Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Let There Be Light

Thought for the day:  No matter how you celebrate the holidays at your house, may they be filled with love, laughter, and joy.


Jews all over the world began celebrating Hanukkah at sundown yesterday. As a Christian, I'm certainly no authority on the subject, but I do know that Hanukkah commemorates a miracle.You've heard expressions about beacons of hope shining in the darkness, I'm sure. Well, Hanukkah celebrates the time a single day's supply of oil kept a lantern burning brightly through eight dark nights. So it is an 8-day festival of light that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, and spirituality over materialism. 


Seems to me, whatever our religion or non-religion may be, these are all things worth celebrating. So, Happy Hanukkah, everybody. May the light conquer darkness in all our lives.



Has it ever occurred to you to wish people could be as loving and caring year-round as they are during Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations? Wondered why the smiles and laughter aren't as heartfelt, and the hugs as warm, in March as they are in December? Why you don't get a mountain of wrapped presents every day, instead of just one measly time a year? (Only kidding about that one. Just checking to see if you were paying attention.) Anyway, Christmas is fast approaching. Anticipation builds, and as we all prepare to celebrate Christmas ... or Hanukkah ... I'd like to share a food for thought piece with you. It's an excerpt from Keeping Christmas, written by Henry Van Dyke, but it could just as well be talking about Hannukah:

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 put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that men and women are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own up to the fact that probably 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; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness.

Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children; to remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear in their hearts; to try to understand what those who live in the same home with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front of you 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. And if you can keep it for a day, why not always?


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So, now let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah. I'm gonna see the grandchildren, and you know the drill. They're the lights of my life. So, kids first, and computer? Fuhgettabout it.

        Until next year, take care of yourselves. And each other. Wishing you all much light ... and much love.



25 comments:

  1. Great post, Susan. Thanks for being a light. Love and joy to you and yours. Happy Holidays!

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  2. Great Post!

    Thank you and all the best to you and yours!

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  3. Well said Susan. Have a lovely Christmas; see ya next year!

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  4. Have a wonderful Christmas. We'll see you when you return. Be safe. :)

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  5. We celebrate both Christmas and Chanukah (there are umpteen ways to spell it *grin*) here at our house.

    A very Merry Christmas to you and your whole family! :)

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  6. Beautiful thoughts to aspire to. Have a lovely Christmas.

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  7. Well said. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

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  8. Much light and much love to you Susan. Have a great time with the family! We'll see you next year.

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  9. Thank you all. Each of you, in your own way, has brightened my life this past year. (Looking forward to a little more light next year, too!) Take care.

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  10. Then there's a Festivus for the rest of us. Merry Christmas!

    Love,
    Lola

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  11. Good way to put it, Lola. Merry Christmas to you, too.

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  12. What a lovely post, Susan. Enjoy the lights of your life and may light remain always in your life.
    Karen

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  13. wishing it all sraight back at ya!!!!
    xxx

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  14. Very nicely put.

    Merry Christmas and see you in the New Year. :-)

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  15. "May the light conquer darkness in all our lives" - so beautiful! Thank you for the wonderful post and reminders. Happy Holidays, enjoy those grand babies and see you next year!

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  16. Susan, this is such a beautiful and inspirational post. You have the ability to make us laugh ourselves silly one minute, and pull at our heartstrings the next. I love how you incorporated the meaning of both holidays! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Enjoy every minute with your darling dozen! Julie

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  17. What a beautifully written post. I certainly believe that light has the power to conquer darkness in our lives. And I love that extract, especially the line that goes 'carry [your lamp] in front of you so that your shadow will fall behind you'. If we all did that we could all walk away from the darkness. Have a great Christmas with your family.

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  18. YES. Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Peace, Brothers and Sisters!

    Pearl

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  19. Thanks, all. I really appreciate your sweet comments. All the best to you. See ya next year. (Yipes... 2012??? Can you believe it?)

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  20. Beautiful post, Susan! Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and yours!

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  21. Grandchildren ARE the lights of life. I hope you enjoy yours. I'm planning to enjoy mine!

    And thanks for your friendship this past year that I hope will continue in the New one!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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  22. Better late than never. Happy Season of Lights!

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  23. Aahhhh...you're still celebrating. Okay, then I'll return to my festivities... and the best part...we're half way thorough the darkness. Here's to the light and spring. Happy New Year.

    P.S. Because you were so good about catching my story glitches, I made you editor of the Two Pan newspaper on this Friday. thanks for your help.

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  24. Loved this post - thanks for all the others, too, this year which have made me smile :-)
    Have a wonderful time with your famil - Happy New Year - see you in 2012!

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