Newspaper Page Text
AKE some lightly
falling snow flakes,
some stars, some
(Meanwhile the bells, for miles around, start
With shouts of merriest laughter, and with
sounds of merriest singing,
(Be sure, whate'er you do, to keep the joyful
And Christmas trees enough to fill a forest,
decked with berries,
Some creamy white and some as red as sum
mer's ripest cherries,
And stockings of ail sizes and all hues set
From chimney shelves. (And, mind, don't let
the gladsome bells slop ringing.)
And of mince pies, plum puddings, turkeys,
chickens, yes, and any
Good things you find take plenty, for you can
not have too many.
Then Santa Claus get hold of when his rein
deer steeds Are springing
From roof to roof (cling-clang! cling-clang!
still have the bells a-ringing).
And help yourself to sweets and toys for some
poor little dweller.
Some pretty, thin-faced boy or girl—in garret
or in cellar
To whose pale cheek the sight of them will
flush of joy be bringing
(Louder and faster let the bells, the festive
bells, be ringing).
Then gather lots of greetings warm anil untold
stores of kisses,
And friendly wishes, happy smiles—in fact, all
kinds of blisses,
With "hip hurrah!" for Prince New Year his
way toward us winging
(And now their wry fastest must the wild, wild
bells be ringing),
And at tha last mix well with rhymes, and
you'll have—don't I know 'em?
I should, for I've a thousand read—a reg'lar
—Margaret Eytinge, in Detroit Free Press.
on a front
gate, before an
1 d-f ashioned
road, two lit
tle girls with
odd-looking little creatures, for their
dark wooleu dresses came down below
their ankles, and on their heads were
thick worsted hoods, while each was
wrapped in a big blanket shawl, tied at
They were used to the cold, and they
didn't mind it in the least, and just now
they forgot all about it in their absorb
ing interest in some subject they were
"We'll be awful 'shamed to say we
didn't get anything, Rebecca,'' said the
elder girl, "and they'll be sure to ask a
lot of questions."
"Well, we'll just have to stand it—
that's all," rejoined little Rebecca,
sturdily. "'Tain't our fault we don't
have any Christmas."
"But don't you suppose, if we spoke
to Aunt Jane, she'd—"
"No," interrupted Rebecca. "It
wouldn't do a mite o' good. She'd say
she didn't believe in Christmas. You
know she would, Prue."
"I've a good mind to ask her, anyway.
I don't want to go to school next Mon
day 'n' tell 'em we didn't have the first
thing. They'd think Aunt Jane 'n'
Uncle Reuben awful mean to us. We've
lived here five years, and we ain't never
had any Christmas yet."
Rebecca was about to reply, but
what she would have said will never be
known, for at that moment a tall,
angular woman, with a thin face, and
iron-gray hair drawn tightly back from
her temples, came around the side of
"How many times have I got to tell
you girls not to swing on that there
gate?" she cried, in a thin, rasping voice.
"You'll have it off the hinges yet. You
don't pretend to pay attention to a thing
Prudence and Rebecca, with scared
faces, jumped down from the gate, and
walked quickly up the narrow, box-
"IT'S FOB CHRISTMAS, AUNT JAKE.
bordered path. Their aunt stood waiting
for thein, and when they were within
reach pushed them before her into the
"There's no need to idle round jest
because school ain't keepin' this week,"
she said. "There's plenty to do, dear
knows! It's all foolishness havin' a
vacation. I don't believe in it."
"But it's for Christmas, Aunt Jane,"
ventured' Prudence. "It's to-morrow
night, you know."
"No, I don't know," rejoined her
aunt "and if tendin' school is goin' to
fill your heads full o' nonsense, I'll
take you away mighty quick. I don't
believe in Christmas. There ain't no
sense in givin' a whole pack of presents
right and left. Now, what under the
canopy are you cryin' about, Prudence?
I declare, if one or the other of you
ain't alwers cryin' about somethin
"She's thinking what the girls will
say when we tell 'em we didn't get any
thing," explained Rebecca, for Pru
dence couldn't speak. "They're sure to
ask, you know, 'n' think it funny."
"Let 'em ask, then!" said Aunt Jane,
sharply. "I'd like to know if folks
don't think I'm doin' well by you as
'tis? Seems like 'tain't enough to feed
'n' clothe ye, 'n' send ye to school. Ye
want a whole raft o' presents besides!
