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THE ASSOCIATED SANTA CLAUS B CM RLt S KRHOKRIC GILLIAM EIJ.o, Georce, what's the matter wi'h you?" asked Will James. v i utui .iiiiiijsiiu iejtiei iiiif his office in one of the skyscrapers, an' v-ir.k wearily into a ( hair. I m char fagged out." was the reply. ' In you know, this Christmas busim s is something awful?" "J.iines laughed. "Are you finding that out for the first time?" ' No, hut It seems worse than usual this time. It appears tha my folks haw marly every little thing they need, ami. when I find noun' particular t h i i g thai strikes my fancy, it costs ho much, hy the time I even up all around. I can't affonl II " "Wi 11. if misery loves company, you've got plenty of it. We're all in flu- same box. 1 confess !t strains mo Joy Over a Cherished Toy. So l La: it laki all the plea-are away from oi. .. flllll ' ' 1 to ; n t i or f. th'; pi vine,. because the ex its really preatc.- than I inn af- i'ai's it exactly. It wouldn't be .J !f the gifts were restricted to o family, hut some ivla'ive cl ni'iKi-i suie of the family a i-r-lit-nt aud It hah to be int-t in kin.I. or wvh something a little bet ter, in order to relieve ouv'o self of ih. t.i'i:.v of obligation. If these pr nts were all dictated by affec tion, a fellow wouldn't object to mak ing considerable sacrifices, but when laigo proportion are merely for thai 9 purpose of keeping even, it's a horse of another color." "Vcs. and our most expensive pres ents go to those who are better fixed financially than ourselves, and who have the least need for them. Why, Just last week one of my nieces, who is in very modi-rate circumstances, and of whom 1 think a cood deal, was married, and wo sent her a piece of plaled silverware that cost four dol lars. At the same time we sent Miss licForrcst for her wedding present a i iit class dish that cost $13. and t-he'd hardly recognize us if we met her on the strict." 'lm Klad you told me that. Will. I had a sort of a sneaking id u that I wa.s abc.ut the MRsst fol in town in that direction, but I (iiiess you and your family and 1 and my family and everybody else and his family !:re all In the same boat. Hut what's to be done? Can't make a declar ation of independence? My wife and I make resolves i very year, but wt kcp stretchiiiK the limit a littie, nn til by the time we get thrutiKh the list we find we have sent more thar. the preceding year." 'I'm with you on two thin'.1 tieore; that is. that we eeonoiiiizi some on our expenditures, and that what we do spend shall be in a way to brini; most enjoyment to ourselves, by Kivins the most enjoyment to oth e:s. Lei's trive, what we uive out side our own families, to those who need it." "I don't think I follow yivi exactly." i 'Will, trike niylf. for iustatne. I am very f'uti:naie if I pet off with ' n l.ur.d.ed lo!'a:s. Mow mucli does i .? cost you'.'" I can't say definitely, but fully that :!uth.I should jud'-,e." "upt se. ilieu, we tak'- our families :i.!o i he scheuie wi'li us and auree to : pi. lei only $.",0 for ourselvi-s. Then Wi- can speiid $.'" ach for a num ber of wor.hy o'n fan:ilie. who are ur.ab'.e to p;oi(ie for theniselveg, oM of the ordinary, et too proud or hi:ve luo unit Ii seifTespect to avail themselves of the plllilie hniiliei on tha. day. In that way we would be J'.':. nhe;.d, and at the Jtime time be alii - to linuiih 10 or 13 families with a turkey and tl-p other necessaries for a pmd Chiistmas dinner, and some candies and toys for live chil dren." "Good for you. Will, that suits me down to the greund, and I know my wife will be right In for UV "I'm glad it strikes you so favor- ably, Geoice. Uut If H' a coo4 GVW by Underwood Unfcrwood. 9 thin? for us two. why not push It alonn a little? What's the matter with getting four or five or a half fln7on e.t lh,t nthui Vw-i v tt I n t A mat Ot UUU1 (I A t IJ J 1 0 Ukl.Ul.WUf "Xothing at all. There's Scott and! Corwin and Wilton and Thompson and Smith, all of 'cm good, whole souled fellows, and all here in the building. Suppose I 'phoned 'cm to come up. and we'll talk the matter over. They're all pretty well fixed, too, and I believe will be glad to take a hand." "Just the thins. George. The soon er we take hold and get It under way. the better." Accordingly an urgent message was telephoned in a half jovial, half mys terious way, to each one mentioned, to come to James' office at once on Im portant business. All responded promptly, undecided