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Quotations about Christmas


Love is the Christmas-tide message... ~Margaret Sidney, "Christmas," 1884

Oh, the Christmas tree's my favorite
Of all the trees that grow.
~Laura F. Armitage, "My Favorite Tree," 1906

One touch of Christmas makes the whole world kin. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1904, George Horace Lorimer, editor

If I could have my wish to‑night it would not be for wealth or fame,
It would not be for some delight that men who live in luxury claim,
But it would be that I might rise at three or four a.m. to see,
With eager, happy, boyish eyes, my presents on the Christmas tree.
Throughout this world there is no joy, I know now I am growing gray,
So rich as being just a boy, a little boy on Christmas Day.
~Edgar A. Guest, "A Boy at Christmas," 1913

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale, unverified

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days, that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home! ~Charles Dickens, Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, 1837

I look in mother's closet,
      And what do I see
      But a huge pile of presents!
      Maybe one is for me.
If I just take a peek
      At those bundles in there,
      I wonder whether mother
      Really would care...
~“Christmas Presents,” in The Herald, December 1943

Christmas is the protest of the human race against gloom. ~Frank Crane, "Christmas Means the Indestructibility of Joy," Christmas and the Year Round, 1917

Whose heart doth hold the Christmas glow
Hath little need of Mistletoe;
Who bears a smiling grace of mien
Need waste no time on wreaths of green;
Whose lips have words of comfort spread
Needs not the holly-berries red—
His very presence scatters wide
The spirit of the Christmastide.
~John Kendrick Bangs (1862–1922), "The Christmas Spirit," The Cheery Way: A Bit of Verse For Every Day, 1920

Mistletoe and gleaming holly,
Symbols of a blessed day...
~Louisa May Alcott, "Merry Christmas," in The Horn of Plenty, 1876

I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year. And thus I drift along into the holidays — let them overtake me unexpectedly — waking up some fine morning and suddenly saying to myself: "Why, this is Christmas Day!" ~David Grayson, "A Day of Pleasant Bread," Adventures in Friendship, 1908  [pseudonym of Ray Stannard Baker –tg]

Christmas is a time when you get homesick — even when you're home. ~Carol Nelson, unverified

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957)

I have always thought of Christmas time... as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 1843

A candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise or stir at all,
But softly gives itself away,
While, quite unselfish, it grows small...
~Anonymous, "Christmas Candle," c. 1945

I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. ~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 1843

There is one more good thing about Winter—he brings Christmas. Through the bleak December the thought of the coming festival is pleasant—like the reflection of a fire on our faces.... Christmas-day is the pleasantest day in the whole year. On that day we think tenderly of distant friends; we strive to forgive injuries—to close accounts with ourselves and the world—to begin the new year with a white leaf, and a trust that the chapter of life about to be written will contain more notable entries, a fairer sprinkling of good actions, fewer erasures made in blushes, and fewer ugly blots than some of the earlier ones. And to make Christmas perfect, the ground should be covered and the trees draped with snow; the bleak world outside should make us enjoy all the more keenly the comforts we possess; and above all, it should make us remember the poor and the needy; for a charitable deed is the best close of any chapter of our lives, and the best promise, too, for the record about to be begun. ~Alexander Smith, "Winter," 1863

Christmas is for children. But it is for grown-ups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts. ~Lenora Mattingly Weber (1895–1971), unverified

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:  the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Bill Vaughan, c. 1957

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love! ~Hamilton Wright Mabie, "Christmas Eve," 1885

So remember while December
Brings the only Christmas Day
In the year let there be Christmas
In the things we do and say
Wouldn't life be worth the living
Wouldn't dreams be coming true
If we kept the Christmas spirit
All the whole year through.
~Author unknown, c.1962

A Christmas family-party! We know nothing in nature more delightful! ~Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Dinner"

Are they Christmas fairies stealing
Rows of little socks to fill?
Are they angels floating hither
With their message of good-will?
What sweet spell are these elves weaving,
As like larks they chirp and sing?
~Louisa May Alcott, "Merry Christmas," in The Horn of Plenty, 1876

What a blessing Christmas is!... it is the one season of the year when we can lay aside all gnawing worry, indulge in sentiment without censure, assume the carefree faith of childhood, and just plain "have fun." Whether they call it Yuletide, Noel, Weihnachten, or Christmas, people around the earth thirst for its refreshment as the desert traveller for the oasis. ~D. D. Monroe, "The Unfinished Sympathy," guest editorial in The Rotarian, December 1949

