Advent Calendar for Optimists: Day 4
What is Advent? Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year in Christianity and is observed in most Christian denominations as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at Christmas. Christmas is a celebration of optimism, faith and hope. Advent is the time of waiting and preparation for Christmas. It is a perfect time to spread optimism around you and restore your own optimism. As Helen Keller wrote, "Christmas Day is the festival of optimism.”
Helen Keller, the blind and deaf author
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."
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."
Activity for Today: Ask a Friend, "What makes you Optimistic?"
Ask someone you love and admire: "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.
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." Besides loud noises, very few things awake the optimist 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 open a meeting with this question is a very useful way of keeping team spirits up.
Rosol or Rasols
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.
2022 Christmas Movie
Falling For Christmas with Lindsay Lohan on Netflix: 96.5 comments, "Easy Escapism and Optimism in Hard Times" - In a time where real life has been hard, a story in a fairly predictable manner could be just the comfort you need to watch this Christmas."
More Quotable Quotes for Advent
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. "
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.’"
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."
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."
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."
Rev Jack Stroman: "On this first Sunday of Advent there is a new sense of hope, optimism, joy and love being unleashed upon us. There is a feeling of great expectation that something significant is about to happen as we sing together that great opening hymn of Advent:
“O Come thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, and let us find our rest in thee”
Holy Family of Bordeaux: "This first Sunday of Advent speaks the language of hope. Advent forces us to face that serious question: what are we to do about our hopes, ideals and plans? We need Advent in order to be guided by Church prayer and biblical readings. Advent can restore the optimism, vitality and innocent joy of youthful hope. It may be that God will use our sacrifices to shower blessings in another part of the world that we will never visit."
Pastor Peter Ryan, First and Christ United Methodist Churches: "Today, our Advent “word” is hope. What is hope? To me, the word represents that which we long for. It’s a word of optimism. A word that says that while we may not be living in the best of circumstances right now, we believe in a better future. Somehow things will change. There will be a turnaround. Things will be set to right."
Helen Keller: "Christmas Day is the festival of optimism."
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."
Jingle Bell Rock by Lindsay Lohan in the Netflix Film "Falling For Christmas"