What Christmas is, as We Grow Older – 1851 – A Christmas tale
This appeared in the 1851 Christmas edition of Household Words.
The narrator says, Christmas Day once encircled all our limited world like a magic ring, bound together within our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes, grouped around the Christmas fire, and made everything shining in our bright young eyes.
But he then questions if that were ever the Christmas we expected, or perhaps, it has not come as yet.
He comes to the conclusion that life is little better than a dream. But then there is still the Christmas spirit, which is the spirit of active usefulness, perseverance, cheerful discharge of duty, kindness and forbearance!
As we grow older, he believes we should be thankful that the circle of our Christmas associations and of the lessons that they bring, expands us. Do we build no Christmas castles in the clouds now?
|He states that we should shut out nothing from the fireside. But then wonders if we can, for intruding there is the shadow of the City, the shadow that darkens the whole globe, and the shadow of the dead.|
The adults cannot forget those things, but the children are unaware, through them adults can see Christmas.
Yet he is drawn to recall those that have died. He wondered, should they be left out of Christmas remembrance? Lost friend, lost child, lost parent, sister, brother, husband, wife, we will not discard you! He stated that they shall hold their cherished places in our Christmas heart.
Night falls, in town and village, there are doors and windows closed against the weather, there are flaming logs heaped high, there are joyful faces, there is healthy music of voices.
He concludes that Christmas brings comforting and peaceful reassurances, unites the living and the dead, and shows broad beneficence and goodness that too many men have tried to tear to narrow shreds.