“Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused – in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened – by the recurrence of Christmas.
“There are people who will tell you that Christmas is not to them what it used to be; that each succeeding Christmas has found some cherished hope, or happy prospect of the year before dimmed or passed away. That the present only serves to remind them of reduced circumstances and straitened incomes – of the feasts they once bestowed on hollow friends, and of the cold looks that meet them now, in adversity and misfortune.
“Never heed such dismal reminiscences. There are few men who have lived long enough in the world who cannot call up such thoughts any day of the year. So do not select the merriest of the 365 days for your doleful recollections. Draw your chair nearer the blazing fire – fill the glass and send round the song. And if your room be smaller than it was a dozen years ago, or if your glass be filled with reeking punch instead of sparkling wine, put a good face on the matter and empty it offhand, and fill another, and troll off the old ditty you used to sing, and thank God it’s no worse.
“Dwell not upon the past; reflect upon your present blessings – of which every many has many – not your misfortunes, of which all men have some. Fill your glass again, with a merry face and contented heart. Our lives go on, but your Christmas shall be merry, and your new year a happy one!”