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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Keeping Christmas

I have no idea who wrote this. My mother was thumbing through my grandmother's old Bible and found it typed (with an OLD style typewriter) on a little sheet of paper, tucked in between the pages...

There is a better thing than the observance of Christmas Day, and that is keeping Christmas.

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 the world?
To own that 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?
Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children?
To remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old?
To stop asking how much your friends like you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough?
To try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you?
To trim your lamp so it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you?
To make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open?
Are you willing to do these things even for a day?

Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world ~ stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death ~ and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of Eternal Love?

Then you can keep Christmas.

And if you keep it for a day, why not always?

But you can never keep it alone.

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