you what that star did for them. It will lead you, not to a stable in Bethlehem, but to the birthplace of the King of kings in the depths of your own soul.—Adapted from William Law
I am the spirit of Christmastime, when all should gladness be.
I am the light that you see shining upon each Christmas tree!
I am the thought that brings each gift from ones we hold so dear.
I am the good that permeates the world with Christmas cheer!
I am the joy that brightens homes and guides our thoughts above.
All heaven and earth rejoice in Me, for I am known as Love!—Lebaron Sharp
If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: "God with us." We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!—John F. MacArthur, Jr.
Christmas presents at the start,
Was a gift from someone's heart.
Christ is Christmas, that day is His.
That's what Christmas presents is.—Andy Williams
Christmas is Love come down to earth,
A gift of infinite worth!—Unknown
The most important part about Christmas is the first six letters.—Life Research Universal
The giving of gifts is not something man invented. God started the giving spree when He gave a gift beyond words, the unspeakable gift of His Son—a gift that changed the world forever.—Robert Flatt
Love came down on Christmas Day so many years ago
And brought the greatest happiness the world would ever know...
Peace came down on Christmas Day to fill the hearts of men
With all the sweet tranquility each Christmas brings again...
Joy came down on Christmas Day as angels came to earth
Heralding the miracle of our Messiah's birth.—Unknown
The star of Bethlehem was a star of hope that led the wise men to the fulfillment of their expectations, the success of their expedition. Nothing in this world is more fundamental for success in life than hope, and this star pointed to our only source for true hope: Jesus Christ.—D. James Kennedy
Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man.—Unknown
Christmas, my child, is love in action ... When you love someone, you give to them, as God gives to us. The greatest gift He ever gave was the Person of His Son, sent to us in human form so that we might know what God the Father is really like! Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.—Dale Evans Rogers
The greatest gift you will ever receive will never be found under a Christmas tree. It is far too valuable to be stored in any other place but in the depths of your heart.—Unknown
This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ.—Frank McKibben
High in the heavens a single star,
Of pure, imperishable light;
Out on the desert strange and far
Dim riders riding through the night:
Above a hilltop sudden song
Like silver trumpets down the sky—
And all to welcome One so young
He scarce could raise a cry!
Stars rise and set, that star shines on:
Songs fail, but still that music beats
Through all the ages come and gone,
In lane and field and city streets.
And we who catch the Christmas gleam,
Watching with children on the hill,
We know, we know it is no dream—
He stands among us still!—Nancy Byrd Turner
He did not even own a bed,
He had no place to lay His head.
A cattle stall, His crib at birth,
He had no bank account on earth.
He laid the wealth of heaven down
For earthly rags, a thorny crown.
He passed the praise of angels by
And came where men cried, “Crucify!”
He left a throne for you and me
And bore our sins upon a tree.
So strong His claim, so clear His call,
How dare I give Him less than all?—Barbara C. Ryberg
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
Peace on earth will come to stay,
When we live Christmas every day.—Helen Steiner Rice
Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.—Mary Ellen Chase
Christ was born in the first century, yet He belongs to all centuries. He was born a Jew, yet He belongs to all races. He was born in Bethlehem, yet He belongs to all countries.—George W. Truett
I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.—Charles Dickens
Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.—John Greenleaf Whittier
Jesus was God’s gift to the world, not just for Christmas, but for every single day—your whole life through—and even beyond for all eternity, and for every need that you will ever have.—Maria Fontaine
When Christ entered our world, he didn't come to brighten our Decembers, but to transform our lives.—Rich Miller
Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree.—Charlotte Carpenter
So remember while December
Brings the only Christmas day,
In the year let there be Christmas
In the things you do and say.—Anonymous
Christmas is not just a day, an event to be observed and speedily forgotten. It is a spirit which should permeate every part of our lives.—William Parks
Christmas is the time for looking ahead courageously through the gates of the swiftly approaching new year ... of resolving that the coming months will reflect a kinder, more forgiving and more selfless person than mirrored in the past.—Ellen V. Morgan
There's more, much more, to Christmas than candlelight and cheer;
It's the spirit of sweet friendship that brightens all the year.
It's thoughtfulness and kindness, it's hope reborn again
For peace, for understanding, and for goodwill to men!—Unknown
Struggling with the 'let-down' after Christmas? Look under the Tree of Life. You'll find an inexhaustible supply of gifts from the Prince of Peace waiting there for you to open the year round.—Katherine Walden
Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be compassionate and kind, to follow the example that Jesus set for us, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.—Calvin Coolidge, adapted
Christmas is the day that holds all time together.—Alexander Smith
Whatever else we may lose over the years, the innocence, the fearlessness, the sense of invincibility, let us hold tight to the joy of Christmas. Whatever doubts assail us, whatever fears accompany the passing years, hold close the unquenchable light, the indomitable truth and unswerving love, that filled the hearts of men from that blessed morn. Let it ever restore in you your childlike faith again.—Grace Noll Crowell; adapted
When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flock,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoners,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among people,
to make music in the heart…
And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.—Howard Thurman, adapted
Where can we find the Holy One?
