Advent Calendar for Optimists: Christmas Eve 2020
Quotable Quotes for Advent Optimism
St. John Henry Newman
"All our human feelings are soothed by Christmas"
Rev. Dr. J. Barrington Bates
"Jesus showed an unquenchable, confident optimism—even in seemingly dire situations. And he commanded us not to fear, but live in hope."
His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of the London Greek Orthodox Archdiocese
"As we approach the Great Feast of Christmas, also known as the nativity, the birth of Jesus Christ and the new year as well, I offer to our community and to the world of large, to each and every person, that which the church gives the message of hope. Let us look at the Great Feast of Christmas and celebrate. Some will be from a distance, others will be in the church. Some will be across the seas. No matter where you are, celebrate and rejoice for the message in the church is that Christ is born and give glory or glorify him. But, let us also look to the new year with hope and optimism. Solutions are being found to the problems, including those of the COVID-19 virus. Let us be hopeful that we'll return to the normal pace of life. Let smiles replace the frowns. Let laughter replaced the sorrow. Let joy come into the hearts of all people."
"This year you might be experiencing Christmas time through the lens of the well known carol experience. Bright-eyed children reenacting the birth of Jesus in a stable with sweet smelling fresh hay for a bed. Full of hope and joy. Or you might be experiencing it more like Mary did. Dark. Smelly. Messy and uncertain. Both experiences are real and both are shared. It’s in the honesty of recognising the weariness, the shared discomfort and pain that we are also able to share hope. Hope of change. Hope of community. Hope that we can stand alongside one another and offer love and grace. We might not see it in all it’s glory but we know that there is a hope coming. A hope that we can all take part in. A hope that connects and unites us with our own humanity. A hope that offers a way for us to connect and bring light to the world."
Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles
"Above all, let us try to make Christ present in the hearts and lives of others. Yes, we have to be, each one of us has to be a source of hope and optimism for other people. What a beautiful Advent and what a beautiful Christmas we will have if we really have the joy of knowing that we are disciples of Jesus Christ who came to save us and to make us happy. "
Archbishop Allen Vigneron
"We have confidence God is with us, he'll give us strength, he'll reinforce our optimism and turn it into hope."
"My message is that even in the trial there can be a grace, perhaps the grace of new bonds, the grace of finding a new way to connect with people. God's with us and he's never going away again,"
Luke 2:1-7 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
"We Need a Little Christmas"
"The Christmas Chronicles"
Recipe for Today: Fudge
by Amanda Noz and well-tested
Ingredients: 125g milk, 625g sugar, 125g butter, 1 tablespoon of cocoa, i tsp vanilla essence and chopped nuts (optional)
Method: Boil milk and sugar together until sugar dissolves. Add butter and cocoa and boil for 20 mins until a firm ball forms when dropped in cold water. Add vanilla and nuts and beat until thick.
Pour into a foil lined tin and when set, cut into squares.
Makes a lovely Christmas gift.
Activity for Today: Try "The Habits of an Optimist"
The "Habits of the Optimist" is one of the most popular part of our workshops on Optimism and Optimistic Leadership.
Through a magic animation, it's now an online course and available for free. It can take between 50 minutes and 50 years to complete.
Another Activity: Advent Candle Meditation
Pauline McKinnon, Stillness Meditation Therapy Centre
Christmas is here again, a time to be together, rejoicing in this time of community celebration. Traditionally, Advent Candles are lit in sequence in the weeks prior to Christmas Day, symbolising hope, love, joy and peace. As the origin of Christmas teaches simply, profoundly and beautifully the hope of peace and goodwill to all, Christmas will undoubtedly be a time of great celebration in 2020.
What a great idea it might be to light your own reflective candle and sit with it quietly as a reminder of the message within those beautiful ideals. And as candles symbolise light within darkness, this time can also be a powerful reminder that, most importantly, darkness of any kind is necessary in life if we are gently and gradually enabled to find the joy of healing light.
Optimistic Plants and Flowers for 2021
The Sunflower. The Red Maranta Prayer Plant
"I have always loved sunflowers. My mother-in-law used to give each of us a seed to care for each year to see who could grow the tallest sunflower. Every day we each tended our precious gift, excited and hopeful. Our focus was always rewarded as the flower burst through the shell and stretched ever closer to the sun, first smiling up at us and then smiling down on us as it grew. Our sunflowers served as a reminder of the value of care and the gift of hope and the joy of basking in the smiling and brightly shining sun.
"I have sunflowers all around my home and they always make me smile."
Rising Orange - 2021 Sensient Color of the Year
As you know, The Centre for Optimism's colours are the optimistic oranges and yellow. We're delighted to see Sensient Colors 2021 Color of the Year will be “Rising Orange”, which "takes refuge in nature and symbolizes the shade of a new day, weathered by the past, but optimistically rising bright for restoration."