Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Christmas Entertainments
Author: Kellogg, Alice Maude, 1862-1911
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Christmas Entertainments" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



CHRISTMAS ENTERTAINMENTS

BY ALICE M. KELLOGG

CONTAINING

FANCY DRILLS, ACROSTICS, MOTION SONGS, TABLEAUX, SHORT PLAYS,
RECITATIONS IN COSTUME

FOR CHILDREN OF FIVE TO FIFTEEN YEARS



CONTENTS.

       *       *       *       *       *

NEW SONGS TO OLD TUNES:
  Time for Santa Claus                M. Nora Boylan
  Santa Claus is Coming               Maud L. Betts
  Old Santa Claus                     M. Nora Boylan

FANCY DRILLS:
  A Christmas-bell Drill              Ella M. Powers
  The Snow Brigade                    Marian Loder
  Christmas Stockings                 A.S. Webber

ACROSTICS:
  Christmas Children                  M. Nora Boylan
  Santa Claus                         W.S.C.
  Charity                             Jay Bee
  Merry Christmas                     M.D. Sterling

MOTION SONGS:
  A Christmas Lullaby
  Dance of the Snowflakes             Alice E. Allen
  Little Snowflakes                   Ella M. Powers
  Christmas Stories                   Lettie Sterling

TABLEAUX:
  Christmas Pictures

RECITATIONS IN COSTUME:
  The Brownie Men                     M. Nora Boylan
  Winter's Children                   J.D. Moore
  Santa Claus                         Julia C.R. Dorr
  Father Christmas' Message           J.A. Atkinson

SHORT PLAYS:
  Mr. St. Nicholas                    Alice M. Kellogg
  Christmas Offerings by
    Children from Other Lands         Ella M. Powers
  A Christmas Reunion                 M.D. Sterling
  Christmas Waits                     Katherine West
  A Christmas Party                   Lizzie M. Hadley

RECITATIONS FOR THE PRIMARY GRADE:
  Santa's Helpers                     M. Nora Boylan
  Christmas Eve                       Eugene Field
  Santa Claus' Visit                  Susie M. Best
  To Santa Claus                      Jennie D. Moore
  What I Should Like                  Jennie D. Moore
  A Gentle Reminder                   Alice W. Rollins
  Christmas Time                      M.N.B.
  Christmas Wishes                    C. Phillips
  Christmas Morn                      M.N.B.
  My Christmas Secrets                S.C. Peabody
  Kriss Kringle                       Susie M. Best
  A Message                           Ella M. Powers
  The Mousie                          M.N.B.
  A Letter from Santa Claus           William Howard
  The Christmas We Like               Ella M. Powers
  Saint Nick                          M.N.B.
  Merry, Merry Christmas              Carine L. Rose
  Christmas Questions                 Wolstan Dixey
  A Catastrophe                       Susie M. Best

RECITATIONS FOR THE GRAMMAR GRADE:
  A Christmas Gift                    Mabel L. Pray
  A Christmas Thought                 Lucy Larcom
  The Merry Christmas Eve             Charles Kingsley
  The Christmas Stocking              Charles H. Pearson
  Christmas Hymn                      Eugene Field
  Bells Across the Snow               F.R. Havergal
  Christmas Eve                       Frank E. Brown
  The Little Christmas Tree           Susan Coolidge
  The Russian Santa Claus             Lizzie M. Hadley
  A Christmas Garden
  A Christmas Carol                   J.R. Lowell
  The Power of Christmas
  Peace on Earth                      S.T. Coleridge
  The Christmas Tree
  Old English Christmases
  Holly and Ivy                       Eugene Field
  Holiday Chimes
  Christmas Dolls                     Elizabeth J. Rook
  Red Pepper                          A. Constance Smedley
  A Game of Letters                   Elizabeth J. Rook
  Under the Christmas Tree            Arthur Guiterman



NOTE.


A large proportion of the material in this collection was contributed
to _The School Journal_. It is distinguished from other selections by
the author's name following directly after the title.



Christmas Entertainments.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Time for Santa Claus.=

By M. NORA BOYLAN.

    (To be sung to the tune of "Ta-ra-ra, boom-de-ay.")

  Now's the time for Santa Claus;
  Christmas comes with loud huzzas.
  Hark! the bells! Oh, hear them ring!
  Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling.

  _Cho_.--Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling,
  Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling,
  Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling,
  Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling.

  See his prancing reindeer brave,
  Hear him tell them to behave--
  Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen,
  Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen.--_Chorus_.

  Yes, hurrah for Santa Claus!
  Blow the trumpets, shout huzzas!
  We'll be happy while we sing--
  Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling.--_Chorus_.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Santa Claus is Coming.=

By MAUD L. BETTS.

    (To be sung to the tune of "Marching thro Georgia.")

