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
Today is the last Daily until after Christmas. Your Daily crew is going to take the next four days off to enjoy our family and friends and to embrace the hope that comes with a new beginning. For me Christmas signifies the hope that comes from the birth of millions of children that will be born in the days ahead, children that provide us hope that they will get it right and bring peace on earth and goodwill towards men.
Let us pray that their innocence and hate free view of the world will not be tainted by the failures of the generations that have preceded them. Let them recognize the beauty that exists in a life that focuses on caring for others and seeing the splendor in a world who appreciates the value of the human experience and that is not driven by greed and excess.
The challenges are great and the obstacles monumental but those who taste and remember the simple pleasures of youth and how joy can be found all around for those who care enough to look will know that regaining a world in peace and harmony is well worth the effort.
I hope you’ll bear with me as I decided to visit my Christmas dailies from years past in order to reinforce my belief that we must hope and we must choose lives that have meaning.
No matter where you are in the world today, no matter your religion or your beliefs, I hope you too will embrace “Peace on Earth, good-will to men.” I know of no time when goodwill was needed more. The events of the last few years have shown that hatred, animosity, and terror affects us all, and that no one is guaranteed safety and tranquility. It will take us all, and millions of others working for peace and understanding if we are to stop and reverse the insanity. At the very least we can be kind to each other and invest in the brightest possible future for all children in the years ahead. During this season of celebration let us not forget the fact that our religions and our philosophy is based on the promise of a better life for all.
I hope each of you have the happiest of holidays, hopefully with those you love and care for.
"Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace."
The Bible: Proverbs. III. 17
"Imagine all the people living life in peace.
You may say I’m a dreamer,
but I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us,
and the world will be as one."
"All we are saying is give peace a chance…"
"Peace is our gift to each other."
If we understand that the Lord has given us a doctrine of wholehearted, aggressive goodwill, even toward unfriendly people, we can save our world, even at a time when it was never more difficult to believe in ourselves and our fellow-men.
Lee Vaughn Barker
Chanukah ends today and Christmas is but a few days away. In my family nothing brings us closer together than Christmas. Christmas morning we will attend a mass where my 11 year old grand daughter will be one of the servers. Later in the day we will gather at my sons for excessive gift giving, I say that but in reality I like the opportunity that we all have to bring pleasure to each other, especially the kids.
Yes, our Christmas is probably too materialistic, and yes we probably are not as reverent as we might be, but Christmas does live in all of us. The day will be filled with warmth and friendship, a spirit that I would like to see all year. Maybe we would do well to make sure we bank the feelings of the day and use them to make our next Christmas all of 2007 by holding on to the goodwill that we have on Christmas day.
Whatever your religion or beliefs I want to you to know I wish you happiness and joy not only during the yuletide but for the weeks, months, and years ahead. Let us not wait for the world to bring us peace and happiness, let us all join up as missionaries and bring it to others, and through them to the world. Let it begin with you and me and at least we and others like us will rest every night knowing we did what we could to keep the spark of goodwill towards man alive for another day, another of our private Christmas days.
This is a special time of the year for us all; it is a time for us to truly appreciate what we have and especially those dear to us. In that spirit I want to share with you something my friend Jack sent to me last spring.
I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
"Oh excuse me please" was my reply.
He said, "Please excuse me too;
I wasn’t watching for you."
We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said goodbye.
But at home a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My son stood beside me very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
"Move out of the way," I said with a frown.
He walked away, his little heart broken.
I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken.
While I lay awake in bed,
God’s still small voice came to me and said,
"While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use,
but the family you love, you seem to abuse.
Go and look on the kitchen floor,
You’ll find some flowers there by the door.
Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.
He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,
you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes."
By this time, I felt very small,
And now my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by his bed;
"Wake up, little one, wake up," I said.
"Are these the flowers you picked for me?"
He smiled, "I found ’em, out by the tree.
I picked ’em because they’re pretty like you.
I knew you’d like ’em, especially the blue."
I said, "Son, I’m very sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way."
He said, "Oh, Mom, that’s okay.
I love you anyway."
I said, "Son, I love you too,
and I do like the flowers, especially the blue."
Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.
The next few days will be a good time to bask in the holiday spirit and to be grateful for what we have, especially our friends and our families. Now is a time in our history that we risk falling into to the depths of despair due to the economic conditions and the challenges that life often lays upon us. Thankfully when we review what is important, our family, friends, the air we breathe, the things that are there for us to see and more, the picture brightens. It often is not easy to see what we have as because of the challenges we face each day. But it is the overcoming of challenge that toughens and strengthens us and allows us to concentrate on what is really important.
What lies ahead will require almost all of us to review and plan for the differences that we will experience in the months and years to come. It is good for most of us to reassess what is important and what really is not all that important. If we spend our time measuring losses based upon life as it once was instead of measuring what our life can be we may miss the chance to find happiness.
Do you take for granted the little everyday things that provide you comfort? Do you have a priority list of what really is important and what makes you happy? If you do, good for you for those are the things we need to protect and nurture. The year coming up can mark a new beginning where we have the opportunity to set the stage for a life compatible with the times and one that has the potential to bring us true happiness.
And now my dear friends it is time to prepare for the birth of new opportunity that comes with the arrival of Christmas.
I know some of my time in the days ahead will be spent counting my blessings of which you are one. But while I will find happiness in the glow provided by friends and family I will also be saddened by those who have little or nothing for themselves. I cannot help but wonder sometimes what I might have done in the past for others when I was too busy to see their pain but fortunately the question now fuels the fire that that motivates me to do all I can in the years ahead.
So to one and all I wish you peace and good health and most of all I wish you the happiness that comes from reaching out to others.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.
The editor is somewhat senile.
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