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Christmas Giving

The busy Christmas shopper
Considers it is proper
To join the crowd and rush into the thickest of the fray
And soak his summer wages
In quick, successive stages
To buy some presents for his friends on happy Christmas day.

The age in which we're living
Is an awful time for giving,
But the spirit that is prompting it may be entirely wrong;
Too often Christmas shopping
Is a sort of Christmas swapping
In a sort of favored circle where they pass the gifts along.

If I buy my aunts and cousins
Costly trinkets by the dozens
Or present my wealthy neighbor with a silver spittereen,
'Tis because of expectation
That there'll be reciprocation,
And I'll get a handsome runabout, propelled by gasoline.

The fellow who is needy,
Whose duds are old and seedy,
Gets little out of Christmas but a fresh supply of woes;
His children know no Santy
For his means are very scanty
And every cent that he can make must go for food and clothes.

The real Christmas giving
That makes this life worth living
And shows that we are any use in this old world of care
Is to give where it is needing
And pass not by unheeding
The wants of those around us who do not get their share.

Some humble, little present
Or a smile that's warm and pleasant
Will please a child or cheer those hearts that oft for kindness yearn
And will give more real pleasure
Than a ton of costly treasure
That we send our friends, expecting something better in return.

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Page 92