Linus, St. Francis and the Sages of Christmas

When “A Charlie Brown Christmas” aired for the first time, network execs sat in New York City worried that no one would understand it, that the show would flop, and that their Christmas television special would bomb. As the switchboard lit up (who are the people that call networks, anyway?), they realized they had something big on their hands. The show was cute and touching, and the way Linus’s monologue inspired Charlie and the kids to grasp “what Christmas is all about” might be one of the greatest moments in television history.

The holidays can also be a tough time. When things aren’t going well, or in a time of personal sadness, it’s easy to feel isolated in a crowd of merrymakers. Sometimes the new year comes not with ring, but with a sigh of resignation.

So much has been said about the holidays and the new year, we thought it might be fun to pick out a few favorites. Here they are.


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

“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”
— Peg Bracken

“Christmas is a necessity.  There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.”
— Eric Sevareid


“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.”
— Andy Rooney


“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”
— Roy L. Smith


And a few quotes from other faiths:

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
— Anne Frank


“We light candles in testament that faith makes miracles possible.”
— Nachum Braverman


“A candle is a small thing. But one candle can light another. And see how its own light increases, as a candle gives its flame to the other. You are such a light.”
— Moshe Davis and Victor Ratner


It’s hard to pinpoint an exact date when Christmas morphed into its current preoccupation with gifts—when it became a season to be jolly for everyone instead of a feast for the faithful. And while “the season” might have different meanings to different people, the idea of peace as a universal idea is linked at this time of year with the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

It’s with this in mind that we share a staff favorite for the holiday and the year to come—even though it’s not really Christmassy, the Prayer of Saint Francis.


Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is error, truth;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

And where there is sadness, joy.


Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console;

To be understood as to understand;

To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


— Wishing all of you peace and safety in the coming year,

Jennifer, Tara, Jen, Leslie, Aundrea, and David