as to whether It meant a practical joke or business of pressing importance. Will called the meeting to order in a very formal manner and request ed George to state Its purpose. Every one seemed to cuter Into the spirit of the object of the meeting, as well as into the half jovial, half 4 ' h. &r rl. 13, Gft I Mih mm?, y " w 1 X formal, parliamentary manner In which It was coudiictetd, and they were soon discussing the various sug gestions offered with the enthusiasm and abundon of a lot of school boys. While thero was no posing as phil anthropists, thtro was a whole-souled spirit of consideration shown for the worthy unfortunate, that gavo them a much deeper Insight into each oth ers' characters and drew them Into closer bonds of sympathy than would a car of ordinary Intercourse. It was found that after they had alt pledged themselves to the fund in accordance with tha rule laid down, as to ability and i-ercentago of or dinary expenditure, there would be something over a hundred and fifty dcllnrs available. It being essential to the carrying out of their plan thai their families should lie Interested, a meeting was called for a su!. sequent evening at the reshlpnee "f Mr. Corwin, at which all were r presented. The ladies und other niembvs of the famliii s entered Into l'"? ;.iove merit with even more enthusiasm than the orl';ii;itit s. tiefore the labor was completed of Miihlug out the llHt of those to he aided and the various thii.gs to be contributed to each one, s' e:al meeii;m were required. More : iovnn ;it caii.e from these meetings, f.siee over, than if the money ex P"tided had b -n for gKia for them reives. T!ie in rania' ion was kep! si eret from 11, e public, but at the hoinhin-; Hiij-'i'stion of Mr. Scott, djoptcd tho mum-: "The Associuicd Santa Clans." With each bucket, delivered late on Christ mas eve, at th; door of various homi s. was an envi lope addressed to the recipient, containing a postal di rected to "The Assocntcd Santa Clans." Itox CIO. City; requesting that the receipt of the bask t be acknowl edged, so that. It might be known that it had not pone astray. It Is not the province of this story to Ii II of the joy of ihe little children ia these. UO or 10 homes, over the re ie!pt of some cherished toy and the ever welcome candy and nuts, or of the heart felt gratitude of the parents. that, for that one day of all others,! their families had bei n permitted to j partake of the comfort and luxury of ! a well filled table. At the final meeting of the year, held the night after Christmas, at which the acknowledgments were read to the association, more than one woman's eyes were brimming with tears, and morn than one man had a lump in his throat that was difficult to swallow, as he listened to the burning words of gratitude, for the joy that had been brought to their homes. Some were expressed In un- nnnlh a-wl ennia In Ilia ninO riflnml ! language, but all bore the impress of sincerity. There was not a dissenting voice, when Mr. Wilson presented the fol lowing resolution: Resolved, That the Christmas just passed has been the happiest one of our lives, and that we continue, as a permanent organization. "The Asso ciated Santa Claus." Ohio Magazine. Christmas Superstitions. Jhere are many Christmas supersti tions long held as articles of faith that are to be recalled, says Country Life. How that oxen kneel In their stalls at midnight on Christmas eve, in adoration of the Nativity, and for one hour have the power of speech for that one hour, ton. the lost spirits have rest. Judas sleeps. Herod ceases to clank his chains, the daughter of Herodias may pause in the dance, in which she is condemned to spin for ever, and Filate's ghost ceases its wanderings on Mount Pilatus. It was believed, too, that the sound of church bells could be heard wherever a church had stood, though no trace re mained, and that, on that pregnant night, one sleeping in a manger would sec his future in a vision. mas g? BDmess i ,i't;f -a: JfW If Perhaps at no time in the past has there been greater diversity In styles and In materials worn at various func tions. Skirts are trailing, of the short walking length, or just escape the floor; they are empire, princess, glove or loosely fitting princess, with no suggestion of the empire, or they show the Louis coats with trailing skirts, or elaborate coats and skirts, or the severest of the tailored variety of the latter combination. Velvet is especially smart In gowns and In