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The Advent Calendar for Optimists 2020

"Christmas Day is the festival of optimism." (Helen Keller)

There's a new entry each day with a relevant quotable quote for optimists, a bible verse and an activity.  You may get your daily Advent reminder by email or whatsapp message or social media - email and let us know how you would like to receive it.  There's some beautiful Advent music in the ABC's program "For the God who Sings"

Day 4 of the Optimists' Advent: Wednesday 1 December 2021

Quotable Quotes

"To know the history of philosophy is to know that the highest thinkers of the ages, the seers of the tribes and the nations, have been optimists" 
Helen Keller, the blind and deaf author

Bible Reading

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

Bible Verses for Optimists and Optimism

Activity for Today: Ask a Friend or a Loved One "What makes you Optimistic?"

Ask someone you love and admire this question "What makes you Optimistic?"

Each time you do this, you will lift the person and yourself.

The chances are you are the first person to ask them that question.  Most people will pause and respond with a bright and happy answer.

Some will be confused and you may need to prompt them.  The definition of optimism is a belief that things will work out in the end.  Some people add "if it hasn't worked out, it's not the end."

If you have asked online, you can share some thought starters from "The Optimists on Optimism."

What about capturing it on video?  Or write down the answer.  Share your answer in our million voices of optimism project.

This is a brilliant regular exercise at any Board, Executive or Team Meeting. Much better than that tedious negative question "What's keeping you awake at night."  Other than loud noises, very few things keeps the optimist awake at night.

We don't think it's an every meeting practice - your underlying source of optimism shouldn't change so often; Quarterly or monthly to open a meeting is a very useful way of keeping team spirits up.

Optimists on their Optimism Kindness and Optimism Passion and Optimism

Christmas Recipe

Rosol or Rasols

From Victor Perton

In our family, we traditionally have served 12 cold fish dishes on Christmas Eve.  Rosols is a salad including herring.  It is common to the Baltic states and typically each family has its own variations.  There is a mix of textures and flavours in each forkful.

Central to the dish - potato, beetroot, herring and a mixture of mayonnaise, sour cream and mustard.  We generally mixed in some chopped roast veal.

After mixing to taste, it’s best to leave it in the fridge for several hours to let the flavours to seep through the dish.

Give it another mix and add sour cream or mayonnaise to taste if needed.  The colour of the salad when served should be red-purple from the beetroot.

  • 2-3 boiled beetroots (beets) or half a can of beetroot.
  • 3-4 boiled potatoes.  Boil unpeeled, peel after boiling and cube as in conventional potato salad.
  • 1 green apple chopped
  • 2 -3 pickled cucumbers chopped
  • Fresh cucumber chopped

  • 1 onion (chopped)

  • 200 grams marinated and/or salted herring fillet (sliced or chopped)

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs chopped

  • Some people add some boiled peas and some chopped boiled carrots, we don't.


1 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 teaspoons of mustard

  • Half teaspoon of horseradish

  • Salt and pepper



Chop and slice all ingredients and place in a good salad mixing bowl.

Mix Mayonnaise, Sour Cream and Mustard to Taste.  Should have a definite tang.  Mix in to the bowl and mix in gently - you don't want to mush up the potatoes.

Rest in fridge for several hours.

Stir before serving and garnish with something like fresh dill sprigs.

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. "

Rev Kenneth Padley

"Hope is optimism. Hope is certainty. And hope is engagement. That is why we hope with expectation of the future, trust in Christ, and patience in waiting. Christian hope is bigger and better than we can begin to conceive. But in Advent, the season of hope, we come close to catching a glimpse."

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."

St Michaels with St Marys in St Albans  The Advent Wreath on Tour 2020 at Prae Wood School

Fr Dave Austin osa

"Advent opens us to the ‘refreshment’ and ‘renewal’ of the Christmas celebration – two more ‘Christmas words’ perhaps, expressing God’s optimism for each of us in our human living and his gift of hopefulness that we so badly need. On this Gaudete Sunday, St Paul’s words from Philippians 4 should ring in our ears: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near.’"

William Willimon

"For some, Christ's [second] coming is terrifying. Old verities give way at his arrival. Those who make their living by the status quo do not rejoice when the status quo is threatened. Caesar trembles, empires topple, and the earth shakes. For those tied to the old age and its gods, its armies, its delusions of immortality, its false securities, the arrival of the Son of Man is bad news. `Apocalypse now,' cry the prophets of doom. Let us put away these prophets, close our eyes and speak optimistically of tomorrow. But those who have watched, who have heeded the signs, who have never made peace with the status quo, who have lived as if there were no tomorrow prick up their ears, straighten, stand on tiptoes. The Anointed One comes, their redemption is near and the world's doom becomes their deliverance".

Thomas Merton

"The certainty of Christian hope lies beyond passion and beyond knowledge. Therefore we must sometimes expect our hope to come in conflict with darkness, desperation and ignorance. Therefore, too, we must remember that Christian optimism is not a perpetual sense of euphoria, an indefectible comfort in whose presence neither anguish nor tragedy can possibly exist. We must not strive to maintain a climate of optimism by the mere suppression of tragic realities. Christian optimism lies in a hope of victory that transcends all tragedy: a victory in which we pass beyond tragedy to glory with Christ crucified and risen."

Monsignor Sabino Vengco Jr.

"Our present life is a matter of what is still to come. At no point is it everything already, nor is everything there. Our life is about birth, growth, and maturation; there is even fullness expected in the end of life, in death, into what is eternal. There are depths and dimensions in one’s life and in the world at large still to be discovered and explored, forces to be unlocked so that life can be brought to its full potential. Creation is in progress and its plenitude and completeness are waiting: an optimism that is an essential component of Christian faith."

ADVENT REFLECTIONS 2019 Notre Dame Catholic Church Kerrville, Texas

"God imbued us with some innate desire to look to the morning sun, to find optimism in the new leaf, and through it all to know that He loves us and will never abandon us."

The Very Reverend Dr James Rigney

"John the Baptist blends simple moral instruction on how to live in this climate of expectation, with words about the coming of the more powerful one. John is the route to Advent optimism."

Billy Graham, Evangelist 

"I am an optimist not because I blindly hope - all evidence to the contrary - that somehow everything will work out all right. Nor am I an optimist because I believe in man's unlimited ability to solve his problems. I am an optimist ultimately because I believe in God." 

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