Monday, Dec 28, 1885 I went home Thursday morning and was greatly troubled to find my father apparently more feeble than usual. However later in the day I became convinced that the change was apparent and not real and when I came away last night he was as usual or rather brighter and stronger and he sat up longer yesterday and with less complaint of dizziness. Thursday afternoon we arranged the Xmas tree and found we had as usual a great quantity of things, all very simple. Girards family all came over as soon as it was dark and Tom and Minnie and our two servants Mary & Katy and we distributed the gifts with great satisfaction to all. We had invited John and Nannie but they misunderstood and did not arrive until it was all over and they had had their tea. We expected them to tea after the supper. They spent the evening with us. Christmas was cold and at night the N. E. wind blew a gale. A letter came from Lucy telling about her presents which came next day Saturday. Laura sent Sara and me each a Xmas card with very affectionate messages. Mr & Mrs. Cantine sent my father a beautiful box of roses and Mrs. Coykendall a basket of delicious fruit, both of which I acknowledged for him. I spent a part of Saturday painting our vase of roses which I thought I would send to Mrs. Cantine perhaps. I wrote a long [letter?] to Lucy and one to Mr & Mrs. Sawyer [?]. Sunday morning I awoke with a headache and nausea [?] [Calvert?] and I came back to N. Y. by the 7.25 evening train arriving at 10 30. I always come from home now sadly and [reluctantly?]. Sara seems so alone there that I feel I ought to be there [as?] much as possible. She is simply heroic in her devotion to [our?] father and her daily duties. It would be the greatest [comfort?] to have Lucy there for I feel Sara is doing too much. However [she is?] cheerful and uncomplaining. In spite of all the sad changes [at home?] I love to be there and my heart is always there. I wonder [at?] times that we bear the changes as cheerfully as we do, but [assume?] it is because we try to be prepared now for them. I [brought?] down all the presents for Marys family from Lucy and from [?] and took them over when I went to breakfast this morning. [?] had just left to visit Julia and Harry in Baltimore but [?] took charge of them. I had a short but kind letter from [Booth?]. The pictures had arrived and he seemed pleased with them. [?] from Springfield called to see about pictures for his annual Exhibition. He thought a man in Springfield would want my little picture of an "Upland farm"[.] He is coming again next week. Mr & Mrs. [?] and her sister Mrs. Brounell paid me a visit. I had to go to 51st St to see about the stretcher for my water color which [?] not come yet and I am idle for the want of it. Called on [Julia?] Dillon and gave her Sara's Xmas present. From there went [?] club a little while and came way feeling the evenings are [?] dull here.