The Spirit Of Christmas


From Pickwick Papers.


And numerous indeed are the hearts to which Christmas brings a brief

season of happiness and enjoyment. How many families whose members have

been dispersed and scattered far and wide, in the restless struggles of

life, are then re-united, and meet once again in that happy state of

companionship and mutual good-will, which is a source of such pure and
unalloyed delight, and one so incompatible with the cares and sorrows of

the world, that the religious belief of the most civilized nations, and

the rude traditions of the roughest savages, alike number it among the

first joys of a future state of existence, provided for the blest and

happy! How many old recollections, and how many dormant sympathies, does

Christmas time awaken!

We write these words now, many miles distant from the spot at which,

year after year, we met on that day, a merry and joyous circle. Many of

the hearts that throb so gaily then, have ceased to beat; many of the

looks that shone so brightly then, have ceased to glow; the hands we

grasped, have grown cold; the eyes we sought, have hid their lustre in

the grave; and yet the old house, the room, the merry voices and smiling

faces, the jest, the laugh, the most minute and trivial circumstance

connected with those happy meetings, crowd upon our mind at each

recurrence of the season, as if the last assemblage had been but

yesterday. Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions

of our childish days, that can recall to the old man the pleasures of

his youth, and transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of

miles away, back to his own fireside and his quiet home!