Newspaper Page Text
P. •. I 4. st 1 S- Pi 11 ft 1 6 I !?'••-." v'°: -j S#»' y* •It®' t- HRIST/W Christmas day is, above all other days, the festival of hope, wrote Deun Farrar. On that blessed dny the thoughts of mill ion!) ull over the habitable globe, from the lints of the Eskimos to the kraals of the Kaffirs, and from the torrid zone down •to the wigwams of the l'atagonmn.s mid the stormy Antarctic Isles, will turn to Bethlehem and to the Christ-Child. All will be glad to think how to lis is born in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And why? I'.ecause even the dimmest and vaguest ooncepi ion o£ Christmas will show that this com memorates an infinitude of love and infin itude of hope. It tells that man is not worthless atom but. that, he is dear to God that there is an infinite value and Iireciousnoss in this, our mortal life. Christmas is the gladdest festival of the year. People talk of holiday making, but this one season fairly radiates gladness. There is around it, as it were, a halo, or atmosphere of joy, From the time when we were tiny children, before we knew the meaning of work, when every day was play day, we looked forward to Christ mas as a magic occasion. And, now we re grown up, we still look forward to Christmas. There is the excitement of the mutual exchange of gifts, the exhil aration of the winter festivities, the pleas ure of family reunions, the inspiring sense of holiday. In some of the old Belgian towns a beautiful spectacle may be seen 011 Christ mas Eve. Amid the sounds of drum, cor net, cymbal and whole orchestra of in struments, with the soft, chanting of old carols, a long, gaily decked procession marches through the principal streets: children of all ages, each divisioa dressed in its special color-—white, blue, pink or yellow—and all bearing some badge or emblem, or grasping some bright ribbon attached to various objects. The Germans have a truly childlike love for Christmas. The spirit, of Kris Kringle uniniates the hearts of rich and poor faults and foibles are covered with 11 kindly mantle, and mirth and jollity reign. Every family wants a Christmas tree, of course, but if too poor to get a tree, a bough will give them just as much pleasure, and if not a bough, then a twig will do very well. It. is a home festival, and the gifts, however small, are pretty sure to be love gifts. All through the land there is mirth anil laughter and the spirit of Christmas, and we feel that here the holiday retains the charm it once had when wo were little ones. In the distri bution of gifts everyone is remembered, usually with only a trifle, but it is beau tiful as expressing remembrance. There is a general caring for the poor. Itich families care for poor families individual ly, and choose gifts which will be of real value to them. Ancient. Christmas customs are passing away in the larger cities of Hussia, but in some of the remoter provinces of the empire the old-fashioned form lingers. Once upon a time the festival seemed to be devoted to the amusement of young girls, nor is this practice entirely obso lete. The house of some wealthy family was chosen for the place of festivities, in order that there might be 110 'ack of "good cheer." Of course, these festivities were only indulged in by the rich. The poor never gained admittance to them, except occasionally as maskers or mummers. From time immemorial it has been the custom in Roumauin, al Christmas, to bless the Danube. Formerly a scaffold ing was erected on the frozen river, and on this was a larae cross of ice but ow ing to the extraordinary number of people who presented themselves, the ice fre quently gave way, and many were drown ed, The ceremony now takes place on the bank of the Danube. The people, in rec ognition of the occasion, wear turbans of colored paper and carry long, white wands. These people, who are dressed to represent Pontius Pilate, Herod and other religious characters, go from place to place singing hymns, which are almost similar to our own Christmas carols. At the appointed hour of the ceremony, the notabilities arrive iu processional order, accompanied by the priests. The service lasts half an hour, at th« close of which the ice is broken and a small wooden cross is thrown into the water. Hundreds of people rush in after it, and the person who is successful in recovering it is con sidered very lucky. Ghristmas