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; i THE ORIGIN OF OUR CHRISTMAS CUSTOMS |
We are apt, most of mk, 4? ?Lwme
the customs aad traditions of *>?<?
Yule-tide vUh Um? feeling that they
had their birth with the firm of ftbe
greatest festivaJs of t'hrifitrncfcftn. The
Christmas tree, the -gift giving, fbe
candles, the holly and the ntatlmee
have become ?0 Identified with onr
celebration of Christmas tkeS. they
seem an Inherent and peculini to it
as the radiant rttmts to the .Star of
the Nativity. And yet it is to antiquity
and heathen dum that we owe the cub
toniH we observe, the stork phrases
we uttor and even the mince pie with
out which do Christmas dinner is
complete. The Germans, the Bean
dinavlans, t ti?- .lews (he Romans, the
-tioths ;uid the Saxons have all contri
buted to make our Christmas festival.
"Merry Christmas!" It Ik on our
lips from the stroke of twelve that
ends the vigil of Christmas eve ontll
the laut candle has burned out on
CbrlBtmas night. If we think of It at
alt we accept "merry" as meaning
lively, uprightly and gleesome and
wonder n bit perhaps at its preference.
As a matter of fact When 'he Knglish
first used the old Saxon w< rd In this
connection, spelling It "merrie,** it
meant simply pleasant und agreeable,
but; we cling to ti In spite of its
The day before Christmas we bring
into the house a great fir tree that is
made the center of the festivities. H
1b an old German legend that has pro
vided uk with this pretty custom.
Saint 'Vllfrld. the tale runs, was one
day cutting down one of the sacred
oaks of the Druids. Presently a great
wlm. bCt^o? it and it fell, ?|>Ut in four
pieces. IJehind it Saint Wilfrid saw a
young fir tree standing staunch and
unharmed, pointing a green spire to
the heavens. He therenpon pro
claimed It a holy tree and the tree of
the Christ child because it.s leaves
pointed heavenward. He a^ked the
people to gather about it in their own
homes, where it should shelter noth
ing but loving gifts.
Ou Christmas eve we illuminate the
tree with many flickering candles?Uli.
less we prefer safety to sentiment,
when we make use of the electric
lighted devices. . Oue may choose
among several 'picturesque accounts
Of the^'gln 0f this practice. In me
rfjjtfval times when the forests Beemed
peopled with none but sacred trees,
there was a tradition of particular
holiness being invested ia an illuml
nated tree. Then the ancient Jews
held a FeaKt of Light about Chritffcnias
time In which -candles were an impor
tant feature, ho that their use may
oddly enough have been thus adopted
by the Christians. The Huge Yule
candle signified the coming of the
light into the world. The most beauti
ful idea is that our use of candles is
derived from the fact that probably
when Christ was horn twinkling
i lights were burning in every house.
The holly and mistletoe Indispens
able for holiday decoration were orig
inally identified with pa.ian festivals.
.There is a tradition that holly the
hush in which Jehovah appeared to
Moses. The mistletoe was an object
of great veneration to the Druids, nl
tiiought only when .1 grew ur&r/ uu
oak tree I'ho propriety of Rinsing
unier the mistletoe is a relic of an
old Scandinavian myth. It seems that
Holder the At olio of the North, was
hated bv one Loki because "every
th'ng that springs from flro, air. earth
and water" hnu given promise not to
hurt the formed n.nndsome gentleman
"Whoever it was had thus deereed all
things of the earth and sea. had sonie
liow neglected to mention the master
to the insignificant mistletoe. So
I.oki straightway m.ide an arrow of
mistletoe, and being an unprincipled
chap induced blind Hoder to slioot
Haider. Little good it did him. how
ever, for the gods restored Haider to
life at once and presented the mistle
toe to the Goddess of Love to keep.
Everyone who passed under it received
a kiss to show that it was the emblem
of love, and not death. The popularity
of mistletoe was unabated for centu
ries, but one old writer says: "Mistle
toe wan abandoned In the Christmas
decking of churches together with
kissing at the services, because both
were found to set the young ladies and
young men to a-reading of the mar
And dear old Santa t'iaus, or Saiat
Nicholas, or Kris Kringle, as Jlou 1
fer?what delightful myV?a from an
? ioulty have ^: <**??;.'<.ed him wun hi.s
re'ln. mt Ms whisK^rs and p".ck
of toys! The Scandinavian legend re
lates the coming of Odin, the winter
god, who visited earth at the time of
the Winter Solstice or Feast. Odin
rode a white honse and preceded by
wolves and ravens was supposed to
lead an army of souls that had died
HANTme a rhyme of
Sind me a jovial sondrr
And tnough it is filled with
t Let it be pure and strong
Sind of the hearts brimmed over
wth the story of the day?
Of the echo of childish voices
That will not die away.?
Of the blare of the tasseled budle,
And the timeless clatter and heat
Of the drum that throbs to muster
Squadrons of scampering feet.
But,C),let your voice fall fainter,
Till, blent with a minor tone,
"?bu temper your song with the beauty
Of the pity Christ hath shown,
And sind one verse for the voiceless;
Andyet, ere the song be done,
A verse for nie ears that hear not.
And a verse for the sightless one.
For though it be time for singing
A merry Christmas ?lee.
Let a low, sweetvoice or pathos
Run through the melody/
JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY.
during the year. As Christianity tri
umphed it was only over the unbap- j
tized that he was thought to have
power, and his army came to be com
posed only of the souls of children to
whom he became a friend. Eventually
he was Baid to bring the toys and gifts
to the children on earth. We are sat
isfied now to tell the children/that he \
copi-'- down the chinanoy tVth his pack
of gifts and disappears without being
beheld by mortal eye. In a little Mo
ravian village in Emaus, Pennsylvania
which is the only place in this country
where the cu?tom is thus observed.
