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[291]

LVII. Christmas all the time.

“ Papa,” said a certain little girl of my acquaintance, on the 26th of last December, “why can't it be Kismas all the time?” It seemed to revive a similar meditation that arose in her mind on the morning after her birthday, when she asked where her birthday was gone. On the day succeeding Christmas this melancholy inquiry certainly seemed a very natural reflection. That day of delight-the early waking, the matutinal stocking, the decorated house, the gathering of kindred, the successive presents, the universal petting-why could not these remain and become human nature's daily food? A child's desire of felicity is and ought to be boundless. It is only time that teaches us the limitations of happiness, and we often accept these restrictions a great deal too soon. “Care is taken,” Goethe says, “that the trees shall not grow up into the sky;” but the stronger the impulse the greater the growth.
To let the new life in, we know
Desire must ope the portal;
Perhaps the longing to be so
Helps make the soul immortal.

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