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The Sisseton weekly standard. (Sisseton, Roberts County, S.D.) 1892-1929, December 21, 1906, Christmas Number, Image 13

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99062049/1906-12-21/ed-1/seq-13/

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Mother's Christmas.
By Susan Hubbard Martin.
HERE were three girls of (hem,
all merry. light-hearted and
thoughtless, but this evening, a
seriousness was upon them.
For one thing, mother had gone to led
with a sharp neuralgic attack. Another
"was that father had just given them their
Christmas allowance, tor it was the ISth
of November, and they had already begun
to plan for the great day.
"Girls," he had said as he handed each
one a crisp ten-dollar bill, "this year you
must really make this do. Don spend it
and expect more, for it will not be forth
coming. Times are hard. 'Peace on earth,
good will to men,' means more than a
mad rush at bargain counters. We all try
'to do too much, and under the strain, the
•weet old merry Christmas of long ago
has lost its charm."'
"I've simply got: to give Bess a more
•xpensive present than I did last year,"
said Mag gloomily, ".lust imagine my
humiliation Christinas day when she sent
tte that beautiful watch fob, and all I
bad given her was a little picture in a
plain oak frame."
"Don't say a word." broke in Fan. tra
gically. "I suffer mortification of the
spirit a hundred times when I think of
the little I can give. Ten dollars and
twenty-seven friends and relations to
make presents to."
"I say," Joyce began quickly, "that it's
time the Christmas reformation began in
this family. Three girls. Fan seventeen,
Mag sixteen and 1 fourteen and a half.
Ifot one of us able-to earn a penny, and
straining every nerve to make it harder
or father and do something we can't af
ford. I'm like Dad. Christmas doesn't
mean a mad rush at bargain counters to
buy things for people who half the time
4on't care for 'ein when they get 'em. The
facts in our case are these, father's poor,
lie works hard, and mother isn't well. I
Bay it's time to stop. I shall simply tell
Belle that all I can give her is a set of
mats for her dressing table. I'll make
'em as pretty as I can, and there'll lie lots
of love to go with 'em. but there, 111 stop.
Last year we spent all we had and didn't
have one cent left to remember mother
with, and I went up to the attic Christ
mas afternoon and cried about it. I'm go
ing np to see how she is."
Joyce crept softly into her mother's
room. The figure on the bed did not stir.
Joyce slipped over and looked down at the
pale sleeper. "Darling mother," she whis
pered, "how white her cheeks are, and her

HERE'S a song in the air!
There's a star in the sky!
There's a mother's deep prayer,
And a baby's low cry!
Avid the star rains its fire while the Beautiful sing.
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!
There's a tumult of jov
O'er the wonderful birth,
For the Virgin's sweet lxy
Js the Lord of the earth.
Ay\ the star rains its fire while the Beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!
In the light of that star
Lie the ages impearled
And that song from afar
lias swept over the world.
Every hearth is aflame, and the Beautiful sing'
In the homes of the nations that Jesus is King!
We rejoice in the light,
And we echo the song
That comes down through the night
From the heavenly throng.
Ay! we shout to the lovely evangel they bring.
And we greet in 1 lis cradle our Saviour and King!
—J. G. Holland.
hands, too, how thin. I wish 1" might kiss
She turned 1o go away, but a pair of
slippers sitting side by side at the foot
of the bed arrested her. She stooped and
picked one up, stroking it softly. The
sole was pitifully thin, and there was a
little break in one side. Mother's wrapper
lay carefully folded over the back of a
chair. Joyce looked at it also. The sleeves
had been patched, the collar mended.
She swept the wrapper off the chair and
took up the little worn slippers, then she
went down into the sitting room. Mag
and Fan were still there.
"Girls," cried Joyce dramatically, hold
ing up the old wrapper, "do you think
we girls ought to make Christmas presents
when our mother has to wear clothes like
these? See how she's patched these
sleeves, and the collar, too, and just look
at these slippers
The girls did look, and as Joyce held
them up*, the poor, shabby little slippers,
ft stillness fell upon them. Each girl re
membered the patient figure in the worn
slippers, that went, about a ceaseless
round of duties day by day, with no
thought of relaxation or enjoyment.
Fan wiped a tear away so did Mag.
Joyce's eyes were already full.
"If we don't take better care of mother,
perhaps we won't have her very long,"
said Joyce solemnly. "Girls, let's do
something. Say we put five dollars out of
our ten. away for her, and fix up her
thing-s. I'm going to get her a handsome
pair of Juliets all trimmed In black fur,
and stuff enough to make her a pretty
dressing sacque. Mag, will YOU make
"Yes, I will. Joyce, and I'll give five
dollars, too. I never realized that mother
was wearing quite as poor clothes as
'"I'll give five," said Fan slowly.