Where can we see His Only Son?
The Wise Men asked, and we're asking still,
Where can we find this Man of good will?
Is He far away in some distant place,
Ruling unseen from His throne of grace?
Is there nothing on earth that man can see
To give him proof of Eternity?
It's true we have never looked on His face,
But His likeness shines forth from every place,
For the Hand of God is everywhere,
Along life's busy thoroughfare...
And His presence can be felt and seen
Right in the midst of our daily routine,
The things we touch and see and feel
Are what make God so very real...
The silent stars in timeless skies,
The wonderment in children's eyes,
The gossamer wings of a hummingbird,
The joy that comes from a kindly word...
The autumn haze, the breath of spring,
The chirping song the crickets sing,
A rosebud in a slender vase,
A smile upon a friendly face...
In everything both great and small
We see the hand of God in all,
And every day, somewhere, someplace,
We see the likeness of His face...
For who can watch a new day's birth
Or touch the warm, life-giving earth,
Or feel the softness of the breeze
Or look at skies through lacy trees
And say they've never seen His face
Or looked upon His throne of grace!—Helen Steiner Rice
This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone.—Taylor Caldwell
May the blessing of joy abide WITHIN you…
May the blessing of peace rest UPON you…
May the blessing of love flow out THROUGH you…
May all the blessings of the Lord be yours at Christmas and in the new year.—Unknown
The gifts I’d leave beneath your tree,
Aren’t those that you can touch or see,
No toys meant just for pointless play,
But gifts to bless you every day.
The gift of friendship warm and true,
Is one that I would leave for you.
Good health and happiness and cheer
To keep you smiling through the year.
The gift of peace that comes from God,
With prayer to guide each path you trod.
And when your heart has lost its song
The gift of hope to cheer you on.
These are the gifts I’d leave for you.—Kay Hoffman, adapted
Dear Lord, this Christmas time is radiant with the brilliance of Your greatest gift of love and light. May that light illuminate our hearts and shine in our words and deeds. May the hope, the peace, the joy, and the love represented by the birth in Bethlehem fill our lives and become part of all that we say and do. May we share the divine life of Your Son Jesus Christ, even as He humbled himself to share our humanity.—Richard J. Fairchild, adapted
Teach us to value most eternal things…
To find the happiness that giving brings...
To know the peace of misty, distant hills…
To know the joy that giving self fulfils…
To realize anew this Christmas Day…
The things we keep are those we give away.—M. D. Winsett
Jesus, the Light of the World, as we celebrate your birth ... may we begin to see the world in the light of understanding you give us. As you chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship you in meekness of heart. May we also remember our brothers and sisters less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving.—Karen L. Oberst
Lord Jesus, master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us. We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom. We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence. We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!" —Henri J. M. Nouwen
God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith; the warmth of Christmas, which is love; the radiance of Christmas, which is purity; the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice; the belief in Christmas, which is truth; the all of Christmas, which is Christ.—Wilda English
May you know the Christ of Christmas as…
The God who sings over you and with you in Joy.
The God who rejoices over you and with you in love.
The God whose mountains and hills break forth before you into singing; and all the trees of His fields clap their hands
The God who walks beside you, delighting with you as He directs your every step.
May you know this Lord of Love as…
The God who compassionately comforts you as a Father in all your troubles.
The God who strengthens your inner man by His Spirit that is always with you.
The God who is your strength, your refuge, and a very evident and present help.
The God who is your shield and protection when you are under attack.
The ever present God who is eternally your peace.—Unknown
May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.—Ada V. Hendricks
As with gladness men of old,
Did the guiding star behold;
As with joy they hailed its light,
Leading onward, beaming bright;
So, most gracious Lord, may we
Evermore be led by Thee.
As with joyful steps they sped
To that lowly manger bed,
There to bend the knee before
Him whom heaven and earth adore;
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy seat.
As they offered gifts most rare,
At that manger rude and bare,
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin's alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King.
Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.
—William Chatterton Dix
Another year to love Him
Whom I have loved so long;
Another year to praise Him
In glad, triumphant song.
Whate'er the future holdeth
Of sorrow, toil, or pain
His precious Love endureth
Forevermore the same.
Another year with Jesus!
I thank Thee, Lord, today
For Thy unfailing presence
Along life's rugged way.
Guide me, O blest Redeemer,
Teach me to do Thy will,
And Thine own perfect purpose
In me each day fulfill.