Category Archives: CHRISTMAS

“Christmas is a study in contrasts, of many dialectics which we embrace as individuals and as a society. It is happy and sad, ingenuous and cynical, spiritual and crass, selfish and altruistic, a celebration of God, a deification of Mammon.” Elizabeth C. Hirschman and Priscilla A. LaBarbera

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When we pulled out into the winter night and the real snow, our snow, began to stretch out beside us and twinkle against the windows, and the dim lights of small Wisconsin stations moved by, a sharp wild brace came suddenly into the air. That’s my middle-west – not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow.

(F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. Washington Irving

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A Politically Correct Christmas Poem

Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a wreck…
How to live in a world that’s politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to “Elves”,
“Vertically Challenged” they were calling themselves.
And labor conditions at the North Pole,
were alleged by the union, to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished without much propriety,
released to the wilds, by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear,
that Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid, 
were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his beautiful sleigh, 
because the ruts were deemed dangerous by the EPA,
And millions of people were calling the Cops, 
when they heard sled noises upon their roof tops.
Second-hand smoke from his pipe, had his workers quite frightened, 
and his fur trimmed red suit was called “unenlightened”.

To show you the strangeness of today’s ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose. 
He went to Geraldo, in front of the Nation,
demanding millions in over-due workers compensation.

So…half of the reindeer were gone, and his wife 
who suddenly said she’d had enough of this life,
joined a self help group, packed and left in a whiz, 
demanding from now on that her title was Ms.

And as for gifts…why, he’d never had the notion
that making a choice could cause such commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur…
Which meant nothing for him or nothing for her.
Nothing to aim, Nothing to shoot,
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls and nothing for just boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific, 
Nothing that’s warlike or non-pacifistic.

No candy or sweets…they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish upon the truth.
And fairy tales…while not yet forbidden,
were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden,
for they raised the hackles of those psychological,
who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football…someone might get hurt,
besides – playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist and should be passe.
and Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, disheveled and perplexed,
he just couldn’t figure out what to do next?
He tried to be merry he tried to be gay,
but you must have to be careful with that word today
His sack was quite empty, it was flat on the ground,
nothing fully acceptable was anywhere to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might,
give to us all, without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy – with no indecision,
each group of people in every religion.
Every race, every hue,
everyone, everywhere…even you!
So here is that gift, it’s price beyond worth…


Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. Mary Ellen Chase


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“Once upon a time, the Reindeer took a running leap and jumped over the Northern Lights.

But he jumped too low, and the long fur of his beautiful flowing tail got singed by the rainbow fires of the aurora.

To this day the reindeer has no tail to speak of. But he is too busy pulling the Important Sleigh to notice what is lost. And he certainly doesn’t complain.

What’s your excuse?” 

― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

~ (1919-), American writer, producer, humorist. ”  ― Andy Rooney


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“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.” 

― Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express

Everybody is waiting for cooler weather–and I am just waiting for you. (Bob Dylan in a letter)” ― Suze Rotolo,

A Freewheelin’ Time: Greenwich Village in the Sixties, Bob Dylan and Me

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Sometimes, no matter how much you want for things to happen, all you can do is wait

If old Kriss Kringle should forget To travel Christmas eve, I tell you now, I think next day The little folks would grieve.

A Catastrophe By Susie M. Best 

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“Each one of us who is fortunate not to have to deal with despair or lack of caring at Christmas can do much to help those who have so little. And, it doesn’t have to be a huge commitment either.” 

Byron Pulsifer, Impact Of Christmas Shoes Song

the slant of sun through six different windows. Paul Hetherington

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Isn’t it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for – I don’t know what exactly, but it’s something that you don’t mind so much not having at other times.  

Kate L. Bosher

If it weren’t for sorrow and bad times, every day would be Christmas.


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A little bush fairy on the Christmas tree!
Tho’ not like the fairies you usually see,
For she wears not a gauzy gossamer gown
but gumnut blossoms drifting down.

And there on top of her pine tree tower
she waves a wand of flannel flower.
Flittering and fluttering her eucalyptus wings
‘Neath a halo of golden wattle rings.

What other fairy would be so blessed
Or be, by nature, flora dressed?
What other fairy would look so sweet
With bottle brushes on her feet?