When mother came downstairs (hat
Christmas morning, she gave a start of
surprise. A gay little wreath of holly
hung by the window. Attached to it was
a large white card which bore these
A pretty brown wrapper with velvet
collar and cuffs hung over the back of
her favorite chair. A dainty pair of house
slwes lay beside it. trimmed in black fur.
Near them was a dressing sacque, soft
and warm, of some gray material finished
off by a touch of scarlet and a bow of
ribbon. A shoulder shawl of white and
blue hung over one arm of the chair. Two
pairs of kid gloves lay across it. On the
sofa was a handsome comforter of pink
silkaline artistically knotted with blue.
This was Fan's gift, and had been bought
with a portion of her money. There were
aprons, too, and handkerchiefs sheer and
fine. Father had given these.
Mother stood still, then seeing the new
expression in her children's faces, she took
a step forward. "Praise the Lord," slie
•sang in her heart, but aloud she could
only say "My blessed, blessed girls," as
she gathered them each one into her len
der and loving arms.—The Ham's Horn.
Tiic?rpa(itiij&' liaxnry of .Vmerican l*ife
Sow Itevrnln Knolf.
If the making and receiving of gifts
contributes vitally io the joy of exist
ence, the children of the twentieth cen
tury have reason to congratulate them
selves upon their good fortune. In no
way has the increasing luxury of Ameri
can life revealed itself more widely than
in this.
Our grandmothers could often count
upon their ton fingers the gifts of their
childhood. The average American baby
of any except the poorest families proba
bly receives more gifts from admiring
relatives in the first year of his life than
his great-grandmother received in lier Grst
twenty. For in her day, except for the
occasional rare treasure bestowed by some
especial kindness of fortune, there was
but one time of gift-making and receiv
ing, and that the wedding day, when the
friends and relatives brought their simple
presents of household goods and plenish
ings and provisions to help furnish the
new home.
Now the bride that is to be does not
have to wait till her wedding day for vis
ible assurance of the affection of her
friends. The annouccment of her engage
ment brings her a multitude of dainty
gifts, and every anniversary repeats them.
Even before these, there have been the
delightful tissue-papered mysteries of
birthdays and Christmas and New Year's
and St. Valentine's day and Easter, and
once or twice the excitement of commence
ment, with its flowers and boxes, and fre
quent presents from visiting friends or
other friends returning from journeys.
We live truly in an era of gifts.
Is the child—or the grown-up child,
for that matter—greatly the happier fo
all these gifts? Probably not, and for
two reaswns. One is the grave old law
of compensation, so often the leveler of
unequal fortunes. A gift cannot mean so
much to one who receives a hundred as it
did to one who cherished his solitary
The other reason is that the gival gift
of all to any life, mi matter how few or
•how many the yearv it counts, is love.
The child who has that can easily spare
material wealth.
There is, nevertheless, one other side to
this matter of giving. If luxury in living
is increasing every day. as it seems to be,
it is surely a pleasant thing that one
phase of it is the devising of new and
graceful ways of showing our sympathy
with friends in everything, whether joy
or sorrow, that touches their lives.—
Youth's Companion.
SfteplicrdM In Modern Tlt*l lilelieui.
From the greatest height in Bethlehem
a. distant glimpse of even the Mediter
ranean sea may be perceived on a clear,
bright day. The sLrange beauty of the
surroundings of Bethlehem, viewed from
the town itself, as well as from all the
neighboring heights, may have inspired in
the young shepherd King David some of
those inspiring psalms which have been
the comfort of the afflicted throughout all
In a beautiful valley near Bethlehem
are the "fields of the shepherds" of sacred
memory. These fields are still used as
pasture lands, and many a young David
may be seen tending his flock with the
same care as the shepherds of yore. When
he rests in a shady place during the sul
try hours of the day the sheep gather
around him and chew the cud. If there
happens to be a wounded one or a little
weak one he carries it on his shoulder or
in tie wide bosom of his long while shirt.
Christnuis Twice a Year,
Madagascar is probably
V. §2!
that the Christ ian year should be follow
ed. Kul in commencing the year the date
of the tirst day was set some time in Oc
tober or November. Since the natives
have been converted to the Christian re
ligion they observe Christmas on the l2"ith
of their own December, but also have
made a holiday out of the day in their
year which corresponds to our Christmas.
I'nrlo Hi»o rletn-a 1 from leee
tM»r A lllluxl lo KtlNler Sumltiy.