in the West Indies is a very jovial, rollicking affair—at least In the estimation of the darkies. The great fea ture of the season is the series of mas querades or mystery plays enacted by strolling negro performers. They are quite an imposing lot of men, with a good «ar for music, and as you watch their antics you might easily imagine that, in stead of being in a civilized British col ony, you were back in the heart of Africa, assisting at some savage death dance or other heathen rite. Ghristmas is celebrated in Sweden to an extent the er's a peasant Ghristmas and the time kfestival uuknown in our country, and celebration is not over intil Jan. lit, or "twentieth day Yule." At every farm house there is erected, in the middle of the yard, a pole, to bound a the top of which is large, full sheaf of grain. Not in Sweden will sit down to a dinner within doors, until he lias first raised for the birds in out. Of aloft a Christinas dinner the cold and snow with all Chinese festivals that, of New Year's liarly America, Chinese any time day is the greatest. Being a pecu contradictory race, the Chinese do not reckon time by the sun. as we do in but by the moon, so that the New Year's day may come at between the middle of January middle of February. When the approaches, creditors are happy, for by the last day of the old year all debts must be paid. not pay up must The Chiuaman who can hide bis is over. head until the Another preparation is general washing up. Household belong ings and personal attire are put through a severe course of soap ami water in or der 1 hat the new year may be begun with cleanliness. A French Canadian New Ycai's custom now nearly obsolete was that known as I .a Quete le I'Kiifant Jesus -the collec tion lor the infant Jesus. This collection was managed hy Die parish priest, who was driven round among his parishioners by the senior church warden or tin- beadle. 1 be gifts that fie I 1111 gathered "for (fie love of ihe infant Jesus" on the festival ol the circumcision were distributed among the poor. Intimacy connected with this was another practice of collect ing alms for the poor, known as I.a Guig liolee or ha Ignotee. New Year's, noi Christmas. is I he I' rencli day of days. Cards, flowers and bbnhons are exchanged in profusion, and visits are made. The gay breakfast: over, Ihe children, the youth and those of the family in the prime of life make ready to pay visits. They start forth with pock ets and hands filled with remembrances. WORKS NOTHING BUT GOOD. Tiv»-K»ll Benefit* Derived from Mttkiiiic New War ItenolutioiiN. Notwithstanding the army of very wise and very cynical people who sneer at New Year's resolutions, I'm going to bold ly announce myself here as one who be lieves iu them. I do not hesitate to say that I have made I hem every year since I was old enough to think about such things, ami I expect, to keep it up as long as 1 live. Moreover, 1 want my girls to get into the same habit, for 1 consider it good and helpful. But. girls, don't take it up as a pastime, or confide in any one who happens to be preseut. Be in earnest about, it. Go away by yourself for a little while and examine your char acter honestly. Don't make excuses to yourself because there are flaws iu it don't attempt to lay the blame upon any one else don't console yourself with the thought that you are no worse than your neighbor. Shut out all the world, face your conscience bravely, and be honest with yourself, if only for a little half hour. It cannot help but do you good. Character is something we build for ourselves. We, and we alone, are respon sible for it. We have no right to assert that environment or hereditary influences prevent us from reaching our own ideals. There is nothing but our own moral lazi ness to prevent, us from being what we really want to be. The benefits arising from the making of New Year resolutions are twofold. It is good for us to acknowledge a fault and wish to overcome it it is good for us to resolve to do better, even if the resolution is destined to be broken, for the soul lives on these breaths from the upper realms of life.