Saturday, 18 December 2010



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 admit 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 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 death--
and that the blessed Life which began in
Bethlehem many years ago is the image
and brightness of eternal love?

Then you can keep Christmas.

Henry Van Dyke

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