The Comet newspaper offered a Christmas message for its readers in December 1909. Here is a paraphrase of it:
Furniture Store Ad from 1909
It would be hard to imagine a world without Christmas. This time of year is one of merrymaking, with each family choosing its own special way of celebrating the special day with mouth-watering feasts and eye-popping festivals.
Christmas belongs to no one nation alone, nor to one tongue, nor to one latitude or longitude, nor to one color or creed. Neither is it a movable feast, though it comes with the frost of winter and with the perfume of drooping blossoms in the southern hemisphere.
Although we associate Christmas with the jeweled and candled tree and the blazing Yule log, though the deer of St. Nicholas prance over the snow and young hearts are merry and old hearts are glad.
Yet even they are but the outcome and fulfillment of that deeper note which marks this day a note of good will to men that were sung first by the angels of Bethlehem.
It is the spirit of will to others that all men feel or should feel on Christmas. It is this spirit which makes the day distinct and pre-eminent. It is this spirit, which distinguishes the day from all other days?
We have given it joyous ceremonials. We have given it services that have grown in beauty and sentiment through the centuries. Although we have done this for Christmas, Christmas has done far more for us. It has given to the world this one day, when all about its hemispheres like a finely wrought web, one thought is woven in the minds of men, inspiring the best and noblest actions of the year.
There is no one who does not feel its influence or in failing to feel it does not pity himself that his joy is dead. The poorest, the keenest sufferer, the happiest, the most prosperous of men all obey one common impulse. They give their best, poor as some their offerings may be for the joy of others.
It is this that Christmas has done for the world, stirring men to common action and with such a chain of thought about the world, growing stronger and wider with each one of these 1909 years. Who can doubt that in its spirit may be found the true secret those great philanthropic measure, which beyond all other events, mark the enlightened legislation of our day
There are self-appointed censors who see none of the joys and only the burdens of Christmas. They dwell on the obligations of the day and the burden of making gifts. But the spirit of Christmas is not with such as these and the gifts at which they murmur never belonged to the day.
It is one of gifts that one must think on Christmas, since it was on that day the greatest of gift was made to the world. A present must always be free, be untrammeled, impose no obligation and have no taint of selfishness in it, nor any spirit of barter or gain.
Giving must spring spontaneously from the highest and most noble impulse in ourselves. There is a joy and a blessedness in giving, but there is something even higher than this when the thought of the good belonging to others prevails over these. We have only to look at the world's greatest gift and draw our meaning from it
There lies in each one's hand a great privilege on Christmas day beyond all other days. Whether by word or good cheer, of hope and encouragement, whether by kindly greeting or a gentle act of courtesy, or whether by gifts or merrymakings, or by the simplest things we do or by the greatest, the privilege and power are ours of making another feel all the joy that is our own.
For joy is God-given and belongs by right to each and all of us and as through joy in Christ, we came to a knowledge of the common brotherhood of man, so through joy in each other we may learn to know Christ again, until all hands are joined and all heads are bent and the prayer of Tiny Tim is the prayer of each of us … “God bless us every one.”