Girls, when you have finished all your shopping for Christmas and have all the dainty, tissue-covered boxes tied snugly, and lovingly labeled and packed securely, though you may consider everything done very properly and conscientiously. What else? You say. Well – let us go over the matter together.
Don’t you, for instance, know anyone who is alone, away from home and all the things that make home so much more than ever a wonderful place at this season? Send to this lonesome one, then, some tiny remembrance – even if it is just a Christmas card. Is there someone near you who is ill, or old, or unhappy? Why not send to such a one a lovely green wreath, or even a fresh spray of holly berries and mistletoe, gaily adorned with scarlet ribbon, and bearing your Christmas greetings? . . .
Pass along your Christmas cheer. You will find that you won’t have to go very far away from your own circle to find a heart that you may lighten, a sigh that you may turn to a smile. Tie a bit of your heart’s sunshine away in the package that goes to your “lonesome one,” and just see what a wealth of good wishes and sweet thoughts come back to you for it.
Friendliness is something that never goes amiss, and the more of it you give away, the more you have. Christmas is the especial feast of friendliness and good cheer and love. Do your part toward making everyone around you feel that it is truly that. Don’t be discouraged if you cannot give as much as you feel you should give. Let whatever you do give be in the spirit of good will and not of commercialism. Give because of giving, not because you are afraid you may not give a fair exchange for something that may come to you. This spirit of exchange is about as far from the real heart of Yuletide as our twentieth century is from the Star of Bethlehem. Let your gifts carry love and cheerfulness and the spirit of that first Christmas carol when the stars sang in the midnight heavens, ”Peace on earth, good will to men.”
-- Valerie Willing Curtis, Our Girls Own Column, article from McCall’s Magazine for December 1911