All is Calm, All is Bright: Enthusiasm

To be enthusiastic is to show “intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval.” In the original Greek, it mean to be inspired or possessed by a God and was used as an insult to describe excessive religious zeal. I’m glad it got taken over and adapted. Enthusiasm, and the quality of being enthusiastic, is something I very much enjoy. To be tepid or half-hearted about … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Enthusiasm

All is Calm, All is Bright: Wonder

Wonder. I think Wonder is the emotion that runs through Christmas the most for children. Everything about the season is designed to create wonder, both in a secular and religious sense. Imagine being a five-year-old and finding out the the magic of Santa… that he gives presents to all the boys and girls around the world, that he has flying reindeer, that he lives in … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Wonder

All is Calm, All is Bright: Serenity

Have you ever been in a situation where everything is going to pot, there’s not a blind thing you can do about it, and you might as well just accept the case? The grace that you accept that with, and the smoothness with which you face your fate is serenity. It is “the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.” Now, in my youth, serenity … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Serenity

All is Calm, All is Bright: Warmth

I think I can bear many things in life, like feeling hungry, having nothing to read, boredom or even losing connectivity on my 4g phone (hello O2!) but I cannot abide feeling cold. Not bitterly cold. Not that bone-chilling, been outside too long with the wrong clothing, my toes are no longer responding, my hands are chilled and I am shivering kind of cold. I … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Warmth

All is Calm, All is Bright: Contentment

Contentment: it’s a soft little word, and sometimes gets looked down on in the face of its bigger, brasher cousin Happiness. After all, contentment isn’t enshrined as a fundamental human right the same as the pursuit of happiness is. Yet, I love contentment all the more. I want to be content more than I want to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, the days that … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Contentment

All is Calm, All is Bright: Gifts

Is there any mess more glorious than the floor of a family home on Christmas Day morning? Andy Rooney, of whom I know nothing more than this quote, said it was “One of the most glorious messes in the world,” before adding, “Don’t clean it up too quickly.” Indeed, the paper displayed after every little gift has been opened, oohed and aahed over and placed … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Gifts

All is Calm, All is Bright: Sweetness

Christmas is the season for sweetness, in food at least. Could you imagine a season without mince pies, cake, cookies, candy canes, chocolates or any one of the hundred other sugar-filled treats that have become associated with Christmas? Even the Danes, a healthy bunch most of the year, celebrate Christmas with a marzipan pig and potatoes cooked in sugar (yes, seriously). Sweetness is a pleasurable … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Sweetness

All is Calm, All is Bright: Beauty

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Beauty is only skin deep. Beauty. It’s a peculiar word, and it means different things to different people. It’s quite possible to think of beauty just as a physical attribute, but I think real beauty in people is always more to do with their nature than their looks. The … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Beauty