Even now there is joy in the Christmas time, in spite of the rush and hurry and selfishness, and the spirit of those who keep the joy alive by remembering whose birthday it is, serves as leaven all over the world.
First let us remember what Christmas stands for, and then let us try to realize the qualities of the great personality which gave the day its meaning and significance,—let us honor them truly in all our celebrations. If we do this, we shall at the same time be truly honoring the qualities, and respecting the needs of every friend to whom we give, and our gifts, whether great or small. will be full of the spirit of discriminating affection. Let us realize that in order to give truly, we must give soberly and quietly, and let us take an hour or more by ourselves to think over our gifts before we begin to buy or to make them. If we do that the helpful thoughts are sure to come, and new life will come with them.
A wise man has described the difference between heaven and hell by saying that in heaven, every one wants to give all that he has to every one else, and that in hell, every one wants to take away from others all they have. It is the spirit of heaven that belongs to Christmas.
MOST mothers know that it is better for the baby to put him into his crib and let him go quietly to sleep by himself, than to rock him to sleep or put him to sleep in his mother’s arms.
Most mothers know also the difficulty of getting the baby into the right habit of going to sleep; and the prolonged crying that has to be endured by both mother and baby before the habit is thoroughly established.
Many a mother gets worn out in listening to her crying child, and goes to bed tired and jaded, although she has done nothing but sit still and listen. Many more, after listening and fretting for a while, go and take up the baby, and thus they weaken him as well as their own characters.
A baby who finds out, when he is two months old, that his mother will take him up if he cries, is also apt to discover, if be cries or teases enough, that his mother will let him have his own way for the rest of his life.
The result is that the child rules the mother, rather than the mother the child; and this means sad trouble and disorder for both.
Strong, quiet beginnings are a most valuable help to all good things in life, and if a young mother could begin by learning how to sit quietly and restfully and let her baby cry until he quieted down and went to sleep, she would be laying the foundation for a very happy life with her children.
The first necessity, after having seen that nothing is hurting him and that he really needs nothing, is to be willing that he should cry. A mother can make herself willing by saying over and over to herself, “It is right that he should cry; I want him to cry until he has learned to go to sleep quietly by himself He will be a stronger and a more healthy man for getting into all good habits as a child.”