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Christmas

  • ... Christmas is a kindling of new fires.

  • ... Christmas is a bridge. We need bridges as the river of time flows past. Today's Christmas should mean creating happy hours for tomorrow and reliving those of yesterday.

  • Our children await Christmas presents like politicians getting in election returns: there's the Uncle Fred precinct and the Aunt Ruth district still to come in.

  • No matter how many Christmas presents you give your child, there's always that terrible moment when he's opened the very last one. That's when he expects you to say, 'Oh yes, I almost forgot,' and take him out and show him the pony.

  • ... Christmas, that annual celebration of parental guilt and juvenile greed.

  • It must not simply be taken for granted that a given set of ill-assorted people, for no other reason than because it is Christmas, will be joyful to be reunited and to break bread together.

  • Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling.

  • ... the fruit cakes she sent at Christmas ... usually incapacitated the entire department, their brandy fumes lingering almost as long as the hangovers.

  • There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. ... Time, self-pity, apathy, bitterness, and exhaustion can take the Christmas out of the child, but you cannot take the child out of Christmas.

  • Like everyone in his right mind, I feared Santa Claus.

  • Twenty-five years ago, Christmas was not the burden that it is now; there was less haggling and weighing, less quid pro quo, less fatigue of body, less weariness of soul; and, most of all, there was less loading up with trash.

  • Some enterprising youth should go from door to door on Christmas morning peddling batteries.

  • The Christmas season is a gift in itself. It releases us from the priorities of ordinary time and gives us the right to party more and pray more and love more.

  • ... Christmas, in fact, is not an external event at all, but a piece of one's home that one carries in one's heart: like a nursery story, its validity rests on exact repetition, so that it comes around every time as the evocation of one's whole life and particularly of the most distant bits of it in childhood.

  • I can understand people simply fleeing the mountainous effort Christmas has become ... But there are always a few saving graces and finally they make up for all the bother and distress.

  • Every year, in the deep midwinter, there descends upon this world a terrible fortnight. ... every shop is a choked mass of humanity ... nerves are jangled and frayed, purses emptied to no purposes, all amusements and all occupations suspended in favor of frightful businesses with brown paper, string, letters, cards, stamps, and crammed post offices. This period is doubtless a foretaste of whatever purgatory lies in store for human creatures.

  • 'Tis blessed to bestow, and yet, / Could we bestow the gifts we get, / And keep the ones we give away, / How happy were our Christmas Day!

  • Forgive us our Christmases as we / Forgive those who Christmas against us!

  • Christmas, like love, was a mystery. Time and again it might disappoint, but like love only the promises of the Christmas to come, never the disappointments of those past, seemed real.

  • When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow, / We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago, / And etched on vacant places / Are half-forgotten faces / Of friends we used to cherish, and loves we used to know ...

  • Curious, how one remembered Christmas. Perhaps because other days might appeal to the head, but this one appealed to the heart.

  • Christmas, so long looming over everyone's head, finally surged up, buried everyone alive and ebbed away, leaving its victims distinctly cross.

  • From a commercial point of view, if Christmas did not exist it would be necessary to invent it.

  • ... a perfectly managed Christmas correct in every detail is, like basted inside seams and letters answered by return, a sure sign of someone who hasn't enough to do.

  • Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents ...

  • Christmas has long been the festival for the competent here on earth. ... I have friends (and you do, too, I bet) who sail through it all in triumph. They tell you, if you're crazy enough to ask, that they 'picked up' their presents during the summer while on vacation, had wrapped them all by Labor Day, and mailed them on Thanksgiving. ... The Christmas tree holds no terror for them. They whittle the trunk as if it were a carrot, pop it into the stand, juggle strings of lights, know everything about switches, transformers, and balky bulbs. We, the deftness-disadvantaged, cower at the edges, fingering ornaments we will inevitably hang in unsuitable locations.

  • A green Christmas makes a fat graveyard.

  • I hate, loathe, and despise Christmas. It's a time when single people have to take cover or get out of town.

  • Christmas is a season of convergence.

    • Lilly Golden,
    • in Lilly Golden, ed., A Literary Christmas ()
  • In our childhood we not only kept Christmas; we made Christmas. We made our gifts, we made the wrappings, we made the tree trimmings, and we made our entertainment. How good it was to make Christmas.

  • Evidently Christmas was an unmitigated joy only for the people who inhabited department-store brochures and seasonal television specials. For everyone else the day seemed to be a trip across a mine field seeded with resurrected family feuds, exacerbated loneliness, emotional excess, and the inevitable disappointments that arise when expectations fall far short of reality.

  • If one isn't parsimonious before Christmas one can't be munificent when it arrives.

  • It's Christmas. An ancient pagan winter festival hijacked by the Christians and currently an annual celebration of the power of creative retailing.

  • 'Jewish Christmas' — that's what my gentile friends called Chanukah when I was growing up in Michigan in the thirties and forties. Anachronistic, yes, but they had a point. Observing the dietary laws of separating milk and meat dishes was far easier for the handful of Jewish families in our little town than getting through December without mixing the two holidays.

