Letter From Jesse Stoner, Helena, Montana
To Mrs. John Lee (Ida) Stoner, Green Springs, Ohio
January 16, 1895
Transcribed by Stephen J. Hartzell

Jesse dwells much on the spirit of giving at Christmas time, and states again that Christmas is for the children. He also says that we all take life too seriously, that we need to take more time to enjoy life.

Jany 16 95

My Dear Ida,

Your very welcome letter of the 3rd inst. at hand some days since and should been answered before. We have been very busy, taking (illegible) and I do not find much time to write.

I was glad indeed to know the children were pleased, though disapointed that the package did not reach them in time to be there Xmas morning. It seems so much more of a surprise, then when they come stragling along, but if they only got some things they wanted it is much better late than never. I fully believe Xmas intended for children and as it takes so very little to make them happy, think there is no time in life they can get as much enjoyment out of it as when small. If more people would only confine the Xmas to children and not make it a tax as they so often do, in trying to see how much better things they can give than receive, it would make a very happy time of year instead of a trial and bore as it often is. If I were you and Lee, while they are small I would always see they had a small Xmas tree even if it were not loaded, as one set of ornaments and candles do for several years, it cannot be very expensive and I fully believe you could do nothing that would give them as much pleasure or will be remembered so long in their lives for so very little outlay. I can hardly understand what you mean by so much trouble. Nothing very serious I hope. I am afraid on our side of the house we all take life much too seriously. We only have one life to live and there ought to be more enjoyment gotten out of it.

I find it hard to know just what to send the children, as I do not know what they have. I am glad you like the little (illegible). I thought it rather pretty, if not too old for them, but the plain good is always nice.

Just received a letter from Sallie, said she intended to have you all down there for Xmas, but expected some of (illegible) who did not come, so they seem to have had a very quiet Xmas. I enjoyed reading Jessies part in the Xmas excercises very much. She will have to print it and send to me. I hope Ethal is well by this time.

With kisses for your self and the girls and a very Happy New Year

Am affectionately yours
Jesse S. Stoner

N. B. Has Lee recieved the Cosmopolitan yet?