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. ~J. L. W. Brooks, 2007

And, so, Christmas comes to bless us!
Comes to teach us how to find
The joy of giving happiness
And the joy of being kind.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "There Will Always Be a Christmas," 1940s

There seems a magic in the very name of Christmas. ~Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Dinner"

The bells ring out, and how they dance
Below, around the Christmas Tree!
~Hiram Ladd Spencer, "To My Daughter: A Christmas Reverie," 1878

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! ~Author unknown, 1960s

Once again, my dear people,
      Merry Christmas is here,
      With holly and mistletoe
      And its good will and cheer!
With its joys and its heartaches,
      With its laughter and song,
      It comes as a reminder
      That time marches along.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "When Christmas Comes," 1940s

Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given — when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes. ~Joan Winmill Brown, Best of Christmas Joys, 1983

Were I a philosopher, I should write a philosophy of toys, showing that nothing else in life need to be taken seriously, and that Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become entirely alive. ~Robert Lynd, 1924

This December,
That love weighs more than gold!...
~Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon (1876–1961), "The Right Gift," 1912

May you have the gladness of Christmas,
      Which is Hope;
The spirit of Christmas,
      Which is Peace;
The heart of Christmas,
      Which is Love.
~Ada V. Hendricks Larsen (1888–1975)

Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves. ~Eric Sevareid (1912–1992), unverified

In prickly green of Christmas wreaths
      The holly berries glow,
The Christmas trees will sparkle soon,
      With Christmas fruit bent low...
~Hannah G. Fernald, "Outside," 1906

Lucy:  Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! At this time of year I think we should put aside all our differences, and try to be kind.
Charlie Brown:  Why does it have to be for just this time of year? Why can't it be all year 'round?
Lucy:  What are you, some kind of fanatic or something?
~Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts, 1965

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself...
~Norman Wesley Brooks (1923–2002), "Let Every Day Be Christmas," 1976  [read full poem here –tg]

Keep your Christmas-heart open all the year round. ~J. L. W. Brooks

Christmas is anticipation for the children; it is memory for most adults. ~Eric Sevareid (1912–1992)

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in a living room where eight or ten people have just opened their Christmas presents. It should not be cleaned up too quickly. ~Andy Rooney (1919–2011)

Oh, Christmas bells, your music swells upon the buoyant winter breeze. I dry my tears and shed my years, when I hear happy sounds like these. I'm gray and bent, an ancient gent, who may not see another spring; my knees are sprung, but I feel young, when Christmas bells begin to ring... Oh, Christmas bells, your music dwells forever in the old man's mind, recalls the truth of honest youth, the days he's left so far behind. ~Walt Mason (1862–1939), "Christmas Bells"

Cupid's Forecast December — About the 25th of the month a terrific shower of gifts and good wishes may be looked for. ~Oliver Herford, Cupid's Fair-Weather Booke: To All Good Hearticulturists, 1911

There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. Not to feel the cold on your bare feet as you rush to the Christmas tree in the living room. Not to have your eyes sparkle at the wonderment of discovery. Not to rip the ribbons off the shiny boxes with such abandon. ~Erma Bombeck, "Children of Christmas," 1969

Nothin's as mean as givin' a little child somethin' useful fer Christmus. ~Kin Hubbard (1868–1930)

What I like about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with the present. ~Don Marquis, as quoted in 20,000 Quips & Quotes by Evan Esar, 1968

At Christmas play, and make good cheer,
For Christmas comes, but once a-year.
~Thomas Tusser, "The Farmer's Daily Diet," c.1557–1573

A cup of ale,
A merry tale
Of days of olden time,
And Christmas good cheer
To wind up the year
With glad frolic, and fun, and glee.
~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), "Winter's Song," The Ministry of the Beautiful, 1850 [Quite suspiciously Marmionesque, methinks. –tg]

It was a full week until Christmas, but the den blazed with lights and smelled deliciously of pine needles. ~Paula Detmer Riggs, Paroled!, 1992

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy Lemon Smith (1887–1963), unverified

I wish we could preserve and put up this sacred Christmas spirit in one-pound tin boxes, like holiday fruitcake, and open a box of it every profane month all year long. ~Harlan Miller, There's a Man in the House, 1955

