Australian Town and Country Journal 24th December 1870 p16/17
“A Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.”
Could there be a heartier sentiment? Is not all that is genial, and kind, and friendly embodied in the sentence?
So should it be; for Christmas time is surely a period when the most generous promptings of the year should be indulged; a time when charity consists not in the cold deliberation of other times, but in the giving without doubt, without inquiry.
A time when none but a churl will cherish malice or hatred, but all good fellows will pocket ill-will for the nonce at any rate, and thrust forth their hands in friendship.
A time when the spirit frees itself from the thraldom of everyday petty cares and strifes, and comes forth in its earnestness and truth.
A time, in short, brief but healthy, when men and women may give way to the kindliness and charity of their nature, without being sneered at by their fellows, without feeling the shame of having done an absurd thing.