Edgar Albert Guest

(20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England)

At Christmas - Poem by Edgar Albert Guest

A man is at his finest towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season's here;
Then he's thinking more of others than he's thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature than at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime.
When it's Christmas man is bigger and is better in his part;
He is keener for the service that is prompted by the heart.
All the petty thoughts and narrow seem to vanish for awhile
And the true reward he's seeking is the glory of a smile.
Then for others he is toiling and somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas he is almost what God wanted him to be.
If I had to paint a picture of a man I think I'd wait
Till he'd fought his selfish battles and had put aside his hate.
I'd not catch him at his labors when his thoughts are all of pelf,
On the long days and the dreary when he's striving for himself.
I'd not take him when he's sneering, when he's scornful or depressed,
But I'd look for him at Christmas when he's shining at his best.
Man is ever in a struggle and he's oft misunderstood;
There are days the worst that's in him is the master of the good,
But at Christmas kindness rules him and he puts himself aside
And his petty hates are vanquished and his heart is opened wide.
Oh, I don't know how to say it, but somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas man is almost what God sent him here to be.


Comments about At Christmas by Edgar Albert Guest

  • (12/17/2015 10:22:00 PM)

    When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime
    He is keener for the service that is prompted by the heart.
    The condition of man is
    Very beautifully narrated during the celebrations of Christmas. Thanks for sharing.10 + points.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Terry Craddock (12/17/2015 7:37:00 PM)

    If at Christmas he (man or humankind) is almost what God wanted him to be then why are wars and terrorism continuing during this time of year? This is similar to new year's resolutions, I do not wait until New Year to try to solve character errors or address issues needing resolutions, why wait until tomorrow to bestow happiness or blessings that can be given today.

    But I love and adore these lines

    'And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for.
    He is less a selfish creature than at any other time;
    When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime.'

    If only we could extend these sentiments over an entire year, this would indeed be sublime, but kindness and aid given to others as often as possible, whenever opportunity arises; is the true intention and blessing behind Christmas and the birth of Christ, which good kind hearted people apply always regardless of religious beliefs.

    The beauty of a family Christmas with the sentiments Edgar Albert Guest expresses, is the warm glow of love appreciation, given to family and friends alike, extended to strangers, the reality of colder Christmases alone; for the desperate poor less fortunate, Christmas can be one of the saddest times of the entire year to get through; I expressed this decades ago in a poem I wrote in January 1982 called 'State Of 20th Century Man' but perhaps better to not go there unless you want to remember and bless the less fortunate because the poem is based upon a real event and is a Christmas Day tear jerker.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Susan Williams (12/17/2015 2:29:00 PM)

    I hope sentimentality survives these crass years with their F* bombs and lack of respect because there is a yearning expressed here and it is for man to stand upright on his legs and act as powerful and kindly as God created him to be instead of whining and creeping about like a snake in the grass (Report)Reply

    18 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Aunty Septic (12/17/2015 11:00:00 AM)

    Edgar A. Guest has often been accused of being too trite and simple, but I think that here he hits the nail exactly on the head! (Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014



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