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 you don't mind so much not having at other times. ~Kate Langley Bosher, How It Happened, 1914

      With the joyous Christmas season comes a longing that fills the breasts of countless thousands — a longing to be back home again. Even to him who has long been lost to its sweet influences, to the most abject and pitiful wanderer, come visions of a happy childhood, heart-choking recollections of someone near and dear back in the mist of years — an irresistible desire to be back again, somewhere, some place.
      What is more beautiful than a Christmas reunion at home where the hand of death has been merciful and the little flock, scattered for years, gathers again under the old roof — mother, father and all the children? ~Kin Hubbard (1868–1930)

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. ~Larry Wilde

I love the Christmas-tide, and yet,
I notice this, each year I live;
I always like the gifts I get,
But how I love the gifts I give!
~Carolyn Wells, 1913

"It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!"...
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!"
~Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, 1957

For Christmas comes but once a year,
      When harvesting is ended;
With merry din, the day comes in,
      By love and mirth attended;
The children dance and shout with glee,
      The eyes of all are beaming,
And high above the Christmas tree
      The Star of Hope is gleaming.
~Edgar A. Guest, "Christmas Comes but Once a Year," The Friendly Way, 1931

At Christmas, all roads lead home. ~Marjorie Holmes, "At Christmas the Heart Goes Home," 1981

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself. ~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 1843

The test of all happiness is gratitude... Children are grateful when Santa Claus puts in their stockings gifts of toys or sweets. Could I not be grateful to Santa Claus when he put in my stockings the gift of two miraculous legs? We thank people for birthday presents of cigars and slippers. Can I thank no one for the birthday present of birth? ~Gilbert K. Chesterton, "The Ethics of Elfland," Orthodoxy, 1908

After the children, stuffed and sleepy, finally went to bed, Gertrude and Arnold sat together in the love seat and watched the tree lights blink. ~Ethel Pochocki (1925–2010), "The Attic Crèche," The Attic Mice, 1990

The Christmas tree is a symbol of love... ~Andy Rooney, "Just the Way It Is," in McCall's, 1982

We ring the bells and we raise the strain,
We hang up garlands everywhere
And bid the tapers twinkle fair,
And feast and frolic—and then we go
Back to the same old lives again...
~Susan Coolidge, "Christmas," 1878 [Pseudonym of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey. –tg]

For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home. ~W. J. Ronald Tucker, unverified

It matters not what the custom may be,
For Christmas is loved by you and by me!
Yes; the years may come and the years may go;
But, when December wind doth, coldly, blow,
We all, I guess, are just children once more
And we plan our gifts, as we did of yore.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Christmas," 1940s

Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. ~Anonymous child in answer to "What does love mean?"  [This cute list has been circulating on the internet since at least 2001, but I've yet to find the original source. –tg]

The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature. If some of our great decorated trees had grown in a remote forest area with lights that came on every evening as it grew dark, the whole world would come to look at them and marvel at the mystery of their great beauty. ~Andy Rooney, "Just the Way It Is," in McCall's, 1982

Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles. ~1800 Quotes, Quips, and Squibs, E. C. McKenzie, 1972

The gift itself is not so much—
Perhaps you've had a dozen such;
Its value, when reduced to gold,
May seem too trifling to be told;
But someone, loving, kind, and true,
Selected it—and thought of You.
The gift may have a hollow ring—
The love behind it is the thing!
~Walt Mason (1862–1939), "Christmas Gift"

Very gay they were with snow and sleigh-bells, holly-boughs, and garlands, below, and Christmas sunshine in the winter sky above. All faces shone, all voices had a cheery ring, and everybody stepped briskly on errands of good‑will. ~Louisa May Alcott, "Seamstress," Work: A Story of Experience, 1873

Christmas tree baubles only become valuable when they are veterans, fetched down every year from the attic, a little more worse for wear each year, but worth their weight in memories. ~Peter Gray, quoted in Merry Christmas, 1992,  [I suspect that this is a pseudonym of Pam Brown but have yet to verify. —tg]

