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AM the Christmas Tree! Come and take a look at me: See my tapers burning bright See my strands of pop-corn white, See the presents, row on row. Swinging, swaying, to and fro. Ob, the strange and motley fruit That I bear from branch to root I In the forest dim and vast, Where my early days were passed, Never dreamed I such estato E'er would bo my happy fate. But they came, and blow on blow, The strong choppers laid me low. Wanted me tor Christmas so Here I am, and I can see, That there really could not be Much of a Christmas without mt. Ding dong! Ding dong 1 Oh, the music sweet and strong! In the steeple bell I swing. And ring and ring and ring For I am the Christmas bell. And my glad notes surge and swell, And better than aught beside I tell Of Love's dear birth, of peace cn earth, Good will to men. Now what, I pray, Would be the merry Christmas Day, Without the clang and surge and swell Of Me, the Happy Christmas Bell? And now I pray, just look at m% Mr. Christmas Bell Mr. Christmas Tree. In boasting just be pleased to pause, For I, you can see, am—Santa Claus! And neither of you are, I'll be bound. Of much account when I'm around. High and low and rich and poor, I come with gifts to every door. If ever the time should come about. When the over-wise ones vote me out, And I should with my deer and sledge, Over oblivion's outmost edge Out of the dear world's sight and ken. What would become of Chrismas then? So, Christmas boll, and Christmas tree, Be a little more modest, and look at—ME, Oh, ho! oh. ho what's all this fuss? Better keep still and look at—rs. Now tell us true, old pine-wood tree, If we weren't here where would you be? Would you ring out so jolly clear, Old steeple bell, if we weren't here? And you, old Santy, where'd you go, If it weren't for us, I'd like to know? For in spite of all you can sing or say. We boys and girls make Christmas Day. —Carlotta Perry, in N. Y. Independent. MY CHRISTMAS RIVAL. Somehow, just then the drowsy smile o'er came The restless dimple midway of her chin And sleep's moist linger quenched the hazel flame Her curling lashes jealously hedge in. How sweet her slumber is, my thoughts di vine I'm sure a yellow love-lock strays athwart The coverlet, as if it sought to shiue Close to the happy beating of her heart. She dreams—but not of me. Too well I know Whose image sways her sordid little soul A stalwart gentleman, this favored beau, Not young, and rather stout upon the whole. His head hath white of many winters' frost. His beard is hoar, his brow is marked of time But, in good stead of graces he has lost, The beauty of his treasure is sublime. In fact, I had some worthy gifts of him Myself, in days not passed beyond my mind Tia true his kindness now looks somewhat dim, As bygone favors often do, I find— Yet on this Christmas eve they give me pause, And lend me grace his triumph to survive. Reign over her in peace, friend Santa Claus, She'll flout your claims next year when she is five. —Eva Wilder McGlasson. HAT a funny idea! laughs some one, a lesson for a grandpa! But then—life is a great school, and men and women are the pupils, and as long as we live there are lessons to be learned. Grandpa Wyman was a very unfortu nate old man because he had forgotten something. And what he had forgotten was something which old people ought always to remember, and that was that when he was young he behaved very much like a child, and a very child ish child at that. But now, when he was seventy years old, Grandpa Wyman seemed to expect that his grandson Jack, aged eight years, would behave as well and know almost as much as his father and that Bertha, aged ten, would be as indus trious and almost as quiet as her mother but one day Bertha and Jack, and Jack in particular,, taught Grandpa Wyman a very useful lesson. It was just before New Year's day, and that, you know, is the great time for making resolves, but Grandpa Wy man hadn't thought of making any re solves he seemed to think he was a pretty good old man, and he really was, but We are' never too old to determine to do better in a coming year than we have done in the past. Well, this afternoon, just before New Year's day, Grandpa Wyman had gone to the library to find a book, and when he found it the room was so dark he went behind the curtain to read a mo ment, and while he was reading Bertha and Jack came into the library. The children were not generally allowed to play there at all but this afternoon the furnace fire got rather low and the nursery was cool so mamma said if they wotftdn't romp, but would play quietly, they might amuse themselves in the li brary for awhile. Grandpa Wyman, behind