  Santa Claus is coming--we shall welcome him with glee;
  He'll hang a gift for every one upon the Christmas-tree;
  He'll not forget a single child. How happy we shall be;
      For Santa Claus is coming.

  _Chorus_--
  Hurrah! hurrah! for Christmas time is near;
  Hurrah! hurrah! the time to all so dear;
  We all shall hang our stockings up when Christmas eve is here.
      For Santa Claus is coming.

  But we must remember all that we must do our part;
  Christmas is the time of times, to give with all our heart
  We must always share our joys with those who have no part,
      When Santa Claus is coming.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Old Santa Claus.=

By M. NORA BOYLAN.

    (To be sung to the tune of "Yankee Doodle." The verses may
    be given by a single voice, with the chorus by the school, or
    selected voices on the platform.)

  Old Santa Claus is a jolly man
    Who brings us lots of toys, sir;
  And none are happier Christmas time
    Than little girls and boys, sir.

  Have you not seen our Santa Claus,
    With hair so snowy white, sir?
  Just hang your stocking Christmas eve,--
    He'll come that very night, sir.

  And if you watch, perhaps you'll see
    This friend in furs hid deep, sir.
  But I have never seen him once--
    I'm always fast asleep, sir.

  _Chorus_--Santa Claus is jolly, sir;
    Santa Claus is kind, sir;
  Santa Claus on Christmas eve
    Comes riding on the wind, sir.


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Christmas-bell Drill.=

By ELLA M. POWERS.

    (This drill may be given by eight little girls provided with
    wands. At the top of each wand are tacked three streamers of
    red, white, and blue ribbon or cambric. At the end of each
    streamer a little tinkling bell is sewed. The children sing,
    and wave wands in time to the music. The words may be sung to
    the tune of "Lightly Row.")

  Sweetly chime, sweetly chime,
  Happy bells of Christmas time;
  Sweetly chime, sweetly chime,
    Christ the Lord is born.

  Christ is born, our Saviour dear,
  Joyous words we love to hear;
  Sweetly chime, sweetly chime,
    Christ the Lord is born.

    (Between first and second verses, all march singing same tune
    to "Tra la la."--"Tra la la," wands waving, up, down, right,
    left, up, down, right left, throughout. Resume places and sing
    second verse.)

  Sweetly chime, sweetly chime,
  Happy bells of Christmas time;
  Sweetly chime, sweetly chime,
  Glory be to God.

  Let us carol sweetly then,
  Peace on earth, good will to men;
  Sweetly chime, sweetly chime,
  Christ the Lord is born.

    (All march out, singing, and waving wands.)


       *       *       *       *       *

=The Snow Brigade.=

By MARIAN LODER.

    (A winter drill for a dozen boys--in overcoats, earcaps,
    bright-colored mufflers, mittens, etc. Each carries a big
    snow-shovel. The stage should be spread with sheets and loose
    cotton to represent snow. Boys come marching in single file,
    shovels over shoulder, singing to the tune, "_See the Farmer
    in the Field_.")

  I.

    We are the jolly Snow Brigade,
    With our trusty shovels we make a raid.
    And lustily we'll give you aid
    On a frosty winter's morning.

    _Chorus_.--He! he! ha! ha! ha!
               He! he! ha! ha! ha!
               He! he! ha! ha! ha!
                  Ho! ho! ho!

  II.

  (_Beginning to shovel cotton_.)

    We'll shovel your walk for fifteen cents,
    We'll pile the snow against the fence,
    We'll show you we are boys of sense
    On a frosty winter's morning.--_Cho_.

  III.

  (_Rubbing noses_.)

    Jiminy crack! our noses are cold!
    Oh! Jack Frost is bad and bold!

  (_Working harder than ever_.)

    But little care we for the winter cold,
    On a clear and frosty morning.--_Cho_.

  IV.

  _(Pointing to work_.)

    Look at that; now what do you say?

  (_Holding out hands to audience_)

    Now, if you please, we'll take our pay.
    Our work is done, it's time for play,
    On a frosty winter's morning.--_Cho_.

  (_Begin snowballing with the cotton, throwing balls into
  audience and at each other_.)


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Stockings.=

By A.S. WEBBER.

    (Six small girls and boys are needed for speaking, and any
    even number of larger girls for singing. A boy leads each
    division of the march, immediately followed by those who
    speak.

    An equal number enter from opposite sides as far back as
    possible, pass in front to sides, back half-way, form
    two lines across front, having the six who speak in front
    (alternating boy and girl), and the larger pupils back of them
    sing as they enter and until they are placed the chorus of
    "Birdies' Ball," beginning "Tra la la la la." When in position
    all sing the following two verses, air, "Birdies' Ball." When
    chorus is reached, let them keep time by resting weight on
    right foot on first count, and at same time swinging left foot
    over right, touch toe to floor, dipping body slightly on third
    count, foot back in place on first count of next measure. Rest
    weight on left foot and swing right foot over left, touching
    right toe on third count, foot back in place on first count of
    next measure, etc.)

