There are some things that make Christmas farce. One is self-indulgence under the pretense of generosity, or rather, thinking you are generous when you are only doing something for yourself.

Making Christmas a Farce

What I mean is this. A well-to-do person gives her well-to-do relative some handsome linen, which she knows the latter wants but does not quite like to buy for herself; while the well-to-do relative in turn spends about the same amount of money for a handsome desk set, which she has been delicately given to understand the other covets. What is wrong in their doing this? Nothing.

The wrong consists in that each feels that she has been generous. How were they any more generous than if each went out and bought what she wanted?

Being Hateful to People Because You Are Overworking

Another thing that makes Christmas a farce is being cross and irritable and generally unlovable in the holiday season, because you are working so hard at embroidery or shopping that you can’t command your temper.

Another is giving, because convention demands it, gifts that you don’t want to give, that you actually grudge and feel resentful about.

Another is being snappy and dis-agreeable to those who serve you on your Christmas shopping tour.

Some Ways to Make Christmas A Reality

There are also some things that make Christmas closer to what it was meant to be. One is letting your thoughts wander back into old times, and writing some little Christmas message straight out of your heart to some of those friends of the auld lang syne.

Another is giving to the poor, and giving not in the spirit of patronage, but of one who humbly pays part of a great debt.

Making Christmas a FarceAnother is remembering that Christmas is the day of the child, and giving not only to the children of your own family and relatives, who doubtless have more gifts than they can digest, but to the child who has but little.

Another is trying to fill yourself so full of the true Christmas spirit of love and good will towards all men, that, as you go about your shopping and your Christmas preparations, some of it shall spill over into your relations with others, and make you more considerate and friendly to outsiders and more tender to your own.

by Ruth Cameron, 1916