St. Nicholas, or Peltznichel, is yearly
impersonated by some villages, and
visits every household on Christmas
eve to distribute gifts.
The mince pie is a survival of the
immense pies that the early (Chris
tians used to make in the form of a
cradle or manger. After several cen
turies the pies were mace s nailer in
I size, hut were still made to carry out
the idea of the manger. P. a sort of
Suved i> '?i Awful Dentil.
How an appalling calamity in his
i family wa.i preve.it?'d is told hy A. I).
McDonald, of Fayetteville, N. C. lt. F.
D. No. 8, "My sister had consumption,"
he writes, "she was very thin and pale
had no appetite and seemed to grow
weaker every day, as all remedies fail
ed, till Dr. King's New Discovery was
tried, and so completely cured her.
that she has not been troubled \.Ith
a cough since. Its the best medicine
I ever saw or heard of." For coughs,
colds, lagrippe, asthma, croup, hem
orrhage, all bronlchial troubles. It has
no equal, 50c, $1.00. Trial bottle free.
Guaranteed by I>aurens Drug Co. and
Palmetto Drug Co.
'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS I
Everybody, so to speak, knows
"Twas the night before Christinas,
when all through the house not a
creature was stirring, not even a
mouse." Indeed. "The Night Be
fore Christinas"?or "A Visit from
St. Nicholas," as It was originally
known?has become such a part of
our literature and tradition that It
seldom occurs to peop*..* that it ever
had nn author at all. It is a classic
which simply began, so to speak, like
! Mother C?oose.
it was written, as a matter of fact,
by an American gentleman, seventy
eight years ago. in a fine old New
York mansion, with jttHt Hie sort of
wide fireplace which the St. Nicholas
of the poem might like to visit. It
was written by this gentleman for his
own children, and might never have
leached the millions of other children
who have since enjoyed it had it not
been for the habit young ladies had
in those days of keeping albums In
which they wrote down sentiments
which pleased them.
Clement Clarke Moore, the author
of our poem was the grandson of
Major Clarke, his father being the
Right Rev. Benjamin Moore, second
Bishop of New York. Clement was
born at Chelsea. July 1;'., 1781. The1
house in which he was later to write
his poem stood on the summit of a
high hill, since leveled, south of the
present Twenty-third Street and just
west of Ninth Avenue.
Moore held the chair in Hebrew
and Greek at the General Theological
Seminary. New York, from IS21 until
1850. was professor emeritus until his
death in lstl", and wrote the first
Hebrew lexicon published in Americn.
When his lectures were over, Moore
found his chief delight in composing
verses for his children. He had in.
stilled in them an unusual fondness
for poetry, and they round in their
father's poems, written with a keen
understanding of their childish likes
and dislikes, their great happiness.
Sometimes the longer poems had a
hidden little moral lesson, but princi
pally they were verses rollicking with
As a Christmas present tor his chil
dren, in the winter of 1822, Moore
wrote the poem which was to become
one of the happiest possessions of the
children of the world, never dream
ing that any children but his own
would ever see the lines. In the big
hoiiHe standing on the hill that slope:
to the Hudson there- wero great flt'O
places, where stockings were hung on
Christmas Eve, and the immens ?
lawn, a waste of whito snow, was an
appropriate setting for the poem.
Among the friends of the Mooroa
was the family of Rev. Dr. David
Butler, at that time rector of Hi
Paul's Church In the city of Troy
Shortly after Christmas, while tb )
eldest daughter of Dr. Hutler was vis
iting at Chelsea, one of Clemen.'.
Moore's little daughters read her th >
poem. Miss Butler at once copies
the verses In her album. Fhe wm ?
so much Impressed with them, how
ever, that just before Christmas of
the next year, 182:5, she sent a copv
to the editor of the Troy "Sentinel '
who published them on December 2??.
with mi editorial note and a quo in T
woodcut of St. Nick. Other news
papers copied the poem. It spread
from paper to paper, from city to city,
it was reprinted in the magazine:!
then in school readers. Special od? -
tlons of the poem wero published, ?I
lustrated by famous children's a. -
tlsts. It was translated into many
languages One may hear it recit??,f
by German school-children in theii
native tongue, and by other children,
in other languages.
Dr. Moore, although bis name did
not appear, was somewhat displeased
at the publication of the poem. lc>
was extremely modest, and he fel .
that the verses had little merit sav?
?s verses for children. It was a Ion,
time before he saw that just in th.)*:
fact lay its claim to Immortality, H<;t.
Hebrew lexicon and other scholar" .
writings are known to very few. Tli ?
little poem written for his children ?.??
I possessed by all the world whe? 3
Christmas is celebrated.
?From the Christmas Collier's.
Wants to Help Come One
For thirty years J. F. Boyor, of Fer
tile. Mo., needed help and couldn
find it. That's why he wants to help
some one now. Suffering so long him ?
self he feels for all distress fro<u
backache, uervousness, loss of appe
tite, lassitude and kidney disorde. '
He shows that Electric Bitters work
wonders for such troubles. "Five bo?
tles," he writes, "wholly cured me an t
now I am well and hearty.' It's aln.
positively guaranteed for Liver Trou
bles. Dyspepsia. Blood Disorders, F-.
male Complaints and Malaria. Tp^
them. GOc at Laurens Drug Co. and'
Palmetto Drug Co.
We have just received at Mountville
ONE CAR LOAD OF FINE
i ui cc, l uui auu live i cai 3 viu
Every single animal is in tip top shape and ready for the farm.
Wc expect to sell them all at Mountville within the Next Pew Days, so the earlier you come the better stock you
will find. If will pay you to see me before buying or 1 Hiding Mules.
Mountville, S. C. g;