Christmas is the time for songs and stories, prayers and poems, gifts and feasting and family time – and quotes. Almost since the Three Wise Men sighted the Christmas star, people have been finding memorable ways to share their observations and feelings. So, here are some of the very best quotations ever uttered about the holiday you're enjoying today.
"And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you this day is born in the City of Bethlehem, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men'.
"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
– Linus in "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
"Was there no end to this conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his Peacemaker?!"
– Ralphie, in "A Christmas Story"
"I believe. ... I believe. ... It's silly, but I believe."
– Susan Walker in "Miracle on 34th Street"
"One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."
– Andy Rooney
"Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas."
– Peg Bracken
"The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other."
– Johnny Carson
"There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child."
– Erma Bombeck
"Were I a philosopher, I should write a philosophy of toys, showing that nothing else in life need to be taken seriously, and that Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become entirely alive."
– Robert Lynd
"What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day."
– Phyllis Diller
"The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live."
– George Carlin
"A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together."
– Garrison Keillor
"Christmas is a bridge. We need bridges as the river of time flows past. Today's Christmas should mean creating happy hours for tomorrow and reliving those of yesterday."
– Gladys Tabor
"Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree."
– Charlotte Carpenter
"It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags! ... Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! 'Maybe Christmas,' he thought, 'doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, ... perhaps, ... means a little bit more!' "
– Dr. Seuss
"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups. Candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup."
– Buddy in "Elf"
"Ever since Eve gave Adam the apple, there has been a misunderstanding between the sexes about gifts."
– Nan Robertson
"I played Santa Claus many times, and if you don't believe it, check out the divorce settlements awarded my wives."
– Groucho Marx
"A truly appreciative child will break, lose, spoil or fondle to death any really successful gift within a matter of minutes."
– Russell Lynes
"Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny ----ing Kaye."
– Clark Griswold, in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"