—Minneapolis Housekeeper. A Thoughtful Hunbnntl. What is more touching at the holiday season than to see an old man planning a p.easaut surprise for his aged wife? "l's tryin' ter raise money enough ter git my wife ti new dress for Christmas, sah," said Uncle Ebony to Mr. Feather stone. "Ah. I see. You want me to give you some chores to do. 111 elf, eh?" "Well, no, sah. I fought perhaps you could git de old lady a job at washin', sah i-a "Man Wanth bnt Little"— "Made known ur wants for Christ mas yet?" "Sure. Asked Hie forty-seven friends who sent me suspenders last year to send trousers to mateii them this."—Cincin nati Times-Star. •pr-5"1'cVrf 'V P» COMING OP THE NEW 77? A LETTER TO SANTA CLAUS. jv'. YIAR. Sew Year, I look straight In your eyei, Our ways and our interests blend You rmiy be a toe In disguise. Hut 1 shall believe you a friend. We get what we give I11 our measure— We cannot give pain and get pleasure I give you good will and good cheer, And von mint return ft, New Year. We £Pt what we give in tills life, Tho' often the giver indeed Walts long upon doubting and strife Kre proving the truth of his creed ftut. somewhere, some way. and forever, Itewm'd is the meed of endeavor And If 1 am really worth while, New Year, you will give me your smile. You hide in your mystical bond No "luck" (hat 1 cannot control If I trust my own courage and stand On the lntinile strength of my soul. Man hides in his brain and his spirit A a is a it And be who lias measured bis force fan govern events in their course. ^oii come wilh a crown on your brow, New Year, without blemish or spot Yet^ you. and not I, sir, must, bow, For Time Is the servant of Thought. Whatever you bring mo of trouble Shall turn Into good, and then double, If my spirit looks up without fear To the Source that you cauie from. New Year. Klla Wheeler Wilcox. A Christmas Surprise Party. By hope Daring. CAIIL STKWAltl) stepped from the train at Farmington. It was early evening. The snow lay fresh and untrodden on tho village streets, al though the storm had ceased, and bright stars were beginning to gem the sky. "Hack again and tho middle-aged man drew himself erect. "Twenty years since I left Farmington. Ah! I am another BUf ,F UN0tL I* TO H£VY AND TH£ STOK'NS IS TO lITTil YOU utv AS MUCH AS VOU LIKE IN THC WHEAL 8AR0W person. The heartsick boy of that day lias nothing to do with Carl Steward, suc cessful banker and man of business." Several residence streets lay between him and the business part of the town. As he was threading his way along the narrow board walk he came face to face with a slender woman. It was the circle of flickering light cast by a kero sene lamp that the two met. One glance into the thin, dark face framed by snow white hair, and Carl Steward stopped. "It must be—it is Rachel West!" The woman's look of perplexity was suddenly merged into one of delight. "I am Rachel West, and you-«-you are Carl Steward." He held out his hand. '"Are you still Rachel West, after all these years? And do you live here?" His matter-of-fact tone steadied the woman. She replied, "I am still Rachel West, and I live in the old home of my parents. Y011 remember my sister, Hester Carpenter? She and her family live with me. And you? Y'ou have won success and happiness in that western city?" "I have won—money." There was a note of bitterness in his voice. "Twenty years since I went away. I have always planned to come hack and build a home here. A foolish idea for a man who is alone in the world, is it not? A lawyer here with whom I have been correspond ing wrote me that a piece of property he thought would suit me could be obtained, so I came on at once." He and Rachel had grown up together. They had loved each other with a boy's and a girl's idealizing love. The Christ mas of twenty years before was to have been their wedding day. A fortnight be fore the appointed time the lovers had quarreled. It was JSrry Carpenter, Ra chel's brother-in-law, who made the trou ble. The next day both Carl and Rachel knew that Carpenter had lied, but each was too proud to make the first overture. A week later Carl left Farmington. After parting with Miss West, Carl rambled around the old town for an hour before he sought an interview with his lawyer. As he ascended the steps leading *t, 1 "I JiiF* all N £3$ 5,"^— J" to that man's office he said to himself, "I thought I had forgotten. She has, but there lias never been any one else for either of us." The lawyer. Ronald Morgan, proceeded at once to give his employer the details of the proposed purchase. To Carl's sur prise lie found that it was Rachel's old home that was offered for sale. Her