Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Christmas in Colorado 1876

Post by Doris McCraw

writing as Angela Raines

Photo property of the Author

It's the time of year when we look back and forward at the same time. Christmas and the New Year. Goals, Resolutions and so much more. How about we look back even further?

In answer to that question I thought I would share this article from the Las Animas Leader,. Volume 4, Number 29, December 22, 1876. As we move closer to December 25 and the celebration of Christmas, it seemed an appropriate time to take a look back and what was said and thought in the time period we read and write in. 

From me to all who read this "May the Holidays be the best possible for you and all those you love and care about." 

Christmas gifts.

Of all the holidays in the Christian year, none comes home to the universal heart like that which almost the whole civilized world will be celebrating when these lines are read. To the generality of its observance, indeed, something of this hardy affection is due; but much to its origin as the birth day of a religion of love; even more, perhaps to the general associations that cluster around it. Its very name is pregnant with the pleasant suggestions of homes lit up with glowing fires, and made musical with the laughter of happy children, of tables laden with abundant cheer, of all the charms of domestic life. Only in the northern latitude, indeed, one is fain to think can the full delight of the day be fairly tested and enjoyed Christmas out-of-doors — a summer Christmas, such as they have in Australia, for example — must be a rather unsatisfactory business after all. It is a fact, at least, that the southern nations have never gone into the celebration of the season with half the zest and heartiness that welcomes it in the northern climates. And the reason seems to be that the inner meaning of the day, like some shy exotic, blossoms and reveals itself only in the genial warmth of the fireside; that the true lesson of the time is learned only in the affectionate embrace of the family circle.

Christmas is preeminently an indoor holiday, and there is reason in the disappointment that children feel at a Christmas without snow.

Much of the happy influence of the time comes from the pleasant custom of exchanging gifts. Whether it be traced to a pagan origin in the practice of the Roman Saturnalia, or, as devout Christians love to believe, to the offerings brought by the Wisemen to the manger at Bethlehem, it is an ancient custom and a charming one. Apart from the pleasures of pleasing those one loves, there is valuable moral discipline in the habit of thoughtfulness so induced for others, and the little sacrifices to be endured for the sake of conferring these gratifications. Amid the strife and bustle of a world not over given to generosity, the kindly custom comes as a gentle protest against the selfishness of everyday life, a whispered reminder needful now and then, of the excellence of charity and goodwill. In the wonderful fruitage of the Christmas tree, there is no gift more valuable than the lesson of domestic affection and universal humanity it teaches so gracefully and simply.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History


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