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Friday, November 29, 2013

The Spirit Of Celebration

See In Celebration of the Spirit of Thanksgiving and the Advent Season...an excerpt from LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott at FreeThinke's blog.  Offers quite the contrast to the mania of Black Friday!

Of all the books that I read in my childhood and even into my teens, Little Women is my personal favorite. I read it over and over again to the point of wearing out more than one copy of this work of classic literature.

I'll never be as selfless as Marmee and Beth, however.


  1. My life has indeed been blessed. I have so much to be greatful for, however, I really do enjoy bitching. I wonder why that is?

    1. Because you live in the the 21st century. That means you have a LOT to bitch about. ;-)

      That's why I keep my head and my heart firmly fixed in the spirit of the late eighteenth and early-to-mid nineteenth centuries as shown in the literature and the music of those blessed times.

      To put it in the vulgar parlance of today:


      Do read the excerpt from Little Women. I think it might convince you I could be right.

    2. I do my fair share of complaining -- particularly online.

      However, offline I find balance and put aside the negativity. Most of the time.

      Lately, my "great escape" has been listening to audio books. Yes, some of those audio books are politically oriented. But not all of them. Not by a long shot. Right now, I'm listening to The Joy Luck Club, a novel that I read shortly after it was published. I do adore Amy Tan's writing.

    3. Selection of audio books is pretty extensive, AOW.

  2. Black Friday casualties seem to be down this year.

    1. Black Friday here in the D.C. area used to be a good time. Really. Festive. Hospitable. Strangers greeting each other with goodwill.

      That good time changed some years ago, but I can't pinpoint the date. Perhaps when the mega-malls became the rage?

      The last time that I really did any shopping was between 1983 and 1986.. I recall the very rainy day and all the traffic jams -- and my having to go from mall to mall in search of a new jewelry box for my mother. She died in 1987 and enjoyed that jewelry box for only a few short years.

      Now I freely admit that I do the vast majority of my shopping online. In fact, yesterday and this morning, I ordered all the online items for direct delivery to recipients' homes.

  3. Thanks for the "plug," AOW.

    I wish all parents would take the charming excerpt, and read it aloud to their children.

    Little Women, as you know, is largely autobiographical. It was written about a mother left alone to raise her daughters while her husband must be away risking his life and health fighting the War Between the States.

    The Alcotts were hardly well off, and had to use their imagination and powers of determination to make up for what they might have been lacking in material comforts and advantages.

    We must remember too they lived in New England in a large, rather draughty old house with no central heating, no hot water running in the taps, no telephone, no radio, no movies, no television, no computers, no automobiles, no supermarkets, and no men in the household to protect them and help do the heavy lifting.

    I suppose there was a doctor in town, but his skills would have been very primitive by our standards today.

    These dear people had only each other and a few friends and neighbors to rely on for company, comfort, aid, and cheer.

    Even so, their instincts were to share whatever they had with those far less fortunate, as the story relates.

    I don't think Miss Alcott ever makes specific references to Jesus Christ, but the book is intensely Christian in spirit.

    In so many ways the March family was far better off than most modern American families. They were far more in touch with the great power of Mind, Soul, Spirit and the vital importance of Principle than most are today. As a result, assuming the book is an honest reflection of family life in that time and place, they were much happier, much more loving, much more thankful for the good things they did have -- and much better able to deal with adversity -- than we are today.

    Do I wish we could go literally go back to the mid-nineteenth century?

    Of course not, but because we have access to good Literature, Art, Music, and a broader knowledge of History, we SHOULD be able to take what was BEST about earlier times and make it work for us today, by keeping such awareness alive in our hearts and doing our best to live by the timeless wisdom and benevolence of eternal Truth and Love.

    As we approach Christmas, we should make every effort to remember that "it is more blessed to give than to receive."

  4. We can always depend Ducky to do his best to change the subject and drive the thread off in an irrelevant direction, can't we?

    God forbid he should ever give approval or commendation to anything that presents a positive view of traditional concepts of American family life.

    In his way of looking at life anything so sweet-natured and heartwarming couldn't possibly be anything but a lie.

    -------------------------> Katharine Heartburn


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