Well, ye won't get 'em, no matter what
folks say. I'm a willin' hoss, but I
won't be rid to death by nobody. Now,
Prudence, you stop that cryin' 'n' go
upstairs 'n'get your patchwork 'n' you
go down suller after a pan o' apples, Re
becca. And I want 'em peeled better'n
you peeled those yesterday, too."
But whipping together squares of cal
ico and peeling apples did not cause
either of the little girls to forget their
disappointment. They were very young
when they came to live with their aunt
and uncle in the lonely farmhouse, and
they had been kept there so closely
that their ideas of Christmas had been
very vague and shadowy until this fall,
when they had begun a term at the
district school. They had learned all
about Christmas then, and for the past
fortnight there had been talk of little
else. 11 was hard enough to Prudence
and Rebecca to know that they would
be left out of all Christmas joys, but
the mortification of having to con
fess this the following Monday to their
mates would be, they thought, harder
fcebecca felt that she could bear it
better if Prudence didn't take it so to
heart but there was nothing of the her
oine about poor little Prue, and she
made no attempt to conceal the tears
that rolled slowly down her cheeks and
fell, one by one, on the squares of patch
work in her lap.
Rebecca, finding the sight too painful
at last, turned her chair so that she
cov.ld not see her sister, and went over
in her mind all her small possessions,
trying to think if she owned anything
that Prue would fancy for a Christmas
gift. There was that queerly-shaped
gourd Tim Binns, the hired man, had
given her, and the pretty glittering
stone she had picked up in the pasture
one day. But Prue had seen these a
hundred times, and, of course, would
not care for them. No, there didn't seem
any chance to have any sort of a Christ
She turned her head and furtively
glanced at Prue. The tears were fall
ing still, and an occasional stifled sob
made Aunt Jane look up crossly from
the ham she was skinning. Rebecca
sighed. If only Prue would not take
it so to heart! She was beginning to
feel a little despondent herself, when
suddenly an idea came to her an idea
so brilliant that for a moment she was
fairly dizzy with excitement. Her
whole face lighted up, and her ab
sorption was so great that she forgot
all about the potatoes, until a sharp:
"What under the sun air ye starin' at,
Rebecca?" brought her to a realization
of her neglect.
"I ain't starin", Aunt Jane I was
just thinkin' about something," she re
joined, trying to make signals of joy
and relief to Prue. But Prue shook
her head. The signals were too mys
terious for her to understand, and her
tears continued to flow at intervals un
til household duties called Aunt Jane
Then down went the pan of potatoes
with a crash, the knife followed after,
and Rebecca flew to her sister and
threw both arms rapturously around
"We won't be ashamed next Monday,
Prue!" she cried, joyously. "The-girls
need never know Aunt Jane wouldn't
give us anything for I've thought of
something, Prue," her voice sinking to
a tense whisper. "We can make a
Christmas tree for ourselves, and we
can hang up our stockings, too. We
can just pretend to have Christmas,
Prue, and it'll be the same to talk about
as the real thing."
"Pretend it! I don't understand,"
said Prue, slowly.
"I can't tell you now—there comes
Aunt Jane. But don't cry any more.
It'll be all right!" And Rebecca rushed
back to her chair and picked up the pan
of potatoes just as Miss Jane's hand
turned the knob of the door.
"I wonder what that there light in
the old henhouse means?" muttered old
Reuben Paine to himself as he came
up the path from the barnyard on
Christmas eve, with a full pail of milk
in each hand. "Those young ones are
up to something, I'll engage."
He set the milk down, and walked
softly over to the henhouse, through
every crack of which ancient structure,
long given up to ruin and decay, a flood
of light was streaming. To tell the
truth, Uncle Reuben had a very warm
place in his heart for the two little girls
his pretty, gentle niece had left as a
legacy to him, and he would have shown
it very often but for the fear that Jane
would take him to task for it. And
now, as he looked in at a crack in one
side of the henhouse, a sudden moisture
sprang to his eyes, and when he
straightened himself up again he stood
staring straight before him for a full
"I declare! I never saw the beat!" he
muttered, as he turned away.
He picked up the pails again and went
into the kitchen, where his sister, a big
gingham apron shielding her black al
paca dress, was frying potatoes for sup
"Where be the children, Jane?" he
"Dear only knows!" answered Miss
Jane, in a tone of vexation. "I can't
keep track o' 'em. I sent 'em out to the
well much as an hour ago, 'n' they ain't
come back yet."
"I wish ye'd let me show ye where
they be, Jane."
