Christmas Eve with GKC

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In the round of our rational and mournful year one festival remains out of all those ancient gaieties that once covered the whole earth. Christmas remains to remind us of those ages, whether Pagan or Christian, when the many acted poetry instead of the few writing it. “Christmas and the Aesthetes,” Heretics

Christmas [is] the old European festival, Pagan and Christian, that trinity of eating, drinking and praying which to moderns appears irreverent, the holy day which is really a holiday. “Dickens and Christmas,” Charles Dickens

If you do not like what is sentimental and ceremonial, do not celebrate Christmas at all. You will not be punished if you don’t; also, since we are no longer ruled by those sturdy Puritans who won for us civil and religious liberty, you will not even be punished if you do. Illustrated London News, Jan. 12, 1907

When Bernard Shaw says that Christmas Day is only a conspiracy kept up by poulterers and wine merchants from strictly business motives, then he says something which is not so much false as startlingly and arrestingly foolish. He might as well say that the two sexes were invented by jewellers who wanted to sell wedding-rings. “The Dramatist,” George Bernard Shaw

Everything that is really lovable can be hated; and there are undoubtedly people who hate Christmas. Illustrated London News, Jan. 13, 1906

Christmas occurs in the winter. It is the element not merely of contrast, but actually of antagonism. It preserves everything that was best in the merely primitive or pagan view of such ceremonies or such banquets. If we are carousing, at least we are warriors carousing. We hang above us, as it were, the shields and battle-axes with which we must do battle with the giants of the snow and hail. All comfort must be based on discomfort. Man chooses when he wishes to be most joyful the very moment when the whole material universe is most sad. It is this contradiction and mystical defiance which gives a quality of manliness and reality to the old winter feasts which is not characteristic of the sunny felicities of the Earthly Paradise. “Christmas Books,” Appreciations

Courtesy of the American Chesterton Society.