The West Flemish priest (and poet and Father of the Flemish Movement) Guido Gezelle, nearly always had something so perfectly dead on to say. It may seem a stretch to incorporate him here, but since he did have a strong literary (and emotional) attachment to America (inspired by , he certainly has a stake in the Flemish Contribution to America.
Permit me to pass along this along to you:
Ik wense U:
Ik wense u een jaar, dat zacht als zijde is ;
Ik wense u een jaar, dat blank en blijde is;
Ik wense u een jaar, dat ver van krank is,
Een deugdelijk jaar zo breed als ’t lang is;
Ik wense u een jaar, dat als ’t voorbij is,
Een zalig jaar voor u en mij is.
- Guido Gezelle - "Jaarkrans" 1893
( I wish you a year that is as soft as silk;
I wish you a year that is bright and cheerful;
I wish you a year of endless good health;
A solid year that is as broad and long as it can be;
I wish you a year [which, when it is over, will be] a blessed year for you and for me.
- translation courtesy of Leo Norekens)
Lastly, since this is a day of joy, celebration, and at least occasional heavenly glances, please allow me one more Flemish reference to the Spirit of the Season.
Although he never visited America - and perhaps had zero ties with America - Ludwig van Beethoven was like yours truly the grandson of Flemish emigrants. Beethoven's Flemish origins were however from Antwerp, a port which has given more than its fair share of emigrants to America.
It seems, then, only fitting that since Beethoven's Ode to Joy is not only a popular Christmas tune but also the anthem of the European Union, that I wrap up with this.
Merry Christmas and to all of you my heartfelt wishes for a New Year with all the best to you humanly possible.
Prettige Kerstdagen & Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
Copyright 2011 by David Baeckelandt. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted without my explicit, written consent. Merry Christmas!