|VOL.1.||NOVEMBER, 1873||NO. I.|
DEAR GIRL AND BOY--No, there are more! Here they come! There they come! Near by, far off, everywhere, we can see them, --coming by dozens, hundreds, thousands, troops upon troops, and all pressing closer and closer.
Why, this is delightful. And how fresh, eager, and hearty you look! Glad to see us? Thank you. The same to you, and many happy returns. Well, well, we might have known it; we didknow it, but we hardly thought it would be like this. Hurrah for dear St. Nicholas! He has made us friends in a moment.
And no wonder. Is he not the boys' and girls' own Saint, the especial friend of young Americans? That he is. And isn't he the acknowledged patron Saint of New York--one of America's great cities--dear to old hearts as well as young? Didn't his image stand at the prow of the first emigrant ship that ever sailed into New York Bay, and wasn't the very first church the New Yorkers built named after him? Didn't he come over with the Dutch, ever so long ago, and take up his abode here? Certainly. And, what is more, isn't he the kindest, best, and jolliest old dear that ever was known? Certainly, again.
Another thing you know: He is fair and square. He comes when he says he will. At the very outset he decided to visit our boys and girls every Christmas; and doesn't he do it? Yes; and that makes it all the harder when trouble or poverty shuts him out at that time from any of the children.
Dear old St. Nicholas, with his pet names--Santa Claus, Kriss Kringle, St. Nick, and we don't know how many others. What a host of wonderful stories are told about him--you may hear them all some day--and what loving, cheering thoughts follow in his train! He has attended so many heart-warmings in his long, long day that he glows without knowing it, and, coming as he does, at a holy time, casts a light upon the children's faces that lasts from year to year.
Never to dim this light, young friends, by word or token, to make it even brighter, when we can, in good, pleasant, helpful ways, and to clear away clouds that sometimes shut it out, is our aim and prayer.
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