A Christmas Card
( Originally Published 1916 )
MY DEAR FRIEND—Christmas is coming, the great human festival. It is making me realize as it approaches that the best possessions I have been able to get from life are my friendships.
I want to give something to my friends.
The other night after thinking it all over, I was surprised by the old truth, which came strongly to me, that what friends want most is to know we think of them and love them.
Therefore I am going just to tell you I think of you, that Christmas to me means you, that you are a part of the spirit of these times in my life.
I want to tell you that the thought of you is sunshine to me. When memory brings back our days and words together, I am glad.
If I were Fate I should make you very happy. I should write success upon your hands and brain every day, and bring restful sleep to you every night. Each impulse from my heart goes out to you in well-wishing.
I like you. And I am angry with the space that separates us and the circumstances that render our meetings few. You are "my kind of folks," and I have a constant desire to be near you.
I do not believe any of us realize how much friends mean to us, how their spirits subtly touch and stimulate ours when we are far apart, and what a glorious companionship they make for us when their faces gather around us in fancy in our moments of loneliness. Your face, my friend, is often with me, and I wish you could know what cheer it always brings.
So here's to you! I raise the glass of memory brimful of happy recollections and drink to you.
All my good wishes fly to you as doves. I appreciate what you have meant to me. I value your personality, just as it is. I clasp your hand through the intervening distance. From the bottom of my heart I say "God bless you!"
I think of you when I recall these words of Goethe :
"This world is so waste and empty, when we figure but towns and hills and rivers in it; but to know that some one is living on with us, even in silence, this makes our earthly ball a peopled garden."