Chesterton on Christmas

December 16, 2010

Based on the number of times he wrote about it, I believe that Christmas was Chesterton’s favourite festival. This week at The Hebdomadal Chesterton I have posted a passage that is one of his best on the theme. He writes about the special character of the Christmas story:

The truth is that there is a quite peculiar and individual character about the hold of this story on human nature; it is not in its psychological substance at all like a mere legend or the life of a great man. It does not exactly in the ordinary sense turn our minds to greatness; to those extensions and exaggerations of humanity which are turned into gods and heroes, even by the healthiest sort of hero-worship. It does not exactly work outwards, adventurously, to the wonders to be found at the ends of the earth.  It is rather something that surprises us from behind, from the hidden and personal part of our being; like that which can some times take us off our guard in the pathos of small objects or the blind pieties of the poor. It is rather as if a man had found an inner room in the very heart of his own house, which he had never suspected; and seen a light from within.

If you wish, you may read the whole thing.

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