coats, whether tight or loose. Hats as a rule are prettier than ever, but some extraordinary effects are seen. Although fur is nc'V so much used as a trimming for evening gowns and evening mantles, I am of the opin ion that the latter garments are most effective and distinguished when made on very simple lines and left prac tically untrlmmed. Of course, every thing depends on the dress with which the mantle Is to be worn; If that be exceedingly elaborate the mantle or wrap can afford to be simple, and vice versa. Now that our evening cloaks are always made to accompany some special gown we find them in many different materials and styles. Per haps the graceful burnous is about the most satisfactory and becoming shape. The burnous wrap looks best when made of soft cashmere and lined with liberty satin or of supple satin, and lined with a heavy make of crepe de chine. Beautiful embroideries are ar ranged on the fronts and hoods of the cloaks of this genre. The reign of the three-quarter length tailor-made coat has com menced brilliantly, and now this de lightful garment is almost unbi qultous. And all the best of the new tailor-made coats show rounded fronts. In many cases the back Is longer than tho front; the sleeves reach al most to the elbow and are semi-Japanese in outline. The white shirt waist can well be eschewed for the time being and a shirt of crepe de chine to match the cloth coat and skirt costume substi tuted instead. A dark blue serge skirt and coat would be most effectively completed with a dark blue crepo de chine shirt, made with broad tucks and spotted with white cotton. White frills at the wrists and down tho cen ter of the front, and outlining the collar-band, will, if made of very nar row and finely hemstitched lawn, give the finishing touch Justly recognized ns distinguishing between the blouse of yesterday and that of to-day. Perhaps the height of magnificence In dress Is reached In the evening gowns. Embroidery appears on every frock, be it Greek or Louis XVI. There Is a great craze for what Is known as Egyptian embroidery copies of old Egyptian conventional designs. The Greek keynote pattern is always effective in rich fabrics. I should say most of the evening dresses have sleeves, and although it has been observed thst there is very little bodice worn in Paris just now, there is a good bit of drapery In the sleeve. The bodice is cut very low back and front, for -the most part s(uar-. and filled In with pieces of heavy embroidery, lace and tulle, and the sleeve, as 1 have said, is a mass of drapery, often covering the elbow but leaving the arm bare at tlu top or veiled with a transparency. This draped sleeve Is a pretty fashion, though crhaps r.ot strictly classical. Tho two frocks Illustrated In our j large picture arc simple but elegant in I design. The first has a distinct Louis XV. flavor. It is made In apricot yel low satin shot with pink, while the draped fichu and center panel be neath are of gold filet lace, embroid ered in raised chenille with groups of autumn-tinted leaveB. The bodice points down the center In the front, and is cut short on the hips, and the little under-sleeves, which the drawing scarcely shows, are of very fine net. Dedicated to the use of the young girl is figure No. 2, and it is made of white satin with little pleatings of tulle peeping beneath broad bands of Charming Afternoon Frock. satin, which are held together hy 8t rings of pearls, the skirt trimmed with the same decoration. The whole Idea Is expressive of youth, sini-. pllcity, and perhaps Just a little in dicative of an expensive tnste. Not that, when I come to think of it, tho purchase of a satin evening dress should be termed expensive, for ex penses to-day lie as much In the mak ing as In the material, and undoubt edly it may be granted that a satin dress will outlive two chiffon dresses. And chiffon nowadays insists upon embroidery as well as a lining of chif fon, while net, which Is considered a privilege for the thrifty, win call aloud for a decoration of ribbons, and again demands a lining of chiffon and and underlining of soft satin, so, to bo really just, the diaphanuus gown, al though it assumes the virtue of ecun omj, hao it not. We may, though, ex cept from tho rulo the frock of niii on, which cau be made extremely atr tractive on a slight figuie when it is trimmed with large tucks, or ribbons, and allowed to display some dainty chemisette of tull or lace threaded with rlbbous.