The Akaroa Mail, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1914. CHRISTMAS.
Thk Christmas festival comes at a time of great distress this year. Witb a I the uropean Powers at war. few thoughts of' peace and goodwill can manage to find their way into'our hearO ; but everyone should attempt to imbibe something of the Xmas spirit Not for many years has it been so difficult as now to soften our thoughts of an unscrupulous enemy and to alleviate our feelings of horror at the miseries endured by thousands of innocent people. The German War Party has set the world at arms, and I caused untold suffering to many, and I it is hardly to be thought that they Can obey the Yutetide message and ! bear peace and goodwill towards all men when they have plunged civiiiz ation into arms. It needs the ex perience of a war to make us realise the value of peace. The loss of life, the waste of property and dislocation of business are only a few of the evila war brings in its train. An estimate placed Britain's expense in this war at over a million pounds per day. This is not money spent in reproductive works, but it goea up in ammunition and appliances for destroying the enemy's men and equipment. We are not in sympathy witb anti mili tarists, and realise tbe absolute necessity for compulsory military training
and a need of efficiency in the army and navy Most advocates of peace realise the necessity for military preparation, but were the whole world to agree to spend no more time and money in building armaments, the anti military doctrines could be carried out. Events this year have proved tbe folly of tbe anti militarist theories, and in New Zealand here many of those who have gone to the front were ardent anti militarists before tbe war broke out. Norman Angel's famous work,' " The Last Illusion," shows clearly tbe fallacy of war ; but it does not point out bow a peaceful nation is to stop bis neighbour from arming himself to the teeth, and robbing tbe peace lover of bis indentity as a nation. As stated before, the Xriias spirit is hard to embrace this year while the* clash of arms is heard in all j parts of tbe world. It is impossible ! to arrange a Xmas truce at tbe front, ! and our soi'dierg will have to fight on I Christmas Day. We, who are placed so far from the scenes of conflict, can try and expunge from our minds tbe feelings of horror, indignation and bate, with which we regard our enemies. If our Christmas i 3 ren dered sober .through their ambition and treachei.'y, theirs will be far from happy, and t.hey will be made to suffer heavily in the future. It is impos sible to dismiss the war from our minds even at Xmas. While dwelling on the conflict, we ahould feel proud to think that British pluck and chivalry are fco be met in those days as often as in the days of Nelson and Wellington, and pray that the war may soon be over, so that true peace can enter into our hearts once more. We want also :to remember the many homes where fehe Xmas festival will recall more viwMly tbe loss of a loved member, and hope that comfort will
be given them to bear their sod losses, In many ways tbe war will have broadened our outlook, tilted our hearts with sympnihy for- those in trouble, and in place of rmroless laughter which greets the Xmas festival, there will be feelings of deep sympathy with others less fortunate We can reach the level of the poe:— "To me, the meanest flower that blows, Can give thoughts that do often lie too derp for tears." Fall of sadness as the time is, there are countless opportunities of helping others, and this is the greatest plea. pure of all—to help the unfortunate. In spite, then, of' thi-s evil war, we have no hesitation in wishing al! our readers A Happy Xmas.