Looking on the Bright Side - A Christmas Message

“Christmas magic is silent. You don't hear it — you feel it. You know it. You believe it.”

--American author Kevin Alan Milne

I know I am not alone when I say that the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day always seem to whisk by at light speed. Yes, ‘tis the season to be jolly – and cheerful, merry, happy, grateful, joyful and thankful.

This year, however, has been another year that we have had to grind through because of COVID. I admit it. Finding the Christmas spirit this year has been a challenge. All of the bleak news on TV, the on-again-off-again door signs stating “MASKS ARE REQUIRED,” fewer friendly hugs and warm handshakes, golf trips that have been put on hold and another round of ominous warnings about family holiday gatherings have worn me out.  

However, a recent reminder that I had better get with it and change my outlook walked into our house, our just-turned-4-year-old granddaughter, Clara. She doesn’t care two hoots about this virus thing. She can’t wait to see her teachers and friends at pre-school. She loves her Christmas tree. Santa has become a real person. Driving around and looking at all of the Christmas lights is great entertainment. She is becoming a pro at decorating holiday cookies. She has no fear when it comes to hugs and kisses. And she has become a wonderful big sister to her new brother, Palmer, who is just 11 weeks old.

Clara made me realize that I needed an attitude adjustment. It was time to channel my inner child and embrace the spirit of Hanukkah and Christmas. I am officially turning my thoughts to love, hope, holiday wreaths, big smiles as presents are being opened (My fingers are crossed for a new driver that will give me an extra 7 yards.), candy canes, hot buttered rum, manger scenes, goodwill towards men, Christmas carols, charity giving, dogs in Santa hats, hot coca by the fireplace, mistletoe, red and green sweaters … Well, you get the idea. It’s time to be festive. It’s time for me to look on the Bright Side which is why I went searching for spirited words, such as:

“At Christmas, play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.” – English poet Thomas Tusser (1524 – 1588)

“The most manifest sign of wisdom is continued cheerfulness”. – French philosopher and writer Michael Montaigne (1533 - 1592)

“Do anything, but let it produce joy.” -- Walt Whitman (1819 to 1892)

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  – French novelist Marcel Proust (1871 to 1922)

“Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” -- Charles Dickens (1812 -1870), A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.’” -- Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007), from his book A Man Without a Country

“Remember George, no man is a failure who has friends.” -- Guardian angel Clarence (Henry Travers) in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

“Zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without it.” – French fashion designer Christian Dior (1905 to 1957)

“Life is short. There is no time to leave important words unsaid.” – Anonymous

Important words such as: I am blessed with a loving family and incredibly wonderful friends.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Allan Stark


  • Lynnly Busler Marcotte

    Excellent, Allan! I am going to share…. Happy Birthday and congrats to you and Nancy on another miracle. Enjoy! Going to let Lucas, 4, know about Clara. He already has started a list of darlings. Lynnly

  • John Keenan

    Excellent post.
    We humans have always faced some problem or another but we find a way to carry on. We will with Covid as well.

    Thanks for your posts through out they are always a great read.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


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