An odd tremulousness in her brother's
voice struck Miss Jane, and she turned
"What d'ye mean, Reuben? Nothin's
happened to 'em, I hope?"
"No, nothin' ain't happened to 'em.
But they're out in the old henhouse,
"The old henhouse!" interrupted Miss
Jane. "What under the canopy be they
"They're—they're havin' a Christmas
tree." answered her brother, "'n I want
you to see 'em, Jane. The poor little
things! They've got a little hemlock,
a-settin' in a wash-tub o' ashes, 'n' it's
covered all over with candle ends, 'n'
there's a gourd a-hangin' on it, 'n' a
stone, 'n' the parlor duster, 'n' that tidy
Priscilla Newcome knit, 'n' the chaney
cup that belonged to mother, 'n'—it's
jest pitiful to see 'em, Jane."
Miss Jane didn't answer. She was
very busy stirring the potatoes. But
presently she pushed the pan to the
back of the stove, and taking her shawl
and hood down from a peg on the
kitchen door, said in a muffled voice,
as she tied the strings of the hood under
'I s'pose I might as well go out 'n'
see for myself what they're up to. Why
couldn't they have their tree in the
The flowers of Summer are lair to see,
A-bloom 'midst the nodding grasses,
And sweet are their cells to the honey bee
That pauses and sips as it passes
house ef they was so set on havin' one!
They'll take their death o' cold out'n
that draughty place."
Reuben followed her out, and a mo
ment later they stood side by side at
the door of the hen-house. The pres
ents had all been taken from the tree,
and Rebecca was talking eagerly.
"Now, you see what a splendid plan
it was, Prue. I'm so glad 1 happened
to think of it. Now, on Monday we can
say we had a Christmas tree, 'n' you can
say you got a tidy, *n' a book, *n' a beau
tiful stone that you mean to use for a
paper weight and 1 will tell all I got.
An' it'll all be true, Prue—that's the
best of it. An' nobody'll ever know in
this wide world that we only pretended
Prue sighed as her cheerful little sis
ter stopped talking. Older by a year
and a half than Rebecca, she, neverthe-
•WE CAS SAY WE HAD A CHRISTMAS
less, let the latter take the lead in all
"It's better'n nothin', I s'pose," she
said, drearily, "an' I guess the girls
won't ask us to bring our presents to
school. But we'd better go in now,
'Becca. It must be most supper time,
'n' Aunt Jane will be wondering where
Reuben drew his sister quickly to
one side just as the door of the hen
house opened and the two little girls
"Can't—can't we give 'em some sort
o" Christmas, Jane?" he asked, timidly,
as soon as the children were out of
hearing. "It does seem so pitiful to
have 'em a-doin' this way."
"I ain't got nothin' agin their havin'
a Christmas, ef you choose ter pay for
it," answered Miss Jane, her voice soft
er than usual. "I ain't as mean
as some folks 'd like to make out.
The only reason I didn't give 'em Christ
mas long before this was because I
didn't think you had money to pay out
for such foolishness."
"I ain't noways rich, as everybody
knows, 'thout bein' told," rejoined
Reuben, "but I guess 1 ain't so poor I
can't spend a bit once a year for the
poor little creeturs. I'll go down to the
tetore soon's supper's over, "n" see what
I c'n do."
Prude and Rebecca wondered what
made their uncle and aunt so silent dur
ing supper, and why Aunt Jane's voice
was so much, kinder than usual, but
not for a moment did they suspect that
there had been witnesses to that pre
tended Christmas in the old henhouse.
When Reuben got back from the vil
lage at nine o'clock, and, after putting
his horse in the stable, came into the
warm, well-lighted kitchen, where
Jane was sewing by the center-table,
his arms were full of bundles. There
was a little bedstead, two china dolls, a
tea-set, a small kitehen, a doll's car
riage, a bag of candy, and half a dozen
big oranges. He looked a little anxious
as Jane unwrapped one thing after the
other, for he half expected to be called
to account for such wild extravagance
But fairer and sweeter is one wee flower
That blooms when the snow is falling.
And good Saint Nick at the yule-tide hour
On his dear little friends is calling.
F. B. W.
but, for a wonder, Jane spoke no word
of blame or criticism.
