The Three Benchmarks of Christmas

Christmas

I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” 
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Christmas Eve brings together all the magic of the holiday season.  The last minute shopping completed, we ready our hearts for the special day anticipated since the beginning of December.  All the plans have been made, the gifts wrapped and the baking completed.

And then the day comes…

Christmas has a number of benchmarks that have a subtle influence over all of our holiday activities, even though most of us do not recognize them as self-imposed standards of excellence. We compare our abilities to give gifts to our children.  We determine who can make the best eggnog, send the most Christmas cards; even who has the greatest number of guests seated at the dinner table.  We exchange Christmas letters that confirm that we have been blessed over the past year.  Looking beyond individual endeavors,  even the markets of the world calculate the effect of Christmas purchases on stock prices – toys, electronics, and clothes. Charitable organizations measure the amount of homeless that need to be fed and housed over Christmas.  One day creates a generous amount of statistics.

And then the day comes…

Why is Christmas so extraordinary?  Gifts are given at birthdays; love is celebrated on Valentine’s Day, rebirth at the Vernal Equinox.  Perhaps it is because Christmas gives us three benchmarks that speak to the longing of all humanity.   They are found in all traditions and have been embraced throughout history.  These standards of excellence are set so high that only a global community can achieve them….collectively.

Joy to the World – for all creatures that live on our earth

Peace on Earth – for all of our wondrously diverse cultures and traditions.

Goodwill to mankind – for all to accept our responsibility to others; to cooperate, respect and participate.

As we celebrate Christmas, may we be guided by these benchmarks throughout the coming year.  By our resolve to be a positive influence for good, we become the gift that keeps on giving.

And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!” 
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

 

104 thoughts on “The Three Benchmarks of Christmas

    • You have just given me the very best Christmas present – seeing your comments!!! Thank you so much for your visit and making my Christmas complete. I was wondering how I could wish you a Merry Merry Christmas. And now, here you are!! All the very best of the season to you and yours. We all miss you!

      Like

    • Thank you so much for your comments – I truly appreciate your honestly and cherish your visits.

      For many, Christmas and New Years can be a sad time, especially when there has been a recent loss or when families are separated by distance. Others live in areas of conflict or suffer for lack of food. Still others are facing a life threatening illness. To me, Christmas is much more than tinsel, presents, or fine food. It is about connection within community. It is not a time or season, but a deep desire to hold goodwill and hope within our hearts.

      Like

    • Thank you so much!!! They are indeed high benchmarks and trying is the best all we can do!! Yet, it seems that you have a clear understanding of how to implement them. Every time that I stop by for a visit at your place, there is joy of community. All the very best – looking forward to our ongoing journey…there is always an adventure!!!

      Like

  1. I wonder if Christmas has evolved into both a religious and secular holiday. The religious one as a focus based on the faith of the observer. The secular one looks at the common threads that you mentioned. Personally i can’t see why hope can’t coexist … after all (and at least to me) the three secular benchmarks not only exist in Christianity, it also in the major religions of the world.

    Good post Clan … and I hope you have a joyous day with your loved ones.

    Like

    • Well said!! I agree wholeheartedly – they can and do coexist. There are certain qualities that are clearly embedded into every tradition, whether religious or non-religious – love, respect, peace, mercy, joy. No one has the monopoly on these standards, especially since they are generated by our individual desire to embrace them as our own. Thank you for sharing your thoughts – I very much appreciate your visits.

      Like

  2. Hope you had a Merry Christmas! It seems the joy continues for the days after as well and I hope we’re all able to bring that Christmas spirit with us for the months to come as well. A beautiful post!

    Like

    • I love when you visit!! You always give a lift to my day. As Tolkien said: “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” I have had a lot of food, cheer and song these last days. So starting tomorrow I will be doing a lot of singing and cheering, but a little less food!!! Looking forward to our adventures that are waiting for us in 2013…

      Like

    • I am giving you a big hug!!! So glad that we connected over the blogger miles!! We are going to have the best of times in 2013 (sounds like a good beginning for a novel)….I have already packed my bags for the journey ahead…Love you too!!!

      Like

    • Thank you so much for your warm and encouraging comments. Over the past year I have been giving ‘benchmarks’ a considerable amount of thought. They seem to be embedded in our DNA. When I look back, I sometimes forgot what was important. We need each other to help us remember!! Thank you for your visit – it is much appreciated!!!

      Like

    • My dear friend!!! I am honoured and delighted that you nominated me for this prestigious award. But I am even more grateful that we have connected and are on a journey of discovery….who knows what will be around the next corner…

      Like

    • You know what I like most about visiting your blog. You are always into something exciting. I can see you tear the wrapping paper off your gifts and surround yourself with the ribbons and cards and cookies etc. You know what I do? I collect the wrapping paper just as soon as someone opens a present. Then I put the ribbons in order and place the cards in another stack to use next year… Everyone groans when I come in with my recycling container. I’m the “clean-up” elf… Thanks for stopping by – you always make me smile…

      Like

    • Thank you so much for your encouraging comments. You were the inspiration on my “benchmark” series. Over the past year, I had been thinking about our measurement systems and one of your comments inspired me to dig a little deeper into the topic! Stay tuned…more to come!! Looking forward to our continued dialogue in 2013.