  • Christmas was a miserable time for a Jewish child in those days, and I still recall the feeling. ... Decades later, I still feel left out at Christmas, but I sing the carols anyway. You might recognize me if you ever heard me. I'm the one who sings, 'La-la, the la-la is born.'

  • Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.

  • I do hope your Christmas has had a little touch of Eternity in among the rush and pitter patter and all. It always seems such a mixing of this world and the next — but that after all is the idea!

    • Evelyn Underhill,
    • 1936, in Charles Williams, ed., The Letters of Evelyn Underhill ()
  • Isn't it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for — for — I don't know what for, exactly, but it's something that you don't mind so much not having at other times.

  • Christmas: It's the only religious holiday that's also a federal holiday. That way, Christians can go to their services, and everyone else can sit at home and reflect on the true meaning of the separation of church and state.

  • ... the juggernaut of Christmas will not be stopped.

  • God rest ye, merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay, / For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas-day.

  • I shall attend to my little errands of love early this year, / So that the brief days before Christmas may be unhampered and clear / of the fever of hurry. The breathless rushing I have known in the past / shall not possess me. I shall be calm in my soul and ready at last / for Christmas. I shall have leisure — I shall go out alone from my roof and my door; / I shall not miss the silver silence of stars as I have before. / And oh, perhaps ... if I stand there very still ... and very long / I shall hear what the clamor of living has kept from me — The Angels' Song!

  • ... Christmas isn't Christmas without young people to enjoy it ...

  • Oh, come all ye faithful. I hear bells pealing! Thing is, Christmas comes, even if you don't hear the bells, but it's better if you hear them!

  • 'It's better'n a Christmas,' they told their mother, 'to get ready for it!'

  • [On fruitcake:] Even impatient people should not cut the first slice until six weeks have passed.

  • [On fruitcake:] One last test is to lift it from the oven and listen to it, placing your ear to its side. If you can hear it singing away to itself inside, it is not cooked.

  • ... if there ever was a time for sentimentality and traditional merrymaking, one that has transcended religious orientation, Christmas must be that time. The effect seems salutary: even people who ordinarily are as colorful and gay as groundworms, who would dare not consider a flamboyant gesture, hang long strings of brightly colored lights around their houses, trim Christmas trees, and talk to strangers.

  • For the children, there is no substitute for Christmas toys, and little Willie will grow up with a hard corner in his heart for the person who greets him on Christmas morning with a smart new sailor suit or a strong pair of shoes.

  • Fortunately, like all good things, Christmas Day does come to an end.

  • In America, Christmas is the king of all holidays. To be left out of Christmas is the ultimate minority experience.

  • No one has a right to expect anything at Christmas. It should be a day of unexpected and unlooked-for blessings, which drop as the gentle dew from heaven.

  • In my experience, clever food is not appreciated at Christmas. It makes the little ones cry and the old ones nervous.

  • Sometimes the best Christmas present is remembering what you've already got.

  • Bring me ivy, bring me holly, / Let the mistletoe entwine, / Let the scarlet berries sparkle / In this Christmas wreath of mine.

  • According to an ancient Sardinian legend, the bodies of those who are born on Christmas Eve will never dissolve into dust but are preserved until the end of time.

  • [On Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt:] When Christmas came, all the five-ring-circus excitement of the past year seemed to gather to a point in the White House and explode in a lather of tinsel stars. ... I never knew people that loved Christmas the way the Roosevelts did. And to think I'd survive a round dozen more with the Roosevelts, getting more exciting, and sweeping in wider circles — year after year! Even toward the last, Christmas was risen to, like a hymn ...

  • I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.

  • Welcome Christmas! heel and toe, / Come and fill us ere you go!

  • For months they have lain in wait, dim shapes lurking in the forgotten corners of houses and factories all over the country and now they are upon us, sodden with alcohol, their massive bodies bulging with strange green protuberances, attacking us in our homes, at our friends' homes, at our offices — there is no escape, it is the hour of the fruitcake.

  • We don't put up decorations here for the holidays. There are too many different kinds of people in and out, and to make it festive for one's tradition is to give slight to the other's. Everybody in the world isn't a Christian. The truth is, most people in the world aren't Christians.

  • Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart ... filled it, too, with melody that would last forever. Even though you grew up and found you could never quite bring back the magic feeling of this night, the melody would stay in your heart always — a song for all the years.

  • There are few sensations more painful, than, in the midst of deep grief, to know that the season which we have always associated with mirth and rejoicing is at hand.

  • Christmas cards ... are technically only junk mail from people you know.

  • ... Christmas is a season of such infinite labour, as well as expense in the shopping and present-making line, that almost every woman I know is good for nothing in purse and person for a month afterwards ...

  • Christmas had done its usual merry work of setting husband against wife, relative against relative, and spreading bad will among men in general. People looked overfed and hung over and desperately worried about how much they had already spent.