The following article appeared in the Rooks County (Kansas) Record on December 19th 1922. It was sent to me by my Aunt Lorrie Archer. It is written by my Great Grandfather Joseph Hrabe, who immigrated to the U.S. to escape the turmoil of pre WWI Czechoslovakia or as it was known in his time when he was born as Mezoun, Bohemia.
“The Christmas Gift!
The most outstanding fact in the whole wide life of the Christmas world at this season is the touch of kindness which is in the air: It is at once genial and bearing: it is no soft sentimentality. It is compassionate; but it is large, clear-eyed sane: it is gentle as the breeze of summer, while invigorating as one of our own glorious winter days under the sky’s of heavenly blue: it is a time of added tenderness: of deepened affection, of the old love, that lives again, fresh, and freshening, unchanged beneath; every changing sane; it is a time of reconciliation. We bury old harsh memories, we remember the friend of other days, as he was in other days, before the world hardhead had embittered him, before buckled his armor on.
Poor imagination plays us strange tricks at Christmas time. We see through the mist of vanished years not the set up, prosperous business man a little too keen the eyes and a little to hard about (the eyes); a trifle over anxious when it comes to a bargain; but the lithe attractive figure and ingenuous face of the man, who started out in life a quarter of a century ago: Instead of the successful woman of the world: a little affected now, a trifle blase, and it must be confessed with more than a suspicion of artificiality about her. We see as clearly today that exquisite fresh young face which once we love as when all the bells of heaven were ringing in her heart upon her wedding morning: who told us that the eye of flesh alone sees right: seeing is not believing: the real man, real woman, is the one looked at through smiles of love, and happy tears, is my heart that sees: and this is the Christmas gift!
With the best wishes to you dear editor, your dear familie, dear friends: dear children and to all people, Merry Christmas: Happy: healthy, prosperous new year 1923.
Jos Hrabe, Sr.”
As this year draws to a close I encourage you to let the magic of the season give you the same “clear eyed sanity” described by my great grandfather. May the joys of the season provide you happiness and joy.