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
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
uuknown in our country, and
celebration is not over intil Jan. lit,
day Yule." At every farm
house there is erected, in the middle
of the yard,
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
aloft a Christinas dinner
the cold and snow with
all Chinese festivals that, of New
day is the greatest. Being a pecu
contradictory race, the Chinese do
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
last day of the old year all debts
must be paid.
not pay up must
The Chiuaman who can
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
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
"Ah. I see. You want me to give you
some chores to do. 111
"Well, no, sah. I fought perhaps you
could git de old lady a job at washin',
"Man Wanth bnt Little"—
"Made known ur wants for Christ
"Sure. Asked Hie forty-seven friends
who sent me suspenders last year to send
trousers to mateii them this."—Cincin
•pr-5"1'cVrf 'V P»
COMING OP THE NEW
A LETTER TO SANTA CLAUS.
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
Klla Wheeler Wilcox.
A Christmas Surprise Party.
By hope Daring.
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
TO H£VY AND
IS TO lITTil
AS MUCH AS
VOU LIKE IN
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
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$
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
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
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
"Why. they're bein' married—really
married Hester exclaimed. "Well, I
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
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
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
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.
ncar rm not
thoughts of what to boy
No gifts to seek, my soul's at reat—
I bought them last July.
HAVE NO HOLIDAY.
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
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
l.nteat T'rodiiefion of the lever (ier
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
With whisper and rustle and start and
The dry leaves murmur on tree and bush
On sombre pines with houghs bent low
THE CHRISTMAS STARS.
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.
From Time Immemorial Part of (kc
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
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
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
on cant understand whatV" inquired
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."-—*
The "oi rlf
The chickadees, alert seeds,
And shnrt .,,i '!c,ep
Yet itr nn (L °.
The t' Llbrovv
y' S weeds.
-S -. ina. shine, large and bri^ni
Sara Andrew Shafer, in Montreal Star.
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