So as we turn our thoughts to gentler things at this time of year, I struggle to put all this behind me and think kinder thoughts of my fellow man. And in so doing, I am reminded of this beloved Christmas poem by Edgar Albert Guest.
It’s very simply the perfect Christmas reading. Everyone should have this one bred in the bone.
(Edgar Albert Guest, 1881-1959)
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 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.
When it’s Christmas man is bigger and is better in his part;
He is keener for the service that is prompted by his heart.
All the petty thoughts and narrow seem to vanish for awhile
And the true reward he’s seeking is the glory of a smile.
Then for others he is toiling and somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas he is almost what God wanted him to be.
If I had to paint a picture of a man I think I’d wait
Till he’d fought his selfish battles and had put aside his hate.
I’d not catch him at his labours when his thoughts are all of pelf,
On the long days and the dreary when he’s striving for himself.
I’d not take him when he’s sneering, when he’s scornful or depressed,
But I’d look for him at Christmas when he’s shining at his best.
Man is ever in a struggle and he’s oft misunderstood;
There are days the worst that’s in him is the master of the good,
But at Christmas kindness rules him and he puts himself aside
And his petty hates are vanquished and his heart is open wide.
Oh, I don’t know how to say it, but somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas man is almost what God sent him here to be.
Now I’ll leave you something else I’ve borrowed – this time from Victorian Farm, which airs on the BBC. Cheers!
Old Victorian Toast
Here’s a toast to them as we love,
And a toast to them as loves us.
And here’s to them, who loves them,
Who loves those, who loves those,
Who loves them, that loves us.
Only the sober can say it and only the drunk can understand it.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!
See you between the lines.