Keeping Christmas

Keeping Christmas

by Henry Van Dyke

The 2.5-minute read below was originally published in 1905 by Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, it’s an inspiring reminder to make that holiday spirit an all-the-time thing.

We revised a couple of words from men to people and the Bethlehem time reference from nineteen hundred years to two thousand years. We also broke up the paragraphs a bit differently.

Imagine if we all made this a weekly read.

If you like it, please be sure to share it with others!


It is a good thing to observe Christmas day. The mere marking of times and seasons, when people agree to stop work and make merry together, is a wise and wholesome custom. It helps one to feel the supremacy of the common life over the individual life. It reminds a man to set his own little watch, now and then, by the great clock of humanity which runs on sun time.

But there is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas.

Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you?

To ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellow-people are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness – are you willing to do these things even for a day?

Then you can keep Christmas.





Accountability is THE difference between a pretty good company and a company that is WORLD CLASS.

Here are the top 5 reasons why accountability doesn’t work- and why it’s all bullshit.  These are all things real people have really said to me in the last 3 months.

#1.  I don’t want to get someone in trouble. (Similar to: I don’t want anyone mad at me.)

Seriously, are we in 8th grade?  I don’t see anyone “getting in trouble” around here.  We are professionals looking to improve.  You can’t feel you are getting anyone in trouble- because you aren’t- you are just looking to improve Drexel, the way you work, or the way another great teammate works.  Don’t worry… store leaders CAN NOT, WILL NOT operate in a way that it will be a blame game, for them it’s a coaching lesson, not a time “get a detention.”  We can’t have BULLIES at work, that blow off corrections, they must also listen and learn and be better for it..  If  you do have someone bullying you, get your store leader involved.  AND LASTLY, NARKING ENDING IN HIGH SCHOOL- GET OVER IT.

#2. It’s not that big of deal.

If it’s not that big of deal, then why aren’t you holding that person accountable for a little detail?  Improvements often come in the smallest gold nuggets of information.  Little details also have ripple effects.  Meaning:  Often a little thing not done right, speaks to a bigger problem.  When you clean a room if you focus on the corners… the rest of the room will be cleaned!

#3. That’s not my job to speak up.

Well if you are waiting for your coach, leader, store leader, downtown person, or gulp, me, to figure out how to hold someone accountable that we don’t work with as closely with as you, you must REALLY think we are amazing people.  I barely know what’s going on IN MY OFFICE… how would I begin to know what is going on in yours?   I am telling you we are good, but not that good.  We can’t know what people are doing right, and wrong, and the corrections that need to be made, on a daily basis, we are just aren’t as close to it as you are.  We don’t do your job.  Only you do.   ONLY you can make the situation better.

#4. My job is to help people.  So that’s what I do.

There is a fine line in helping someone or ENABLING someone.  You know where the line is.  You know who and what you are ENABLING.  ENABLERS are almost as bad as addicts aren’t they?   Simply meet with the person you and are enabling (and your store leader if necessary) and say, hey, sorry bro, but I am not enabling you anymore.  It’s not fair to you, me, the team, and your client.  So let’s not do that anymore.  Cool?  You do YOUR job so I can do MINE.

#5.  I know it’s not right- but it’s just the way it is around here.

Nice.  Don’t fix it.  Give up.  Punt.  Seriously, I know we are better than this.  DON’T GIVE UP GETTING BETTER.  1% continual improvement means just that, continually improving.  Every team member must live that way.  Don’t accept what’s just ok, for what WILL BE AMAZING.  Strive for perfection, even though we know it’s not attainable.

PEOPLE, do you want to be held accountable for excellence?  I think we all would say “YES, please tell me if I am doing something wrong so I can correct my issues.”

You know when you have that thing in your teeth and only your best friend tells you, you have a thing in your teeth, and how HAPPY you are they told you!   Same with accountability!

People will be THANKFUL you told them that some of their issues need to be addressed.   Especially when you do it with a sincere tone.

If you are not properly pumped up yet listen to Kyle Williams from the Buffalo Bills explain it:





— – Joel Fleischman. Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply. (drexelteam). You can follow him on twitter: @JoelmFleischman. Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness. I hope this little post did just that.




It’s hard enough to compete against the competition you don’t want to compete against yourself as well. Team unity is key.

– as posted by Jon Gordon

* t e a m *


– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness.  I hope this little post did just that.