Christmas, 1880

Here in the North-West, whose fertile leagues roll up even to the foot of the distant mountains that look down upon the western sea, will this Christmas - the first too many in the new land - be greeted with pathos, where sadness sifts in with hope? The look back to the dear old homes of rest so far away; the cherished and familiar firesides begirt for generations by forms twined in with fond remembrance, the household rites pertaining to the time; the holly and the mistletoe; the gathering of friends beneath the festal roof; the warmth, where kindred and neighbor ties found glad assurance. Hope should replume and gird herself anew, standing before memory clad in thoughts like these.

Yet as the land is goodly, so the men are strong. The sunshine of the day must wrap them in, however scattered, and to them, the stout forerunners of a future strength, goes out many a kindly thought upon this day when kindly thoughts abound. Here in our undoubted city, where the fated turkey trussed and ready for the spit is deaf alike to peal of bells or hum and hurry of the day; here where the destruction of all forms of toys goes on with tireless ardor by the over-caked and candy-ridden bands of boys, that quail not before uncounted pie, and rally freshly until astounded nature refuses to be rallied more; here at the "Gateway of the Plains" is food for all of fellowship high carnival, that would fain make tame the quaint and ruddy wish of old - to which we turn, extending to all - both far and near - a cordial Merry Christmas.

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As a freelance writer, Nicole has been sharing her baking tips and recipes on various blogs and sites such as Hubpages and Squidoo.