brother-in-law held mortgage upon it, and he was urging her to sign it over to him. Rachel had for years been sub ject to the tyranny of her sister's family. In a lit of desperation she had sought Mr. Morgan, asking if lie could not find a pur chaser for her. Carl Steward stood up. a frown wrink ling his brow. "I remember the place, and am sure it will suit me. Offer all it is worth.'' Tne next day Carl Steward went about among the, villagers. .Many remembered him. and many more had heard of the suc cess that he had won in the outside world. There were several interviews with Ra chel. She spoke with reluctance of her self. "I suppose I am foolish, but I do not dare let Jerry and Hester know what I am doing," she said, a soft crimson flush coloring her cheeks. "What will yon do when you leave the old home'.'" Mr. Steward asked. The flush faded, leaving her very pale. "I shall go away from Farmington, and try to find work." Two days later Farmington was electri fied. Carl Steward had issued invitations for a Christmas dinner party to be given at the hotel. Preparations were made on a more lavish scale than the village had ever seen. The Carpenters and Miss West were in vited. Rachel's sister said. "Course you won't go, Rachel. It wouldn't look well, after what happened 'twixt you an' Stew ard years ago. You ain't got nothin' to wear, neither. 'Sides, I want you to stay with the children." Rachel made 110 reply. She settled the matter by going away early Christmas morning and not returning. Mrs. Carpen ter did not again see her sister until they were both in the hotel 71a lor. The room was a bower of evergreens and holly. Mrs. Carpenter gave a gasp, and clutched her husband's arm. "For land's sake, Jerry, do look at Rachel Miss West's slender figure was outlined against the screen of green boughs. She wore a soft gray silk, the full skirt trail ing behind her. "The dress she was to have been mar ried to Carl Steward in Mrs. Carpenter gasped. "No, 1 ain't mistaken. I guess I knowr it, for Rachel an' 1 have quarreled 'bout: it more'n a dozen times. Where'd she git tho lace? It cost a mint o' money. Jerry. I'm goin' to find out 'bout this." Mrs. Carpenter did find out. Before she could reach Rachel Mr. Steward had led her forward to where the minister was standing. "Why. they're bein' married—really married Hester exclaimed. "Well, I never!" Jerry was the first to recover from the surprise. lie soon found an opportunity to say to Rachel, "You'd better sign the place over to me in the morning. Rachel. You'll be goin' off West an' forgittin' it." It was Rachel's husband who replied, "Morgan will pay you the money 011 the mortgage any time you wish. I am going to rebuild the house for Rachel a summer home. Nothing that, money or love can procure is too good for my wife."—Farm and Fireside. SENDING CHRISTMAS GIFTS. Some Timely Hiittx on tlow tlic I'nr cel* Should Be AV r«i»peil. Of course, you are going to make every one of your gifts have a holiday air. You would never dream of presenting a gift tied up in a piece of yellow wrapping pa per, just as if it were a piece of beef steak or a pound of sugar. Y'ou want your gift to look pretty, which is possible with anything for done up in Christ mas fashion, even that most prosaic of be longings, a flannel petticoat, can be made to look as dainty and holiday-like as can be imagined, and a Christmas mince pie tied up with scarlet ribbons, mistletoe and holly is a festive looking gift indeed. So be sure to put some of your money in tissue paper and narrow ribbon to wrap your Christmas presents and tie them with. White tissue paper is the most popular for this purpose. Red and green are the Christmas colors many women use cherry-colored baby ribbon, or very narrow satin ribbon in the bright hue with a bunch of holly tied smartly 011 top. Others prefer pink or pale blue baby rib bon either gives a dainty finish to the snowy tissue covered parcel. The gift should first be folded in the tissue paper, not forgetting to place in side the visiting card with the words of greeting written upon it. Then the rib bons are tied about it. Be sure to tie them in a bow-knot. Hearts are impa tient and fingers nervous on Christmas morning, and if the ribbons get into a snarl one hates to use a scissors or a knife upon the cords that: loving hands have bound around a gift. If the present can be given in the