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EDITORIAL: God bless the dwellings where tiny stockings hang

EDITOR'S NOTE: This unsigned editorial was printed Dec. 24, 1909, in the Mitchell Daily Republican, which later became The Daily Republic. The paper was purchased earlier that year by W.R. Ronald, who had a leadership role in its operation until his death in 1951.

And now comes the most beautiful night of all the year. Throughout the land, the little stockings swing by the fireplace and childish slumbers are golden with dreams — ecstatic dreams — and thousands of Santa Clauses are decorating Christmas trees, and tip-toeing about the swinging stockings, with smiling lips and tender eyes. Yes, the most beautiful, the most sacred night of all the year, for it is the holy festival of love and innocence.

God pity the home where there has never been a little child to prattle with innocent glee of Santa Claus, for the Christmas spirit in its fullness cannot abide there. However, for such, there remains the privilege of bringing some of the Yule-tide joy to the children of the poor, and charity to little children is the most heart-warming of all.

And God be very tender to the home where tonight, the little stocking that swung so gaily last year is laid away in a pitiful treasure chest with a bright curl and some broken toys. And yet that home is not altogether desolate, for wherever a little child has dwelt, something dear and beautiful remains forever.

And God bless the meager dwellings, where the tiny stockings hang indeed, but where poverty and want can furnish little or nothing to relieve their emptiness.

But may we parents here remember that though the wise men came bringing precious gifts, the shepherds knelt at the feet of the Child with no tribute, save the love and joy in their hearts.

And a rosy apple tenderly polished bright, a ragdoll fondly fashioned by tired fingers, or some rude toy whittled by father's patient hands may make the glorious difference between joy and disappointment on some little one's Christmas morning.

Oh dear little stockings all over the world tonight! If we could only guard from stumbling the little feet whose impress you bear.

Oh little heads filled with the bright dreams of a beautiful tomorrow, if you need never throb with thoughts less glad and pure!

Oh little loving trusting hearts, if you might only keep your simple faith!

Oh little boys and girls, sleep on and smile in your dreams, for love is 'round about you!

All the angelic hosts of heaven came and filled the skies with glory once upon a time, because a Child had come to earth.

And now on this anniversary eve, mothers and fathers tenderly commit themselves anew to the service of the years — the child years which it is their duty and their joy to fi ll with gladness for you — of development and struggle which shall mold you into the men and women they want you to be.