SHARING MEMORIES, WEEK SIXTEEN

The Carleton Place Herald, December 25, 1878

Article by the editor, James Poole

This newspaper belonged to Robert Bell, Esq.

 

Christmas

 

Christmas Day again! And with it comes to all the welcome wish, “A Merry Christmas.”  And merry it will be, for with each succeeding year it grows more genial, and with every anniversary it reaches a wider range.  The cheer of Christmas covers every creed; the holiday breathes the all-embracing religion of humanity that hallows home and makes the fireside happy.  There is no heart so hard, no home so humble that does not feel something of the sweet and softening influence of the person.  The chimes ring now with a more silvery sound, and the cricket chirps more cheerily on the hearth.  The lively streets, the shop windows all aglow with gifts, the markets and stalls teeming with good cheer and green wreaths everywhere, have presaged the pleasures of the festival.  The brief bright holiday period beginning with Christmas, always seems not only to condense an immense amount of pleasure in the present but to invest a large fund of happiness for the future.  The whole world starts fresh again from a new standpoint.  The miseries and misfortunes of the past year seem smaller. Great griefs are lessened.  Braver feelings surmount surmount broken fortunes.  Youth expands with hope.  Age is young again with brought-back memories.

This is indeed, the season of green wreaths and greener memories, of ind words and kindlier deeds.  Centuries before the actual day which Christians of all creeds now celebrate, the prophet and the poet sang of the future when the twined box and pine should “beautify the sanctuary,” as is fulfilled, and will be in all coming time.  And he whom the day especially commemorates came as a little child, and so Christmas ever since comes for children.  But not alone for the little ones of our own households, or for our families or immediate friends, should the genial time teem with gifts, good words and hearty cheer – something of these should reach out now to the helpless and the homeless, the sick and suffering, the naked and needy children of our common father.  If we open our door, and churches and close our hearts we shall fail to hear and to heed the good words of the season.

No influence should be allowed to stand between us and the opportunity which Christmas affords of shaking off for a time our everyday selfishness, and for a brief space thinking and acting for others.  Our daily lives are quite sufficiently crowded with our individual interests to make us thankful to be forced out of ourselves and into a region of a broader human thought, feeling and activity.  Do not forget Christmas then; do now set aside its claims; do not think of it as merely the representative of a religious event or pious dogma.  To all it means the celebration of the festival of a sacrificial love, a lessening of the bonds of self, a cementing of the bonds that bind us to the larger family.

Let the plum-pudding and the roast turkey flourish, then, not because of themselves they are better now than at any other time, but because they represent the peace and good will, the hospitality and fraternity, which at this season should be cherished towards all men and women.  Fill the children’s stockings or decorate the beautiful Christmas tree with liberal hands, for Christmas may come to you no more, and you would not miss the golden opportunity afforded you for adding your mite to the sum of human happiness before the present has gone into the past to return no more.

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