the thick curtain, was about to order them out, when Jack said: "Oh, I tell you, Bertha, let's play I was grandpa and you was mc, and play I talked to you just like grandpa does that'll be a good, quiet play." Bertha laughed and said: "Well, wait 'till I get papa's old dressing gown and a pair of grandpa's specs there's a pair lyin' around loose in his room." "You better not let him catch you in his room," warned Jack. "O, I know better than that," said Bertha as she scampered off. In a few minutes she returned and laughed merrily at the figure little Jack cut in his papa's dressing gown and grandpa's spectacles. "Now you must be doin' some thin'," began Jack "it doesn't make much difference what, and I'll make my voice awful growly, just like grandpa's." Bertha took a book and began look ing at some pictures. "Bertha! Bertha!" said Jack, puffing himself out in his efforts to make his voice 'growly "don't you think you better go be helpin' your mother 'stid o' lookin' at foolish pictures? When I was a boy there was always somethin' useful to be did by children." "Mamma doesn't want me," whined Bertha. "Why don't you sit up straight?" again quoted little Jack "you'll get the round shoul'ers the first thing you know when I was a boy it was the fashion to sit up propily, not in that crooky style." Bertha giggled at Jack's voice and "crooky" expression. "You laugh at me, miss!" he cried, dropping his growly voice for a little scream of pretended anger. "Why, I never did see such disrespec' in all my life, never! When I was a boy my mother'd a took my head off my shoul' ers if I laughed in anybody's face but, there! chil'ren isn't what they used to been!" Bertha giggled again. "Tain't fair to keep laughing," com plained Jack. uWell, you do talk so 'xactly like grandpa," said Bertha, "and act like him, too but I'll try not to laugh any more." She put down the book and began looking at Jack, swinging one foot as she sat in the great library chair. "Is it nec'sary for you to keep that foot a-wagglin'?" asked Jack. "'Tain't mannerly for a child to sit a-swingin' her foot right before my eyes. When I was a boy foots were made to walk on, not to swing about." "Please, I nev^r was a boy," said Bertha. Jack's face grew awful with sudden wrath. "Did I hear my own ears?" he ex claimed "I shall go imegitly to your mother and ask her does she 'low you to speak sarsy to me? When I was a boy, anyone who spoke that way to a grandfather got put to bed and kept there for a week!" Jack started on a prodigious stride toward the door, but had taken but a step or two, when he tripped on the long dressing gown and fell headlong. At this, both broke into a loud laugh, but Grandpa Wyman, behind the cur tain, made never a sign. When Jack got up he threw aside the dressing gown, but the spectacles, to his real distress, had lost one of the glasses. "Oh, dear me! here's one o' the glasses out o' the specs," he wailed "what ever shall I do?" "Never mind," said Bertha, cheerily, "tell grandpa the truth about it—that's all." "Oh, but he'll scold until my head'll ache," said little Jack. "I say, Bertha," he added, soberly, "what do you sup pose makes grandpa so cross?" "I guess grandpas always are," re turned Bertha. "No they ain't," said Jack. "Harry Swan's got a grandpa that lives with him, and he says he's just elegant tells hitxi stories and takes him to walk, and 'xplains things beautifully as they go along. I'd love Grandpa Wyman if he was like that." "Well, he never will be," said Bertha, in a discouraging tone, "because when he was a boy the children never did anything wrong they were all just like grown-up people, and never did the least thing out the way." "I'bet they did!" said Jack, promptly. "Why, Jack," replied Bertha, "what makes you say that?" But Jack was in a decidedly defiant state just then. The thought of having to confess about the glasses seemed to have soured the good-natured little fel low. "I bet he acted just like any other boy," persisted Jack. "I wouldn't won der a speck if he was just a horrid kid when he was little, only he's forgot all about it all now. Only think how old he is!" "I don't think you talk pretty at all, Jack," began Bertha, seriously "after you go to bed you'll think about it." "No, I won't," said Jack "all I'll think 'bout by that time '11 be a a scolded 'bout his old glasses, and said when he was a boy ch 1 're 9k WHEN 1 WAS A BOY." never touched anythin' b'longin' to their grandfathers now you see!" with which knowing observation Jack marched out of the library, followed by Bertha. But after supper something remarka ble happened oh, something very re markable indeed! Jack, like the manly little fellow he was, went