December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

From The Central Record of Lancaster, Kentucky on December 25, 1900:

Christmas of the Rich and Poor

"We have an idea that Christmases as they are celebrated in homes of great wealth must be ideal," writes Edward Bok in a plea for a simpler life--a simpler celebration of Christmas--in the December Ladies' Home Journal.  "Yet often, as the actual fact, no more lonesome Christmas days are spent anywhere than in these homes of plenty.  Riches on Christmas are often like sweet bells out of tune.  Nothing was simpler than the first Christmas Day, and its strongest appeal to our natures, although we do not always know it, is because it was so simple.  Nothing is so fatal to our deepest and truest enjoyment as the realization that we can have whatever we will simply for the wishing or asking.  All value is lost then.  It is a hard truth for those who have little to believe that the greatest happiness of life is with them: that it is not with those who have abundance.  The more we have the less we actually enjoy it.  There is a law of compensation that comes in there.  The lives of those who have abundance are vastly more complicated than are the lives of those who have little.  We are wont to say, 'Oh, well, I'd like to try once having all the money I wanted.'  Thousands have said the same thing only to have their wish come true, and to realize that happiness lay not along the way they thought.  It is strange how the poor envy the greater and fuller happiness of those who have less.  The women of simplest means is the happiest woman on earth if she only knew it.  She is happiest because her life is simplest, and, therefore, truest,"

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