They went together into the L-room
where the two little girls were asleep,
but were scarcely over the threshold
when they stopped short, for, by the
light of a small lamp on the mantel,
they saw a sight which moved them
both deeply. Under the mantel hung
two gray hand-knit stockings packed
Miss Jane did not venture to look at
her brother as she went forward and
emptied the stockings. From Prue's
she took an old case knife, an anti
quated bead pin cushion, an almanac, a
china dog—which belonged to the
spare room mantle—a lamp mat and a
toilet bottle. From Rebecca's, a match
safe, a shell box, a photograph frame,
a hair brush, a broken ink bottle, and a
battered silver cup that was a relic of
Miss Jane's babyhood.
"Well! I never in all my born days!"
she ejaculated under her breath.
"Reuben, look here!"
But Reuben, finding his emotion not
to be controlled by an occasional smoth
ered cough, had gone back to the
kitchen. Miss Jane found him there ten
minutes later sitting by the stove with
his hands over his face. He looked up
as she entered.
"Ef I hed to get them presents over
ag'in," he said, slowly, "I wouldn't rest
till I'd bought the hull store out. The
poor little creeturs!"
"Ye got enough, dear knows!" re
joined Miss Jane, pretending to search
in the corner cupboard for something
which could not be found. "They'll be
as pleased in the mornin' as two
The astonishment and delight of the
two little girls when they waked in the
morning and found their gifts can better
be imagined than described and there
were no happier children in the old
district schoolhouse the following Mon
day than the two whose pretended
Christmas had become a wonderful
reality.—B. II olio
well, in Christian
—"Well, Bobbie," said his father, the
other day after Christmas, "aren't you
sorry Christmas comes only once
year?" "Oh, I d' know! If Dr. Squills
has got to come the day after Christmas
every time, I'm rather glad of it-'^—
—We always like best what the other
60s AflSWfflM. •KO Mew^kAft, tS9L
HOLIDAY JESTS AND GEftlS.
—The small boy hasn't to be got out
of bed with a switch on Christmas
—The almanacs put the shortest day
of the year just before Christmas, but
financially it is the next day after.
—You cannot cut Christmas out of
the calendar nor out of the heart of the
world.—T. W. Ilandford.
—"I'm sorry I didn't ask Santa Claus
for a few more things while I was
about it," said the young miser.—Judge.
—Job got his certificate for patience
before he was obliged to go out and buy
Christmas presents for all his relatives.
—Charley Was Slow. Amy "Are
you going to give Charley anything at
Christmas?" Mabel—"I'm thinking of
giving him a hint."—Epoch.
—Tommy "1 wish Christmas had
come and gone." Johnny—"What for?"
Tommy—"Because then we could quit
being good."—Golden Days.
—Be merry all, be merry all.
With holly dress and festive hall.
Prepare the song, the feast, the ball,
To welcome merry Christmas.
—W. R. Spencer.
—"The holiday spirit is an all-per
vading one," remarked a father as he
bought his little boy a fifteen-eent tin
horse "but it costs money."—Puck.
—Mother and daughter examining
Christmas presents. Daughter—"Are
both of these boxes of candy differ
ent?" Mother—"No neither is alike."
—Wife—"I hope you are pleased with
those slippers, darling?" Husband—
(hesitatingly)—"Yes, dear, I'm so glad I
learned to walk on snowshoes when I
was a boy."—Washington Post.
—The church bells of innumerable
sects are all chime bells to-day, ringing
in sweet accordance throughout many
lands, and awaking a great joy in the
heart of our common humanity.
—Johnny—"Say, pa, to-day is Christ
mas." Mr. Squeers—"That's so, my boy!
Well, I'll let you go without a spank
ing to-day. No child of mine shall ever
lack something to remember Christ
—It is well for everyone during the
holidays to be filled with tlie Christmas
spirit, but they should not regard this
as permission for unlimited and unre
stricted indulgence in Christmas punch.
—If you hear a man protesting loudly
during the week against the promiscu
ous slaughter of seals you may depend
upon it that he very grudgingly bought
his wife a sealskin sacque for Christ
—Willie—"I don't believe the stories
about Santa Claus. Do you, Fred?"
Fred—"No, I don't, either but—"sh!
don't lets talk so loud. He might hear
us, and then he wouldn't give us any
thing."—Harper's Young People.
Christ, the Lord, is born to-day!
Hang the house with holly gay,
Ring the tuneful bell!
In the churches, vast and dim,
Solely for the love of Him,
The Te Deum swell!
Meet the poor with open hands
Ask that Christ's Divine commands
Sweetly in thee dwell!
—Grace W. Haight, in Good Housekeeping.