up to Grand pa Wyman and said: "Grandpa, I'm very sorry, but Bertha and I took your spectacles to play with this afternoon, and I broke one of the glasses out. I think papa '11 have it mended if I ask him to." Grandpa Wyman swallowed hard, then said, comfortingly: "Never mind, my little dear, acci dents will happen. I remember doing much the same thing once when I was a little boy so no matter, grandpa doesn't care at all." Jack's look of utter wonder almost made grandpa forget himself, and ask the child what on earth he was staring at, but he checked the impulse in time, and the next moment Jack's hearty, re lieved: "Oh, thank you, grandpa," made him feel very comfortable. That night Grandpa Wyman laid awake a long time making resolves, and there came a day before the win ter was over when, on passing the nursery door, he overheard a few re marks, which made him feel very thankful he had made tha resolves for the new year, and had kept them, too. Jack was talking, and, just as grandpa was opposite the door, he caught these words: "Ho! I really love Grandpa Wyman now I hope he'll live forever! but I didn't use to wish so." "I wonder what changed him so?" came in Bertha's voice "he seems like a new grandpa. What a nice little story that was he told us last night about the way they coasted when he was a boy." "It's jolly to hear 'bout when he was a little boy nowadays," said Jack". Then he repeated Bertha's remark: "I won der what changed grandpa so?" "I think," he added, in his droll, little way, "that the old Grandpa Wyman run out the door when the new year came in, and a new Grandpa Wyman run in!" Out in the hall the new Grandpa Wy man said softly to himself: "That's just about it, my own little Jack! You and Bertha made the old grandpa so ashamed of himself that he did bid himself good-by as the old year went out, and when the new year came in I really believe a new Grandpa Wy man came with it—one who has sense enough to remember that when he was a little boy he was very much the same as little boys are nowadays." And Grandpa Wyman deserves a com pliment, for it is a very wise old man who learns so well a plain, simple les son.—Mrs. Harriet A. Cheever, in Chris tian at Work. —One little girl in an up-town fam ily anxiously inquired of her mother Christmas eve if she thought Santa Claus would go in the dining-room, as she had told him in her letter she wanted a dolly and she was afraid Santa would see her old one and think she did not need one. She finally hid her doll in a basket and covered it up, and was sure she had fooled- old Santa when a new dolly was found in her stocking Christmas morning —Utica Observer AMWtHfc StSPPIEMgMT.-W- S USUAL with me lately, I had come from my down-town of in tired and de- N N I a a stormy night in the middle of winter. In my library was a brightly-blazing fire on the table a student lamp with colored shade, which filled the room with a rich and mellow light. An hour may have passed, for I dis covered that I had been napping, when I heard the patter of slippered feet in the hall, and a moment later my little daughter came in for her good-night kiss. In her dainty night robe she kneeled by my chair and said her "Now I lay me." I thought I heard a little sigh as she finished it. She climbed into my lap and kissed me time and time again. There seemed to be a sweet and pe culiar tenderness in her childish ca resses. At length she skipped away with her nurse to bod, calling back to me from the sta'.rs: "Goodnight! Pleas ant dreams and happy birthday." While she was caressing me so pro fusely, I heard a little click my letter rack where I placed my letters to be ready for the morning mail. Reaching over I found a dainty package and read this address upon it: STAMP. TO GOD, la Heaven. I turned it over and over in utter amazement. In one of the corners I found the evidence of grief—two little blistered spots. What can this mean? I said to myself. At last the thought dawned upon me that the nurse might have placed it there to gratify some childish whim of my little daughter. Debating what to do I finally decided to open the package before mailing it— intending to close it again—for I saw it had been properly stamped and sealed. This is what I read aloud to myself, and what more I read between the lines is too sacred for me to repeat: "DEAR GOD I am a little girl end I live in Philadelphia. Nursie says everybody knows where Philadelphia is, so of course you do. I'm too little to write very well, and Nursie says it has been along time since she went to school, but she thought you wouldn't have much trouble in reading her writing, so she is going to do it for me. She s%ys she will write just The Christmas