‘Our opportunity for making others happy’: A 110-year-old message of peace and brotherhood for Anniston
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Dec 25, 2011 | 2753 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo: Dean Rohrer/Special to The Star
Photo: Dean Rohrer/Special to The Star
On Dec. 21, 1901, editors of The Anniston Evening Star implored residents of this young, industrial town to adopt a spirit of giving at Christmas. The meaning of their editorial, reprinted here, still resonates with its humanitarian wishes.

Christmas is a season for giving, for making others happy, for being not only generous but charitable as well. We all, of course, will remember loved ones and friends first in the distribution of Christmas gifts, and it is but right that we should. After providing remembrances for those who are near and dear to us, the Christmas spirit of giving should prompt us to think of those who, while having no kinship claims upon us, and being not even bound to us by the ties of friendship, yet should receive consideration from those of us who have the means to be charitable. We should always remember the poor, but especially at this season should we remember them and help them.

Here in Anniston, where plenty abounds, there are many whom fortune has not smiled upon, many to whom the Christmas season is but a hollow mockery, in so far as it pertains to giving and receiving, many who are not able to give and will not be fortunate enough to receive gifts unless those in better circumstances shall open their purses and their hearts.

Remember the poor. When the weather is as it has been for a week, there is suffering among the needy ones. A gift of a bushel of coal to a poor family would be a God-send on such a day as yesterday. A sack of flour would make a hungry family happier than a diamond necklace would make an heiress. A cheap toy would bring joy to many a poor waif who must wait in vain for Santa Claus’ coming.

There are not as many poor people in Anniston as there are in many cities of this size, yet there are poor people here and many opportunities for doing good, which should be taken advantage of by those who have the means. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
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