home circle, a sprig of holly is pretty to go on top. If the package is to be delivered by messenger, the ordinary wrapping paper comes out side of all, and the package may be again tied about with ribbon, and perhaps a piece of holly fastened to the bow. The "college girl," true to her colors, ties her gifts with ribbbons in the sym bolic hues of her alma mater. One can carry this idea of symbolism to any extent. If you are sending a gift to a friend in Canada, tie it with the red, white and blue. If you are sending a gift to a baby, tie it up with blue ribbons if the baby is a girl, pink ribbons if it is a boy. If you are sending a gift to a friend in another city, tic it with your own city colors. If you are artistic, you will probably wrap the pale blue satin pincushion you have hand-painted in white tissue paper tied with pale blue ribbons pink wouldn't look well. WU,^KC^lstmw8 ncar rm not distressed thoughts of what to boy No gifts to seek, my soul's at reat— I bought them last July. HAVE NO HOLIDAY. Many Persons Work Harder (.'lirlKtmns flinu on Other Dh.vk. There are many persons win have no holiday at Christmas, or at least very few of the pleasurable moments on that aus picious occasion that, they may freelj call their own to sjend in any way 01 enjoyment that they desire. This is espe cially true in the cities. To begin with, it is the hardest day of the year lor ex pressmen, letter carriers and messengers. The express companies are crowded to the limit with packages, and every one to be delivered on Christmas day. Even the big extra force which is put on fails to relieve the press of work, and it is a lucky expressman who gets home even on Christmas night to eat his turkey with his own famiiy. And the letter carriers—how they must work that every Christmas card and every Christmas packet confided to the mails may reach its destination! Christmas is a sorry story for the faithful postman. And the messenger boys—what wilh de livering flowers and candy and boxes of jewelry, and books and hundreds of other things, theirs is a busy day. IVople must, get about on Christmas day, so motormen and conductors on sur face and subway and "L" have to do their trick as usual. Buildings have In be just is warm on Christmas and lights are needed just the same, so engineers and firemen and elec tricians and gas men have to labor for the comfort of others. The great hotels are crowded with guests, and bellboys, chambermaids, waiters and elevator men work as usual 011 Christmas day. 1'eople send messages of good will on Christmas day more than on any other day in the year. So telegraph operators must stick to their keys and telephone op erators to their receivers. There are just as many sick on Christmas so there is 110 holiday for doctors or trained nurses or druggists. The city must be guarded pa trolmen have to pace their beats. Fires are even more likely on Christmas and the firemen have to spend the day in their engine houses. And, last of all, it is perhaps the hard est day in the year for clergymen, choris ters and organists because of the services that are so elaborate. So it will be seen that Christmas isn't at all a day of mer riment and ease for evervbodv—far from it. TALKING DOLLS. l.nteat T'rodiiefion of the lever (ier mnn Toyinnker.s. One of the mosl striking of the new ,,'ii rist 111a toys takes the shape of a real talking doll. In the past dolly's vo cabulary has been limited to such phrases as "l)a-da' or "Ma-ma,"' sounds produced by a reed and a pair of bellows. All that is to be changed, and dolly will lie able to say niite a number of nice things and carry on little conversations of a hundred words or more and, if necessary, sing the very latest song. The idea conies from (I'nnany and is really an adaptation ot Ihe principle upon which the gramophone is based, Uricfly it is this: Secreted somewhere ill the doll's interior will be a liny disk machine, which will carry a record about two inches in diameter. When the doll has been made presentable and feels ei|tial to taking part in the conversation her little nurse will simply have to place a di^k in a crevice somewhere in dolly's hack, an operation as simple as puning a penny in a slot, and the doll will do the res Two dolls, with suitable records, may easily be made to carry 0:1 quite intelligent con versations.