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AM the Christmas
Come and take a
look at me:
See my tapers
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
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
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
The restless dimple midway of her chin
And sleep's moist linger quenched the hazel
Her curling lashes jealously hedge in.
How sweet her slumber is, my thoughts di
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
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
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
—Eva Wilder McGlasson.
HAT a funny
some one, a
lesson for a
then—life is a
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
so mamma said
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
"Now you must be doin' some
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
"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
Bertha giggled at Jack's voice and
"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
Bertha giggled again.
"Tain't fair to keep laughing," com
you do talk so 'xactly like
grandpa," said Bertha, "and act like
him, too but I'll try not to laugh any
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
Jack's face grew awful with sudden
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
scolded 'bout his
old glasses, and
said when he was
a boy ch 1 're
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
"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
S USUAL with
me lately, I had
come from my
tired and de-
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
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:
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
II homes alj a-bloom
with beauty the brightest
and fairest. It
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,
I ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TO MEN.
what I tell her to, and this la what I want to
"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.
"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
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
"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.
By H. C. Dodge.
"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.
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
Upon their glad faces is faithfully shown,
And, while they are playing "St. Nick" in the
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'
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
The biggest long stockings that mamma could
And marched with your brothers and sisters to
Where visions of sugar plums danced through
O, never a night was so long as that seemed
You couldn't get sleepy, you tossed till yon
At last came the morn when you quickly arose
Almost too excited to button your clothes.
Then downstairs you rushed to the parlor's
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
That moment supremo you can never forget,
Its ever good influence clings to you yet
'Tis sweet to look back on and live through
The joy of your lifetime 'twill always remain.
So give to your children that memory bright,
Of childhood's most wonderful Christmas de
And hang—not one stocking—but two for each
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
That e'er another
My pilgrimage on
earth be past
in the tomb
It may be so. I can
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.
"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
Santa Claus forgets all the bad things
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
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."
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
Mouse—Well, this a picnic!—Life.