It’s been a tough year, but the future is still bright… And yes, as the most reprinted editorial in history says, Santa Claus live on!
The post Merry Christmas, and here’s to a brighter 2021… appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –
It’s become something of a tradition for me to share a ‘Foolish Christmas Carol’ in this space around this time each year.
Yes, it’s corny. But also heartfelt and hopefully a little fun. And frankly, I’ve never been cool, so there’s little credibility left to lose, on that score!
I generally take the words of a well-known Christmas song, add a little investing wisdom, and use it as an opportunity to say thank you to our readers and members. We know there are a plethora of investing resources out there, and we appreciate your interest and trust. It’s a trust we hold with no little weight.
So, in keeping with that tradition, I will do the same this year.
But also, this year, something a little extra.
2020 has been a helluva year. Some people will finish it in better shape than they started, having kept their jobs and their health, and having perhaps saved and made a few bob along the way.
But many of us will be glad to see the end of 2020. It’s been challenging on a lot of fronts: health, finances and emotional wellbeing. Fires, droughts, floods, and yes, bloody coronavirus. If you’re worn out, and have had enough, I hope the New Year lets you turn a new page.
A reminder, too, that things tend to get better, over time. No, not in a straight line. And not for everyone, all the time. But we make progress. The future will, I believe, be better than the past (and in no small part because of people like you and me who continually strive for ‘better’ in all walks of life).
So, this year, before my ‘carol’, I want to share something, unadulterated. It’s something I hope you’ve read before. It’s something I try to read, slowly and deliberately, every year. But this year, I think we all need the pick-me-up.
For me, it’s an antidote to frustration. To exhaustion. To pessimism. For the times when life just gets too heavy.
It’s an answer to a letter, written by an 8 year old girl in 1897, to the editor of The Sun, a prominent New York newspaper.
Her name was Virginia O’Hanlon.
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?”
115 West Ninety Fifth Street
The reply, written by Francis P Church, became the most reprinted editorial in history. Enjoy:
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
I’m not ashamed to admit to getting a little misty-eyed re-reading that, even if I’ve read it scores of times before.
Now, to our Christmas carol!
Rudolph The Foolish Reindeer
You know Buffett and Fisher and Lynch and Graham
Soros and Templeton and Dalio and Ackman
But do you recall
The most Foolish reindeer of all?
Rudolph the Foolish Reindeer
Had a very long-term bent
He didn’t fear price movements
He knew how almost naught they meant
All of the other ‘vestors
Used to laugh and place their trades
They could never tempt old Rudolph
To join in on their silly games
Then one foggy COVID year
Share prices did crash and sway
But Rudolph, with his view held tight
Didn’t sell or run in fright
Then how the market rewarded him
As share prices recovered with glee
Said Rudolph the Foolish Reindeer
“Patience is the price of victory”
Rudolph the Foolish Reindeer
Learnt the lessons of this year
You gotta take the slings and arrows
And never, ever cede to fear
The future always has its worries
The headlines they’ll be full of doubt
They’ll never give poor Rudolph
Respite from all the fear they shout
But whatever worries rear their heads
They’ll not hang ‘round too long
Rudolph he’ll remember well
Hist’ry’s got some tales to tell
Then the market will reward him
Compounding, it works you see
Rudolph the Foolish Reindeer
Learned optimism from history
On behalf of the entire team here at Motley Fool Australia, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas (and a wonderful holiday season, if you observe a different tradition), and all the very best for a safe, prosperous and joyful 2021.
Our thoughts go out to those who are separated from family and friends. Those who’ve lost loved ones this year, and who will have an empty chair at their Christmas table. We hope your pain will abate, in time, and that your memories of better times will see you through.
And a big shout out to those of you who will be working over Christmas, sacrificing time with family and friends to look after our community. To our Diggers, particularly those posted overseas. To the coppers, firies and ambos. To the doctors and nurses. The retail workers, shift workers and members of the SES, Bush Fire Brigades and service crews who stand ready to drop the ham and prawns, if the call goes out.
Thank you, all, for what you do for the rest of us.
Merry Christmas, Fools!
Where to invest $1,000 right now
When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*
Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.
*Returns as of June 30th
- 2 ASX growth shares to buy
- 2 high quality ASX shares to buy for your retirement portfolio
- Brokers name 3 ASX shares to buy right now
- 8 issues that will impact investors in 2021: experts
- 3 top ASX dividend shares for a better retirement
Motley Fool contributor Scott Phillips has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.