—London Dailv News. lliiMKlnn l«leii of S til a Clnn.s. Jan. is Christmas iu Russia, whore the calendar is of the "old style": that is, about two weeks behind that iu use in this country. Ihis picture represents Santa Clans, or Rris lvringje, according to the Russian idea, in the attire of a priest of the Greek church, the national church of Russia, of which the Czar is the head. With whisper and rustle and start and The dry leaves murmur on tree and bush On sombre pines with houghs bent low Tb" a e?,?., tS ar ,° P"for 1 THE CHRISTMAS STARS. ed IF I SAfJlA CLAUS, If I were Snnta Onus I'd bring Kuch sighing maid a splendid ring, And unto every child the toy 'l'bat represented deepest joy. To each defealed candidale Who sadly sits anil mourns his fate I'd give a public otliii: where He might hold down an easy chair. To every toiling m.m I'd tiring The ease and riches of 11 King The 1111 requited lover then Should never sigh iu vain again. The golfer, ton. should have good I'd stretch the season through the year. So that where snow is spread to-day lie still might drive and sclaff away. If I were Santa Clans I'd hring The poet rhymes fur everything Tile word that's now so hard to find Should come directly to liis mind. The days should all lie glad and bright For every one who longs to write, I'd straightway bring to hint or her A kind ar.d eager publisher. To every chorus girl I'd bring The sweet ability to sing And every babe that squalls at night. Should have the food that gives delight. Then joy should seek the widow's soul, I'd till her empty bin with coal. And at the cay nnil brilliant ball No girl should languish near the wall. If 1 were Santa Clans I'd bring Contentment to the sorrowing. And servant-girls should evermore I.lne up at every kitchen door. CHRISTMAS TREES. From Time Immemorial Part of (kc Holiday OlelirnlIon. ROM time immemo rial a tree has been a part of the Ghrist mas celebration. It may be seen outside 1 he traditional man gers in the missals and early paintings of the preraphaelite eniiali cor Italian school. In flic tree or near it are seen angels in flowing robes sing ing out .if a soroii of illuminated paper 1 lie "Pence 011 Karth and Cood Will To war.l Men" or "(Jlo.-.v. (Jlory, I la 1 Ccrtn.in Christmas tree al augci or a Christkind on the topmost branch, with a tinsel star at the end of a staff, like a pantomime .fairy, and if the tre^ belongs to a very orthodox family iliero i.s usually at its foot a small toy group representing the Saviour's birth in the stable at Bethle hem. The ligiils on the tree are said to be of Jewish origin, lti the ninth month of the Jewish year, corresponding nearly our December, and on the twenty-fifth day. tlie .Tews celebrated the feast of ded ication of (heir temple. It had been dese crated on that day by Antioclius. If was dedicated by Judas .Maccabeus, and then, according to the Jewish legend, sufficient oil was found in the temple to last for th« seven branched candlestick for seven days, and if would have taken seven days to prepare new oil. Accordingly the Jews were wont 011 the l!."iih of Kisleu in every bouse to light a candle. 011 the next day, two. and so 011 till 011 the seventh and las day nf the feast seven candles twin kled in every house. It is not e.iy to lix the exact date of the Nativity, but: it fell most probably on ihe last day of Kisleu, when every Jewish bouse in lletnleheiu and Jerusalem was twinkiing with lights. It is worthy of 'totice 1 lial ihe (lerman name for Christ mas is Feihnach (ihe night of dedica tion t, as thetmh ii were associated with this lea-a. The Greeks also call Christ mas the least of lights, and. indeed, this was also the name given 10 the dedication festival. Chanuka. by tin1 Jews.—^Tew York Mail and Kxpivss. Iford lo I'mlcrMtaiMl. Of course, he saal. reflectively. "I am nor making any complaint about it. All I desire ',0 say is that 1 can't: understand it." on cant understand whatV" inquired his wife. hy .von can put gilded spheres ami gaudy tabrics all over a Christmas tree six fee high and four feet thick for 7T. cents, when it costs at least $18 to trta bonnet tour inches in diameter."-—* Washington Star. The "oi rlf with snow The chickadees, alert seeds, swa And shnrt .,,i '!c,ep Yet itr nn (L °. The t' Llbrovv y' S weeds. ln the country ways, ar0 the checrless dan. of the frozen nlgfe% -S -. ina. shine, large and bri^ni Sara Andrew Shafer, in Montreal Star.