Notes from Parents' Associations

Helen Maley Hefferan
1905 The Elementary School Teacher  
At the December meeting of the Parents' Association of the Chicago Normal School the subject of "Christmas Giving" was discussed. Mrs. H. W. Thurston spoke of the opinion that is expressed so frequently in these days, that the spirit of Christmas giving is not what it should be; that it is marred by overdoing and overstrain; that a sense of obligation and of paying debts often takes the place of free expression of love and good-will. Mrs. Thurston maintained that these things are the result of
more » ... are the result of the strenuous method of life in American cities; that something enters into our home for its detriment and into our school life to its harm. To quote from the speaker's words: We give ourselves too little leisure to consider the spirit of anything. We are too much absorbed in doing things to consider why we do them or how they should be done; too much absorbed in buying Christmas presents to consider sufficiently the spirit of giving. The spirit of Christmas giving is love. How this would simplify matters for us, if we were to allow it! Let us give in lovenever for any other reasonand teach our children to give in love. Mrs. Thurston advised that the children begin with the home circle. As the child grows, his powers of love and sympathy should expand and grow with him, taking in a wider and wider circle of relatives, friends, and neighbors, until the man and woman in maturity shall have a heart to embrace humanity. Mrs. A. D. Hefferan said that in the home it was essential that time be given for the children to plan for their gifts; that one should strive for simplicity, not expenditure of money, but some expenditure of thought and effort; that the mother should plan to secure co-operation between older brothers and sisters. This Christmas planning and givingfor love alone, simply and thoughtfully and painstakinglywould develop real character. 372
doi:10.1086/453465 fatcat:zeoli3fthbfclny5qmj2yxrlw4