At Christmas she comes come-what-may
Tho’ not to those lands far away,
For only in Australia will you ever see
A little bush fairy on the Christmas tree!

I sincerely hope your Christmas…may abound in the gaieties which the season generally brings.

― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


“For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning – not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.”

― Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when the Great Creator was a child himself.

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings


“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.

New York Times, 25 December 1937, quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren, 1938, published by The H.W. Wilson Company, New York”

― Maud van Buren

One strain could call up the quivering expectancy of Christmas Eve, childhood, joy and sadness, the lonely wonder of a star.

― Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy Was a Junior.


“I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.”

― Taylor Caldwell

The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but you still have to mow it.

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A snake is seen and fear is felt. She tries to kill it: "O beat him into the ground/O strike him till he dies." The snake is black and red and as he dies, "His icy glance turns outward." However the snake-killer soon realises that her enemy is not the snake but fear itself.

"The Killer" by Judith Wright


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foto- izzy foreal mows lawns in ulmarra for xmas 09

The devil always paints himself black, but we always see him rose-colored. Dominican Republic


The roses are out in their summer garb, The tiger-lily is flaunting gay, The song of the lark is soft and sweet, And sweet the breath of the new-mown hay ; Over the meadows the buttercups throw Their golden sheen of summer glow, And we think of childhood’s happy home, When Christmastide was white with snow.



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"A century of Australian song"

foto – roses in ulmarra dec 09

Yunus Emre (1238 – 1320). True Speech is the Fruit of Not Speaking True speech is the fruit of not speaking. Too much talking clouds the heart.



Gathutha konagia mundu njira

A little, contemptible path is sometimes the one that leads you to the highway.


sites 2c

foto – fruit in summer 09 ulmarra

in the distance on the verandah having said yes too many times and become loaded, i believe you, “all doors lead to busy rooms”, the darkness can roll in while you’re not looking. JILL JONES.

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Imagine, if you will, a hallway so long that it takes weeks to traverse. Imagine a labyrinth that rearranges itself in the dark, a maze of shifting walls and below freezing temperatures, whose staircases descend endlessly and whose windows open into the vacuum of non-existence. Pretty creepy, isn’t it?

Now imagine that this labyrinth is in your living room.

House of Leaves

The Reverend Seth Ethan Carey


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foto – hallway in  ulmarra

Sabır acıdır, meyvesi tatlıdır. Translation: Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. Turkish.



peaches? Beaches. A peach of a beach.
Gracetown in summer. A soft fur of heat
over bodies. The water, icy. Exploding
gently on legs as fruit in the mouth.
Sand the texture of peach stone: gritty,
rough. China, a memory refracted
through tropics: small fat god, white beard,
riding a deer. A Chinese Santa Claus.
In his hand, the fruit of which we speak:
everything peachy

Australia- Poetry International Web

foto – summer fruit in ulmarra dec 09

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.

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Look to this day,

The very life of life,

In its brief course lies all

The realities and varieties of existence,

The bliss of growth,

The splendour of action,

The glory of power.

For yesterday is but a dream,

And tomorrow is only a vision.

But today well lived,

Makes every yesterday

A dream of happiness

And every tomorrow

A vision of hope.

Look well, therefore,

To this day.

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Everyone is the child of her past. Edna G Rostow.


"I long to put the experience of fifty years at once into your young lives, to give you at once the key of that treasure chamber every gem of which has cost me tears and struggles and prayers, but you must work for these inward treasures yourself."

foto – lynne sanders maroubra 1950

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Cicadas can’t vibrate their wings when the humidity is very high, so may be silent when rain is approaching. Flying insects are more active when the air pressure drops and stay closer to the ground, so they seem to be swarming before a rain storm.

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"The fakir upon his bed of nails is happier than is that
Toughness of hide could blunt more ills,
Than can be dodged or fought,
The lesson is well taught.
And happiness, pivoted elate
On peace of mind, health, sleep,
Food kindered, good support like that
Knows to where wounds can creep
Or suddenly sink deep.

Robert D Fitzgerald.  “Glad World”

Pro 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

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The stick of warnings hurts. It punishes when you do not listen to warnings.

Swahili Proverbs

Center for African Studies
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


foto – iluka pelicans dec 09