There is one more good thing about Winter—he brings Christmas. Through the bleak December the thought of the coming festival is pleasant—like the reflection of a fire on our faces…. Christmas-day is the pleasantest day in the whole year.
On that day we think tenderly of distant friends; we strive to forgive injuries—to close accounts with ourselves and the world—to begin the new year with a white leaf, and a trust that the chapter of life about to be written will contain more notable entries, a fairer sprinkling of good actions, fewer erasures made in blushes, and fewer ugly blots than some of the earlier ones.
And to make Christmas perfect, the ground should be covered and the trees draped with snow; the bleak world outside should make us enjoy all the more keenly the comforts we possess; and above all, it should make us remember the poor and the needy; for a charitable deed is the best close of any chapter of our lives, and the best promise, too, for the record about to be begun. ~Alexander Smith, “Winter,” 1863