The l'orto Kican boys and girls would
be frightened out of their wits if Santa
Clans should come to I hem in a sleigh
drawn by reindeer and should try to enter
the houses and till their stockings. Down
there Santa Clans does not need reindeer
or any other kind of steeds, for the chil
dren say that lie just conies flying through
the air like a bird. Neither does he both
er himself looking for stockings, for such
only place
in the world where Christmas is celebrat
ed twice a year and where there are also
two New Year's days. Since
influx of
missionaries the queen issued an edict
things are not so plentiful in l'orto Rico
as they are in cooler climates. Instead
of stockings, the children use little boxes,
which they make themselves. These they
place on the roofs and in the courtyards,
and old Santa Clans drops the gifts into
them as he flies around at night with his
bag on his back.
lie is more generous in l'orto Rico than
he is anywhere else, lie does not come
on Christmas eve only, but is likely to
call around every night or two during the
week. Each morning, therefore the little
folks run out eagerly to see whether any
thing more lias been left in their boxes
during the night.
Christmas in l'orto Rico is a church
festival of much importance, and the cele
bration of it is made up chiefly of relig
ious ceremonies intended to commemorate
the principal .veins iri the life of the
Saviour. Beginning w'.lt the celebration
of his birth, at: Christmis time, the feast
days follow one another in rapid succes
sion. Indeed, ir may juV lv be said that
they do not really com" to an end until
Easter.—St. Nicholas.
The year departs
with all bis
With all his hopes
and fears.
With all his losses
and his gains,
Willi nil his smiles
and tears.
And In Ills place
Fond memories surround us as
We pauxe beside the (load.
And bitter thoughts arise like ghosts
Of things that long have tied.
Hill now turn to greet the yenr.
Who comes with buoyant tread.
Farewell the old, all hall I he new!
The past has turned lo dust.
Safe locked, the dear dead yesterdays
Thai, time will hold In trust
Before our visions, like a dream,
New scenes of life are thrust:.
T'nfnrl the Hags anil start song
To greet what, is to come
And of the past and all it was
I.et every lip lie dumb,
Tile future beckons with a smile.
And. hark the forward drum.
Adown the pathway let us go
With hope to be our guide.
With roses slrewn along the way
The ugi.v thorns lo hide.
The New Year comes with joyous treac^
So greet him ill his pride.
The lessons we have learned are safe,
We bold theru in the breast.
The baleful tilings are all forgot:
Itemembering the best.
Once more we fare along life's iath
And leave lo time llie rest.
The year departs with all lis sighs.
With all Its poignant pain.
With till the tears and mists of tears
That fell like sudden rain,
IJut high above the star of hope
Hegln.s its bright new reign.
VV. if. Dunroy, in Chicago Chronicle.
aud ItrreliiiK nix! Happy lt«»iuiloii
tlint 'I'Ih-ni* Word* Su^gc.11,
No otl«r season of the year comes to us
so laden with glad associations as Christ
must idc. "Home for the holidays!" What
music si ml charm there is in those words!
What, wistful longings (hey inspire! What
glad greetings und reunions they suggest!
What visions of home life and love they
call up. It is a peculiarly home festival.
The midsummer holiday season takes us
lo the mountains, lo the seaside, to quiet
resting places in the country. The home
circle is broken up. We live "abroad and
every when-." finding a large part of our
delight amid the beauties of nature. AsjkI
the bareness and desolation of winter we
find our pleasures in tin-
smiling lad
The lirniid New
Year appears.
The ancient, figure
fades away.
Is swallowed up
in gloom,
With solemn tread
we hear lilm
And lay him In Ilia
Then turn to greet
his heir will)
With red moulh like a bloom.
calls to heart and finds its satisfaction in,
the interchange of social sympathies and
home affections. Survival of customs
from the past, when baronial halls and
castles in old England resounded with
mirth and song, and the Yule log crackled
on the hearth, a.id tables were laden with
bounteous hospitality, and even lowly cot
tage homes were decorated with bay r.nd
holly, still linger in holly wreaths anil
mistetoe boughs, in cheery greetings and
home reunions. The eyes of the little
grow bright with expectancy as the
day draws near. Stockings are filled and
Christinas trees are gavly decorated. Gifts
are interchanged. The old grow young
in heart again. Sympathies are quick
ened and enlarged.. The grasping, self
seeking spirit relaxes its hold for awhile,
and the spirit of general charity that finds
its joy in making glad the hearts of others
bears sway. Welcome Christmastide, and
a merry Christmas to all !—Baptist
II oin em lit* I he Surroiffnl.
There are homes in which the approach
of the holidays is dreaded, because o£
losses that have been sustained and sor
rows that have come during the last year.
May we not enter more largely into the
true spirit of the occasion if wc remember,
as tenderly as we may, those for whom the
day only emphasizes the grief?—United
I'roKrosNive I'eurc.
"We have good times at our house along
before Christmas."
"You do?"
"Yes the children try to please their
mother and she tries to jilease me."—De*
troit Free Press.
"i 1*-C

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