      Like

  3. As always you are a treasure, who reminds us to look within to find all that is holy. My apologies, I thought I was following you, and went into to my reader where you were not. Problem now corrected. I am so happy we have discovered each others gifts. May they continue in abundance and extend to the far reaches of earth and beyond. much love. blessed and bright.

    Like

    • How wonderful to have you stop by. Your visits and comments are so very much appreciated. I have been having some issues with the reader. Sometimes when I “like” a post, I accidentally “unfollow” the blog. I am learning as I go along!!! Happy New Year, my dear friend…

      Like

    • Happy New Year!! So glad that we have met over the “blogger miles.” Your visits and comments are very much appreciated. Looking forward to our blogging adventures of 2013!!!!

      Like

    • Thank you so much for your nomination! I am honoured and delighted! I am even more excited that we connected over the blogger miles and that that we are on a blogging adventure…together!! Happy New Year!!!

      Like

  4. I can’t believe I missed this post! I love these benchmarks… wonderful 🙂 The true spirit of Christmas has nothing to do with commercialism and everything to do with hope, kindness, warmth and compassion. x

    Like

    • Dragul meu prieten, vă mulțumesc foarte mult pentru mesajul tău de încălzire Anul Nou inima. Sunt atât de bucuros că am legat de-a lungul “blogger” mila. Ai un blog uimitor, care continuă să fie o influență pozitivă pentru totdeauna. Aștept cu nerăbdare să continue dialogul nostru în 2013 …

      Like

  5. Wow such an amazing post on Christmas, not sure how come I missed it. Hope you a had a great Christmas. Better late than never. Wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New year!! You are a great person with an inspiring writing skills. I absolutely love your blog.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness! I am honoured and delighted that you nominated my blog! And I am even more excited that I will be following your blog in 2013!!!

      Like

  6. I am sending you thoughts of joy and freedom for the New Year. My only thoughts on your post are these: we don’t give gifts for Christmas any longer, except to the wee children, as we believe being “present” for our loved ones is our gift… I will be seeing you around this year and as ever… have a wonderful year!!!! 🙂 P

    Like

    • What a wonderful surprise!!! Thank you so much for your visit and comments. I agree wholeheartedly with the Christmas gifts. We have adopted the same thought – the gift of Christmas is the joy of friendship and fellowship. I have a feeling that more and more are coming to that profound conclusion…Happy New Year!!!

      Like

    • Vă mulțumim! Vă mulțumim! Vă mulțumim! Am invatat atat de mult de la tine in acest an. Ai un talent uimitor creativ. Mă bucur că sunteți le împarte cu lumea. Aștept cu nerăbdare să aventura noastră onoing. Am putea trăi pe părți diferite ale lumii, dar suntem pe aceeasi calatorie. Ce cadou minunat.

      Like

  7. Let this New Year be the one, where all your dreams come true, so with a joyful heart, put a start to this year anew. Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year 2013.

    Like

    • My dear friend, thank you for your New Years blessing. I am grateful that we connected in 2012 and I look forward, with joyful anticipation, to the journey ahead. We may live on opposite sides of the globe, yet we walk side by side. The best of the New Year to you and yours…I am celebrating!!!

      Like

    • You are absolutely right!!! Charles Dickens was extraordinary and continues to inspire generations that have come long after his. Truth, justice, compassion are universal and unchangeable by time. Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit. Your comments are very much appreciated. Happy New Year!

      Like

  8. Your blog is so fantastic, I just love it. I was the recipient of the Very Inspiring Blogger award and I am repaying that kindness by nominating yours! Just go to my newest post and save and upload your award. You’ll see from my post what to do. Keep up the great work!

    Like

    • I am playing catch up too! I am sitting in Starbucks with a fresh coffee and my iPad and having fun reading. Thank you so much for your heartwarming comments. You gave a lift to my day. By the way, I am working on Google+.

      Like

    • Thank you, Kate, for your visit and heartwarming comments! Glad that we connected…at the beginning of the year so that we can share the journey from the start.

      Like

    • Cindy! I am trying to figure out how to use the reader. I am missing some wonderful posts. So I am going to look through the WP tutorials to see if there is a better way of following via email. What I like best about life is our potential for learning. I am learning so much as I go along. Glad that we are in this together…

      Like

  9. This is a wonderful post. I’m just now back from Christmas in Kansas and reading all the beautiful Christmas and New Year posts, and this one is truly lovely. Excellent reminders of the season.

    Like

      • Maybe we are more like Hobbits than we know? (Although I canèt believe I said that!) Sorry about they typos – my hubby bought a bilingual keyboard and I donèt know how to manipulae the keys to return to normal.

        Like

      • I have always wanted to be a hobbit! As J.R.R. Tolkien once said: “I am in fact a Hobbit in all but size. I like gardens, trees, and unmechanized farmlands.” BTW, check the bottom right hand side of the computer screen. On my computer there appears to be a button that looks like a small keyboard. Press it and there is a choice of language setting. In Canada we have both the French and English keyboards so I have the same problem. Thank you for your visit and comments!

        Like

  10. Your visit to my blog is like a Christmas gift to me for the celebration of Christmas throughout the year! A big THANK, and a big SMILE =) to you!
    kc

    Like

Comments are closed.