My Antonia Book 1, Chapters 11 and 12
The Christmas season is wonderful for Jim and the rest of the Burden household. Even though the amount of snowfall has prevented Jake from going into town to do the Burdens' Christmas shopping, everyone is content and happy. Mr. Burden thanks the Lord for providing them with food and a comfortable home and prays for those whose life in the country is a constant struggle. At breakfast, Jake informs everyone how much the Shimerdas enjoyed their presents.
Later that day, Mr. Shimerda comes by to thank them for the presents and for Mrs. Burden's kindness to his family. As Mr. Shimerda absorbs the scene around him from his place on a chair, Jim sadly realizes the hard life the Shimerda's lead. Life on the farm and the "crowded clutter of their cave" obliterated all the "peace and order...from the earth," and "the old world he had left so far behind." Book 1, Chapter 12, pg. 57. The warmth, the food, the drink, and the people contribute to the deep sense of pleasure and content Mr. Shimerda feels. After Jim lights the candles on the tree, Mr. Shimerda kneels before it, his body forming the letter "S". When Mr. Shimerda leaves, he shakes hands with everyone.