Used to think that Christmas was nothin' but a day
To get a lot o' presents an' to give a lot away.
Shouted "Merry Christmas!" an' helped to trim the tree—
Just a day o' Christmas was all that I could see.
Since I found that Christmas is more than just a day,
Christmas came to our house—an' never went away.
Struck me of a sudden that friendliness an' cheer
Was meant to be on duty more than one day in the year!
If we're happy Christmas, why not the day before
An' the day that follows, an' so on, evermore?
~Wilbur D. Nesbit, "Always Christmas," 1910

There is something in the very season of the year, that gives a charm to the festivity of Christmas. The imagination turns every thing to melody and beauty! It is, indeed, the season for kindling, not merely the fire of hospitality in the hall, but the genial flame of charity in the heart. What bosom can remain insensible to the call of happiness, the bustle of the spirits, and stir of the affections? ~Washington Irving, "Christmas," The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., 1819 [a little altered –tg]

It is not the Christmas lights that are important, it's the Light of Christmas... ~Liz Palagi, "Twinkle, Twinkle," Does God Hate Christmas?: A Devotional for the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, 2015

The Church does not superstitiously observe days, merely as days, but as memorials of important facts. Christmas might be kept as well upon one day of the year as another: but... there is a danger that what may be done on any day, will be neglected. ~Samuel Johnson, 1776, quoted in James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., 1791

Whatever else be lost among the years,
Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing;
Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears,
Let us hold close one day, remembering
Its poignant meaning for the hearts of men.
Let us get back our childlike faith again.
~Grace Noll Crowell, "Let Us Keep Christmas," 1939

It is better to give than to receive a Christmas gift because you don't have the bother of exchanging it. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes by Evan Esar, 1968

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
      And wild and sweet
      The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good‑will to men!
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Christmas Bells," 1866

Christmas is coming; it is almost here!
With Santa and presents, good will and cheer!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Christmas," 1940s

Would that Christmas lasted the whole year through (as it ought)... ~Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Dinner"

’Twas Christmas broach’d the mightiest ale;
’Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man’s heart through half the year.
~Walter Scott, Marmion, 1808

My childhood's Christmases each brought to me
The wondrous glory of a Christmas tree;
Now, every year, since I've to manhood grown,
I buy a tree for children of my own.
And so to‑night my mind looks back and sees
Life a long avenue of Christmas trees.
~Carolyn Wells, "Christmas Eve," Idle Idyls, 1900

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 your fellow-men are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own 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 do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas. And if you can keep it for a day, why not always? ~Henry Van Dyke, "The Spirit of Christmas: Keeping Christmas," Counsels by the Way, 1908

'T is Christmas morn! awake, awake,
Let each with care his stocking take,
      Full to the very brim...
~M., "The Christmas Gift," The Children's Magazine, 1833

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. ~May Sarton, 1971

We look back on our childhood
When we all were so gay;
There was nothing but pleasure
Every dear Christmas Day...
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "When Christmas Comes," 1940s

Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. ~Calvin Coolidge, 1927

A man is at his finest towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season's here;
Then he's thinking more of others than he's thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature than at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime...
~Edgar A. Guest, "At Christmas," Just Folks, 1917

      I was a normal child of normal parents, who laid out a traditional crèche. Their nativity scene had the proper number of shepherds, angels, lambs, sheep, oxen, and wise men complete with entourage of camels and servants. When I married, I started out with my own appropriate manger, bought at a religiously correct gift shop.
      But something happened. I think it began when my son brought home a red-velvet deer, one golden antler missing, bought at a school bazaar. It joined the crew at the manger. That paved the way for other pilgrims: a glass bluebird, a china calico cat, a wooden rabbit with drum, a turkey salt shaker, a black ceramic pony with flowers in its mane, and three see-, hear-, and speak-no-evil monkeys joined at the hips. They sat on the roof of the stable with the angel.
      Each year the company of characters grew, until the manger had to be brought out from under the tree onto a table. It was the most delightful of scenes. ~Ethel Pochocki (1925–2010), “Still Acceptably Quaint, But Flirting With ‘Odd,’” 1996   [A little altered. This is what my grandmother's Christmas nativity scene was like too! Ms Pochocki wrote a lengthier description of this same hodgepodge scene in her story "The Attic Crèche" incorporated into her 1990 book The Attic Mice.—tg]

Lots of us go ploddin' along the road o' life
An' think one day o' gladness will make up for all the strife—
But the Christmas spirit can show you how you need
To make each day a Christmas in thought an' word an' deed—
Used to pack the kindness in camphor balls next day
Till Christmas came to our house—an' never went away.
~Wilbur D. Nesbit, "Always Christmas," 1910

