Turning Flaws Into Assets Sunday, Dec 14 2014 

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose, and that nose helped make him the reindeer we’ve grown to know and love.

The children’s tale of a reindeer with a glowing, red nose was written by Robert L. May for Montgomery Ward. May’s Rudolph is much like he believed himself to be, an outcast who didn’t fit in with the rest of the crowd. Rudolph’s bright, red nose made him the brunt of bullying and excluded him from reindeer games. But in the end, it is that nose that saved the day when Santa needs him to lead the way.

The famous story was written for commercial purposes in 1939. The long-time department store of Montgomery Ward gave away coloring books every year for Christmas. To save money, May was hired to write a story they could use in one of these books and publish themselves. More than 2.5 million copies were distributed that first year alone.

The story became even more popular when May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, adapted the story into song. Gene Autry’s recording of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer hit the radios in 1949 and was the second best-selling record of all time until the 1980s.

Montgomery Ward turned over the story’s copyright to May in 1947, ensuring him financial security.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

Christmas Blessing Monday, Dec 23 2013 

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My friend and mentor, Sister Alexa Suelzer, included a quote by St John Henry Newman in her Christmas card to me. The message is the closing of the saint’s sermon, “The Mystery of Godliness.” It is a perfect wish, a prayer, actually a goal to strive for particularly in this season of hope.

Sister wished that the message be true for me and my loved ones. I am passing it on to you. Whatever faith you practice, may this be your season of peace, hope, and happiness.

***

Excerpt from John Henry Newman’s sermon, “The Mystery of Godliness.”

“May each Christmas, as it comes, find us more and more like Him, who as at this time became a little child for our sake, more simple-minded, more humble, more holy, more affectionate, more resigned, more happy, more full of God.”

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

Peace on Earth Goodwill Toward All Sunday, Dec 23 2012 

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Christmas is a joyous season for Christians. We believe in the incredible miracle of God incarnated in the human form of Jesus. And with the presence of Christ, the Anointed One, comes a promise of hope, peace, and light.

The Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi gives us an outline how this gift of peace may be maintained. It is a selfless list of actions that places the other’s needs before our own. We ask the Lord to make us an instrument of peace, which means that we are accepting the work and responsibility involved.

Peace in our hearts, homes, families, work, and the world at large can only occur if we all do our part to promote it. Whatever your beliefs, I ask my Lord and Savior for your peace as well as my own.

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

©Mary K. Doyle

Deck the Halls Monday, Nov 26 2012 

Every year since 1974 I place my oldest and most expensive ornament at the top of the Christmas tree. The ornament has survived dozens of curious children and our cat, Tinkerbell, who thought the tree should be nestled under and climbed. This year I watched the beautiful Hummel slip from my hands and shatter on the floor. I feel badly about the loss but know that for everything there is a season, and I guess that ornament’s season has ended.

As much as I loved the ornament, it certainly was not my most valuable one. Our tree is decorated with the story of our lives. Many ornaments were handmade by my mother, me, and my adult children when they were little. We have ornaments from our travels, special events, and other friends and family as well as my parents’ favorites. We also have objects like baby booties, rattles, and TV Magic Cards from memorable moments in time.

The holidays are most meaningful when marked with tradition. The music or movie played while decorating, the foods enjoyed throughout the season, and the placement of special decorations mark our holidays and the years.

Please tell me what makes your season special. I’d love to hear from you.

©Mary K. Doyle

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