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This Christmas will, hopefully, be like none other before or after for a long time. As many families are unable to gather because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope everyone has some time to reflect and be thankful for the blessings around them.

As usual, we reprint some nuggets of holiday wisdom.

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

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“A Christmas Day, to be perfect, should be clear and cold, with holly branches in berry, a blazing fire, a dinner with mince pies, and games and forfeits in the evening. You cannot have it in perfection if you are very fine and fashionable.” — Leigh Hunt, quoted in “A Year of Sunshine”

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“Was there ever a wider and more loving conspiracy than that which keeps the venerable figure of Santa Claus from slipping away, with all the other old-time myths, into the forsaken wonderland of the past?” — Hamilton Wright Mabie, “My Study Fire”

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“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas, how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith, then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.” — editorial in the New York Sun, December 1897, in response to an 8-year-old girl’s inquiry letter

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“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 traveler, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside and his quiet home.” — Charles Dickens, “The Pickwick Papers,” 1836

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“[Christmas is] 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.” — Dickens, “A Christmas Carol,” 1843, quoted by Charleston minister Jim Lewis in his newsletter.

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“One doesn’t forget the rounded wonder in the eyes of a boy as he comes bursting upstairs on Christmas morning and finds the two-wheeler or the fire truck of which for weeks he scarcely dared dream.” — Max Lerner, “The Unfinished Country”

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“At Christmas I no more desire a rose than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth.” — Shakespeare, “Love’s Labor’s Lost”

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“And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” — Luke 2