Tree. You used to tell me sueh pretty stories about Heaven and the angels. Are you an angel now! How funny it must be to float around in the air. You used to tell me not to cry when you were sick so long, because yon would be very happy where you wero going. "I wonder why people look at me so funny. They always look sad when they see me. Some times I ask Nursie to tell me why but she don't seem to know. You Jpoked so pretty, mamma, when I saw you before you went away. I have a little pansy you gave me yet. Papa has one, too. He takes it out and kisses it every little while I wonder what makes papa so still now. He doesn't have much time to play with me, either, like you. ''Sometimes I want to put my arms around your neck and kiss you just before I go to sleep. And then I look out of my window, 'way up to the stars, and wonder if you are up there. Nursie is real good to me and glues my dolly's head when I crack it. "I'm so sleepy now, mamma, have to hold my eyes open with my fingers. "Good night, dear little mamma. •Tree now is in \i' ... II homes alj a-bloom with beauty the brightest and fairest. It x|Nfilleth the air with 'iv its piney perfume, and beareth fruit richest and rarest. Its tapers, a-sparkle, are shining their rays on happiest faces around it, and children's ^|N sweet voices are ringing its '|N praise, and O, they right merrily sound it. The dear little baby is brought in to see its very first Christmas of pleasures, and, crowing and clapping wee hands in its glee, II it grabs at the tree full of treasures. The old folks, made young, and all beaming with love, more joy than the I children are knowing, while |, angels, rejoicing, sing anthems above II with tears that for gladness are flowing. On this beautiful tree are gifts straight from the heart, from children to father and mother—from parents to children, which ever impart sweet memories nothing can smother. All hail! Tree of Christmas! that sparkles with love and bends with affection unsparing well may the glad angels who watch from above rejoice, fort joy they are sharing. /_\ PEACE I ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TO MEN. what I tell her to, and this la what I want to say: "My mamma died last year and I want to talk with her so much that I thought you could find her and give her this letter from me. "I hope it won't trouble you much, and If you will do it I will try to be a very good little girl and say my prayers every night. Good-by. "MARY." "MY DEAR LITTLE MAMMA I wonder If yon know how very, very much 1 miss you? Some times I think I hear you calling me, and I run to your room to see, but everything there Is still. Then I come back to my little room and have a cry all by myself. I told Nucsje to day how much I wanted to see you and talk to you. I guess she had something in her eye for sbe wiped it along time with the corner of her apron, and when she was through sbe asked me if it wouldn't be nice to write you a lettpr, so this is the way she fixed it. "She said I must write a little letter to God and ask Him to find you and give yon this let ter from me. So I told God I would be a very good little girl and say my prayers every night, and so I guess ycu'll get this. It seems so long since I saw you, mamma. Everybody told me I would get used to it,'by and by, but I don't. From your little darling. "P. S.—Old Tabby has some more kittens. Two are white and two are black." The letter dropped from my hand. While reading these loving words I lived my whole life over again. How selfish and sordid it all seemed to me now. The picture stood out in bold re lief—the artist's hand was that of a child. How long I sat I do not know, I BEAD MARY THE LETTER FROM MAMMA. but before I went to my room I had written this letter from mamma to Mary: "MY DEAR LITTLE DARLING:—I have just fin ished reading your sweet letter and not a very little one, either. And how do you think I did it? Looking over your shoulder as Nursie wrote it for you. This will seem very queer to you, and I cannot make you understand it now, but you will some day. So papa did not need to send your letter to me, and he wanted so much to keep it I told him be might. I think it will do papa good, too. whenever he reads it. "After you went to sleep last night I kissed you in your little bed, just as I used to. I think you must have felt it, for you smiled very sweetly. I saw papa go to your room and kneel down by your side for a long, long time, and he kissed you very gently. "He had his pansy and your letter with him, so I knew he was thinking of me, too. You wish to know all about Heaven, my little one. You shall, by and by, better than I can tell you. But I'll tell this much, that it is