Christmas Memories

Natural fruit and greens wreath

Natural fruit and greens wreath

While preparing our house for the holidays I’ve been having Christmas memories about gifts my mother made for her friends when we were kids. My mother was an artist and majored in art history. After college she worked for Shell Oil as a graphic artist until she had all these kids that needed her at home. Even then she continued with her painting and did calligraphy. One year she prepared an illuminated version of the poem, Desiderata, that was trending at the time. I was thinking about that today and found the text on the internet. I thought you might like it as much as I do. So from my past with best wishes for your holiday peace, here it is…(unfortunately, without my mother’s original artwork and calligraphy.)

Christmas greeting illuminated

Christmas greeting illuminated


“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Written by Max Ehrmann, 1927  Now in the public domain, no longer protected by copyright. 

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