Holly in December, an' violets in May—
An' Christmas came to our house — an' never went away.
~Wilbur D. Nesbit, "Always Christmas," 1910

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things — not the great occasions — give off the greatest glow of happiness. ~Bob Hope, unverified

’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!
~Carolyn Wells, "A Christmas Thought," 1900

As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, then Christmas is. ~Eric Sevareid (1912–1992)

We hear the beating of wings over Bethlehem and a light that is not of the sun or of the stars shines in the midnight sky. Let the beauty of the story take away all narrowness, all thought of formal creeds. Let it be remembered as a story that has happened again and again, to men of many different races, that has been expressed through many religions, that has been called by many different names. Time and space and language lay no limitations upon human brotherhood. ~"On Christmas Morning," editorial, New York Times, 1937 December 25th

I think that I shall never see
A sight more festive than a tree…
A tree just full of Christmas cheer
At this most happy time of year...
~William Arthur Ward, "The Christmas Tree"

The glad greeting of Merry Christmas is a pledge of brotherhood. We are one great family. No wonder that Christmas is above all others the family day. A transfigured atmosphere of peace and love breathes around the home. The gifts and tenders of affection cement more closely the sacred ties of family life. The peace and love of this hallowed time shines like a halo around us; it goes with us as we hasten through the crowded streets; it brightens and cheers those we meet. There are no strangers on Christmas Day... ~J. T. Driscoll, "The Message of Christmas," in The Catholic World, December 1904  [a little altered –tg]

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign...
~Christina G. Rossetti, Time Flies: A Reading Diary, 1886

That is the glory of Christmas. It triumphs over all obstacles; it breaks down all barriers; it flourishes in all countries and in every heart. For the spirit of Christmas fulfills the greatest hunger of mankind. ~Loring Ashley Schuler (1886–1968)

Depending on how good you are at watching and analyzing the weather, taking down the Christmas lights is something that can be postponed until the end of July. ~Robert Kirby, "Up on the Roof Top," Family Home Screaming, 1999

The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect! ~Charles Barnard, unverified

C is for the Candy trimmed around the Christmas tree
H is for the Happiness with all the family
R is for the Reindeer prancing by the window pane
I is for the Icing on the cake as sweet as sugar cane
S is for the Stocking on the chimney wall
T is the Toys beneath the tree so tall
M is for the Mistletoe where ev'ry one is kissed
A is for the Angels who make up the Christmas list
S is for old Santa who makes ev'ry kid his pet
Be good and he'll bring you ev'rything in your Christmas alphabet
~Buddy Kaye and Jules Loman, "Christmas Alphabet," 1954, performed by The McGuire Sisters ♫

Open your presents at Christmastime but be thankful year-round for the gifts you receive. ~Terri Guillemets

The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist.
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "In Memoriam A. H. H., Obiit MDCCCXXXIII," 1850

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...
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox, "Christmas Fancies," Custer and Other Poems, 1896

The earth has grown old with its burden of care,
But at Christmas it always is young...
~Phillips Brooks, "Christmas Carol," c. 1890

Let Christmas not become a thing
Merely of merchant's trafficking,
Of tinsel, bell and holly wreath
And surface pleasure, but beneath
The childish glamour, let us find
Nourishment for soul and mind.
Let us follow kinder ways
Through our teeming human maze,
And help the age of peace to come
From a Dreamer's martyrdom.
~Madeline Morse, "Christmas Prayer," c. 1930

A man is known by the Christmas he keeps. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1904, George Horace Lorimer, editor

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know,
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow...
~Irving Berlin, 1942

Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions... a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends. ~Margaret Thatcher

Christmas wouldn’t be the same
      if we couldn’t get in touch
      with all the friends and family
      who mean so very much.
Each Christmas we have shared
      with friends both far and near
      has made our years together
      so memorable and dear.
~Norman Wesley Brooks (1923–2002)

Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused — in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened — by the recurrence of Christmas. There are people who will tell you that Christmas is not to them what it used to be; that each succeeding Christmas has found some cherished hope, or happy prospect, of the year before, dimmed or passed away; that the present only serves to remind them of reduced circumstances and straitened incomes — of the feasts they once bestowed on hollow friends, and of the cold looks that meet them now, in adversity and misfortune. Never heed such dismal reminiscences. There are few men who have lived long enough in the world, who cannot call up such thoughts any day in the year. Then do not select the merriest of the three hundred and sixty-five, for your doleful recollections, but draw your chair nearer the blazing fire — fill the glass and send round the song — and if your room be smaller than it was a dozen years ago, or if your glass be filled with reeking punch, instead of sparkling wine, put a good face on the matter, and empty it off-hand, and fill another, and troll off the old ditty you used to sing, and thank God it's no worse. Look on the merry faces of your children (if you have any) as they sit round the fire. One little seat may be empty; one slight form that gladdened the father's heart, and roused the mother's pride to look upon, may not be there. Dwell not upon the past; think not that one short year ago, the fair child now resolving to dust, sat before you, with the bloom of health upon its cheek, and the gaiety of infancy in its joyous eye. Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. Fill your glass again, with a merry face and contented heart. Our life on it, but your Christmas shall be merry, and your new year a happy one! ~Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Dinner"

It’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day aka “It’s OK to Accomplish Absolutely Nothing” week! Yay! ~Aaron Caycedo-Kimura, INFJoe, @infjoecartoons, Instagram post, 2019,

The first Christmas was a myrrhy Christmas. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes by Evan Esar, 1968

The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other. ~Johnny Carson, unverified

Three phrases that best sum up the Christmas season are: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not Included. ~Author unknown

I know some parents who were very smart. They bought their kids some batteries for Christmas and put a sign on them that said: "Toys Not Included." ~Roasts, Toasts & One-Liners by Gene Perret and Terry Perret Martin, 1997–2001

Christmas is the time to eat, drink, and be merry, because starting tomorrow, you'll be doing nothing else except watching bowl games. ~Roasts, Toasts & One-Liners by Gene Perret and Terry Perret Martin, 1997–2001

Christmas begins about the first of December with an office party and ends when you finally realize what you spent, around April fifteenth of the next year. ~P. J. O'Rourke, Modern Manners, 1983

A merry Christmas to all my friends except two. ~W. C. Fields, unverified

Dear Santa:
For my yuletide bring me, please,
A blight to ruin blinking Christmas trees
On people's lawns, and for suburbanites
Who deck their juniper with purple lights
I'd like a special pox, and, if you will,
Please leave an extra-potent deadly ill
At homes whose every bilious window seethes
With red-light-bearing artificial wreaths.
And on the credit side, you might supply
A merry Christmas to the gracious guy
Who decks his doorway with a holly sprig—
Unlighted, genuine, and not too big.
~Gerald Raftery (1905–1986), "Crank Letter," in The New Yorker, 1939

To perceive Christmas through its wrapping becomes more difficult with every year. ~E. B. White, "Notes and Comment," The New Yorker, 1949 December 24th

Christmas is the season when you buy this year's gifts with next year's money. ~Author unknown

No, I do like Christmas on the whole... In its clumsy way, it does approach Peace and Goodwill. But oh, it is clumsier every year. ~E. M. Forster, Howards End, 1910

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it "Christmas" and went to church; the Jews called it "Hanukka" and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Hanukka!" or (to the atheists) "Look out for the wall!" ~Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: Go Knock Yourself Out," 1981,

I hear that in many places something has happened to Christmas; that it is changing from a time of merriment and carefree gaiety to a holiday which is filled with tedium; that many people dread the day and the obligation to give Christmas presents is a nightmare to weary, bored souls; that the children of enlightened parents no longer believe in Santa Claus; that all in all, the effort to be happy and have pleasure makes many honest hearts grow dark with despair instead of beaming with good will and cheerfulness. ~Julia Mood Peterkin (1880–1961), A Plantation Christmas, 1929

Christmas is a guest that always comes a month before arriving. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes by Evan Esar, 1968  [And now it's two or three! —tg]

The Christmas season is starting to last longer than the basketball season. ~Roasts, Toasts & One-Liners by Gene Perret and Terry Perret Martin, 1997–2001

Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit. ~Kin Hubbard (1868–1930)  [Spelling standardized. "Next t' a circus ther hain't nothin' that packs up an' tears out any quicker'n th' Christmas spirit." —tg]

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Last saved 2022 Mar 20 Sun 12:46 PDT