The Season of Hospitality: 1840

CHRISTMAS, that season of hospitality, bluff and hearty honesty, open-heartedness and merriment is close at hand; the old year is preparing, like an ancient philosopher, to call his friends around him, and amidst the sound of feasting and revelry to pass gently and calmly away. 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…

Many of the hearts that then throbbed so gaily have ceased to beat; many of the looks that shown then so brightly, have ceased to glow; the hands we then 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 the smiling faces, the jest, the laugh, the most minute and trivial, circumstances 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 recall to the old man the pleasures of youth, and transport the sailor and traveler, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside, and his quiet home.

From: “Dover Gazette & Strafford Advertiser,” (Dover NH) Tuesday, December 22, 1840; Issue 5; column F.

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