more beautiful than all the pretty stories I used to tell you. Don't think about it too much, my little one, but play you have a pretty Heaven where you ore. "I am always so happy and you must not be sad for me. It will not be long before we are all together again. I think papa will have more time to play with you in a few days. Christmas »r\ By H. C. Dodge. IU1LC "I was so glad to know that Nursie Is so'good to you. Give her a kiss for me. Pet your little kittens for me, too. I told all this to papa last night In bis dreams and he will write It out for me. Pleasant dreams and happy days and a merry Christmas to my precious darling. Your loving angel, MAMMA." The world looked strangely different to me the next day. I seemed to find sunshine in unexpected places. Faces which before were blank now lighted up with meaning. I handed my crippled newsboy a quar ter for my evening paper and forgot to stop for the change. I hurried home at night with a lighter heart, for I carried in my pocket mamma's letter to Mary. After-dinner I gathered my household together in the library. With Mary in my lap I read to her the letter from mamma. A breath from Heaven filled our hearts and home that night. It was Christmas eve, and our home has seemed more like Heaven to all of us ever since. —J. H. MacKendree, in Phila. Press. stockings were a it care," 11 MWIHI, St. Nick with bis ^wllJBP reindeers right early was there. But mamma and papa, of course, couldn't sleep Without stealing down and first taking a peep. The great joy of Christmas—the sweetest that's known— Upon their glad faces is faithfully shown, And, while they are playing "St. Nick" in the dark, A word to '"us old folks" we wish to remark. O, don't you remember with thrills of delight, The waiting and watching for Santa Claus' night, How, eyes all a-sparkle and cheeks all a-flame, You eagerly counted the days till it came. And then, how you "hung by the chimney with care" The biggest long stockings that mamma could spare, And marched with your brothers and sisters to bed. Where visions of sugar plums danced through your head. O, never a night was so long as that seemed You couldn't get sleepy, you tossed till yon dreamed At last came the morn when you quickly arose Almost too excited to button your clothes. Then downstairs you rushed to the parlor's closed door, Then paused, hardly daring to further explore Lest naught might be there. Then—Hurrah 1 what a shout You gave when you found Santa Claus was about. That moment supremo you can never forget, Its ever good influence clings to you yet 'Tis sweet to look back on and live through again. The joy of your lifetime 'twill always remain. So give to your children that memory bright, Of childhood's most wonderful Christmas de light, And hang—not one stocking—but two for each chick, For nothing's too good or too much for St. Nick. —H. C. Dodge, in Goodali's Sun. HAT if this year should be my last! That e'er another year shall come My pilgrimage on earth be past And I asleep with in the tomb 1 It may be so. I can not tell. The future gives no secret out. What is to be she guards full well And leaves the searcher still in doubt. But as I know not, therefore, I Will act as tho' this year should be The last beneath the sunny sky That e'er kind Heaven shall give to me. With sympathy my heart shall beat For every creature God has made, And love to man, divinely sweet, Each moment shall my breast pervade. Revenge or hatred shall not find Within my being room to hide And malice, poison of the mind. Condemned with serpents to abide. Each day shall see some duty done, Some act of pure unselfishness And everywhere my feet shall run To help a brother In distress. Tho' many years may come to me, Like those now numbered with the past, A priceless pearl this one shall be As tho', indeed, it were my last. —G.W. Crofts, in Inter Ocean. CHRISTMAS CONFIDENCES. "What a lot of things Santa Claus brings into the house," mused a little fellow, "since father failed in business." Christmas flattens out many a fat wallet. Santa Claus forgets all the bad things we do. It is a bad boy who ties his new tin rattle to the dog's tail. The destructive boy who pokes a hole in his drum won't annoy his neighbors. The bad boy who doesn't grow good at Christmas is beyond all hope in this world. The cute boy always looks to see if there is a hole in his stocking before hanging it up. "It was very kind of Mr. Lavish to take my two girls out for a sleigh ride," philosophized the butcher, "but I wish he had given me the ten dollars the sleigh cost on account of his meat bill." —Christmas Judge. THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I Mouse—Well, this a picnic!—Life.