Keeping Christmas | Henry Van Dyke

It is a good thing to observe Christmas, but it is even better to keep Christmas … – Henry Van Dyke

It’s Christmas time. Lights, shopping, trees filled with tiny twinkling treasures. I hope you and yours are enjoying the season. To celebrate, I wanted to jump in with one of my favorite stories by one of my favorite authors.

Henry Jackson Van Dyke Jr. was an American author, educator, diplomat, and clergyman. He was born on November 10, 1852, in Germantown, Pennsylvania to a strict Presbyterian family of Dutch origin. He graduated from Princeton University and went on to become a professor of English Literature for over twenty years. He entered Princeton Theological Seminary in September 1874 (with no actual desire to become a minister); however, in 1875 at Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, he gave his first sermon on “The Voice of God.” Interestingly enough, he penned the lyrics to Beethoven’s famous “Ode to Joy” melody and it became the beloved hymn, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.” 

Van Dyke also wrote a short sermon entitled, “The Spirit of Christmas” which is beautiful, timely and I’m sharing it here with you today.

It inspired Peter Marshall who wrote Let’s Keep Christmas. This charming book is one that I am constantly on hunt for at estate sales. And I just happen to have a few copies in my shop. Take a look here.