—Fifty-two times the shuttle has
flown, in each flight weaving a week
with a golden border of Sabbath. Three
hundred and sixty-five times the clock
has struck twelve for the noon, and
only one less time twelve for the night.
In that time, how many marriage gar
lands have been twisted, how many
graves dug, how many sorrows
how many fortunes won, how many
souls lost, how many mortals saved!—
SANTA CLAUS' MISTAKE.
Johnnie—Say, pa, is this what Santa
Claus brought you?
Mr. Scantlox—Yes, my boy. What
do you think of it?
Johnnie—Well, I think that Santa
made a mistake, as you always part
your hair with a towel.
"Jane," said Mr. Skinnphlint, a soft
ened light shining in his eyes, "I think
I have never given you anything for a
Christmas present, have I?"
"No, William," answered Mrs. Skinn
phlint. "You never have."
"This Christmas, Jane," said Mr.
Skinnphlint, in a voice trembling from
unwonted feeling, "shall be a different
one from any we have ever had. What
would you say to a present of some use
ful article for the house?"
"I would like it very much, William."
"Something, for instance, that would
be both useful and ornamental? Some
thing that you could select yourself?
How would that do?"
"It would please me above all things."
"Then, Jane," said Mr. Skinnphlint,
with an effort to retain his composure,
"we need a new bootjack. Here is
twenty-five cents to buy it with. If it
costs less, Jane," he added, in a broken
voice, "you can keep the change."—Chi
—There is-a gleam of comfort for a
man even when the Christmas present
season is in full blast his wife does not
want an Easter bonnet now.—Philadel
11 II I' II
ADDY'S lost the
job he had a
drivin' on the
An' so he's took to
carryin' a adver
All 'at hr's a-mak
in' now is fifty
cents a day,
Walkin' up an'
down, an' givin'
little bills away.
Daddy he tells mammy 'at it won't be long
He fin's anudder job at sumpin' 'at "11 pay him
An' Bess an' me's a-hopin' 'at he *11 git it soon,
It's putty nearly "bout the time to look far
I 'mos' eight years old, an" Bess is littler
An' mammy's been a-promisin' 'at we could
have a tree
Big as what the Dolans had las' year on Chrisa
An' there's seven little Dolans, an' there *s
on'y two of us:
But mammy now is worried "bout the rent a
An' we don't drink no more coffee, an' the bag
o' flour's gone:
An' the coal "at's in the closet's a-gittin' down
We sirs the cinders over twict to try an" make
So it don't much look as if a tree's a goin' to be
An' we've stopped a-askin* mammy 'cause it
on'y makes her mad.
An' we both have made it up to stop a-plaguin'
Fur centses to buy candy with, jus' like we
used to do.
But we keep a-hopin* to oursel's it won't be
An' a-prayin' an' a-prayin'. though we don't let
If there's a job to spare, 'at daddy '11 git it
Sumpin' 'at '11 bring him more 'an fifty cents a
—Malcolm Douglas, in St. Nicholas.
IN'DER THE MISTLETOE.
AN EMBARRASSING SITUATION.
—*'And why do they spell it Xmas, pa?"
"Because, my son, it has so many ten
der recollections."—Munsey's Weeklj*.
—Christmas is the only holiday of the
year that brings the whole human fami
ly into common communion.—Charles
—A man's pocketbook after Christ
mas does not resemble a cloud. The
cloud has a silver lining, you know.—
—It is worth remembering that the
value of a Christmas present isn't de
termined by what it costs, but by what
it typifies.—New Bedford Journal.
—"Many at the Christmas table?"
'Eight of us. Father, mother and the
five children." "That's only seven."
"Yes, but the turkey was ate."—Phila
—A Nice Present.—"Tliat's a fine
wallet you have, Henry." "Yes. My
wife gave it to me for Christmas." "In
deed! Anything in it?" "Yes the bill
for the wallet."
—About Christmas time a little girl
was told that "she was naughty, and
Santa Claus might not bring her a pres
ent." "Well," said she, "you need not
say it so near the chimney."—Youth's
HOW HE WOVL1) SLIDE.
Mrs. Smitem (to her son) Which
would you rather have for Christmas,
Robbie, a pair of skates or a sled?
Robbie—Can't I have both?
Mrs. Smitem—No, I don't •hinlr Santa
Claus would consent to that.
Robbie Then give me the nlratrn
Tommy Slimson's got a sled, I can
lick him.—N. Y. Mail and Express.