  Santa Claus on Christmas eve,
    Means to give a gift to all,
  Each a stocking we will hang,
    Stockings big and stockings small.

  _Chorus_.--Tra la la la, etc.

  Santa Claus on Christmas eve
    Comes with reindeer swift as air,
  Early all must be in bed,
    Leaving only stockings there.

  _Chorus_.--Tra la la la, etc.

    (A girl comes one step forward, bows, and speaks.)

  I mean to hang on Christmas eve
    A stocking of this size _(measures),_
  Because I want a doll so big,
    That sleeps and shuts its eyes.
  To crowd it in a stocking small
    Would surely not be wise.

    (Pupil steps back in place and all sing the chorus, keeping
    time as before.)

  _2d Pupil_.--My stocking is the one I'll hang,
    I know 'twill hold quite well,
  About a hundred marbles more
    Than's owned by Tommy Bell.
  Of course I want some candy, too,
    But the marbles are what tell.

    (Steps back, and chorus is repeated as before.)

  _3d Pupil_.--I mean to beg a stocking small
    Of little sister Clare,
  Because I want some things so small
    They'll scarce be found e'en there.
  I want a ring that has a stone,
    And a pretty pin to wear.

    (Chorus repeated as before.)

  _4th Pupil_.--I've measured all the stockings round,
    And think I'll hang up two,
  Because I want a pair of skates,--
    One stocking will not do.
  Of course I want some sweets and things
    To last the whole week through.

  _Chorus, etc_.

  _5th Pupil_.--My mamma's stocking I will hang,
    'Twill so much better hold
  A tea-set for my dolly dear,
    All painted round with gold;
  And dishes can't be squeezed, you know,
    That's what I've oft been told.

  _Chorus, etc_.

  _6th Pupil_.--And I don't know just what to do,
    Because I want, you see,
  A hobby-horse that is so high,--
    Now tell me, can it be,
  Are stockings ever made so big
    That one can hold all of me?

  _Chorus, etc_.

  _All sing_.--All we children love to hang
  Stockings o'er the fireplace,
    Wondering how our gifts can come
  Nice and clean from such a place.

  _Chorus_.--Tra la la la, etc.

  Santa Claus is loved by all
    Folks who are as big as we,
  And for long before he comes
    We can only sing for glee.

  _Chorus_.--Tra la la la, etc

    (When the chorus is partly sung, the leaders of the march lead
    to opposite sides, others fall in line forward, pass in front
    to rear along sides, pass at rear end to seats. Continue to
    repeat the chorus till all are seated.)


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Children.=

By M. NORA BOYLAN.

    (An acrostic for the primary grade. Each child wears a large
    gilt star around his neck. As he begins to speak, he turns it
    over, showing his letter on the reverse side.)

  _All_: Happy children here we stand.
    Bringing words of love;
  For on this glad Christmas day
    Christ came from above.

  _First child_: C is for the Christ Who came
    To this lowly earth.

  _Second child_: H is for the harps that rang
    At our Saviour's birth.

  _Third child_: R is for the ringing bells,
    Telling Christmas-tide.

  _Fourth child_: I is for the crystal ice
    Where we go to slide.

  _Fifth child_: S is for the schoolboy's sled
    When he coasting goes.

  _Sixth child_: T is for poor Tommy Jones--
    Jack Frost bit his nose.

  _Seventh child_: M is for the merry part
    Of this Christmas day,

  _Eighth child_: A is for the apple pies
    Grandma put away.

  _Ninth child_: S is for old Santa Claus,
    Coming here to-night.
  Hope he'll wait till nearly morn,
    So it will be light.

  _All_: Yes, we're happy children nine,
    And to each we're true,
  Three cheers for jolly Santa Claus,
    A happy day to you.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Santa Claus.=

By W.S.C.

    (A letter exercise for ten very small children. Let each child
    present placard bearing the letter as he recites his line. At
    the close, all shut their eyes and screw them up very tight.)

  S stands for stockings we hang up so high.
  A is for all we get if we don't cry.
  N is for nobody he will pass by.
  T is for to-morrow, the day we eat pie.
  A stands for at last old Santa is nigh.

  C for the children who love him so well.
  L for the little girl, his name she can spell.
  A stands for apples so rosy and red.
  U is for us as we wait for his sled.
  S stands for Santa Claus, who comes in the night
    when we are tucked up in bed with our eyes
    closed so tight


       *       *       *       *       *

=Charity.=

By JAY BEE.

    (Seven little girls daintily dressed carry a bell in the right
    hand, with the initial on it which begins her line. The bells
    are rung lightly during the speaking)

    _First child_: Cheerily ring the Christmas bells!
   _Second child_: How joyfully their jingling tells
    _Third child_: All peace and kindness on the earth,
   _Fourth child_: Ringing out, singing out, laughing with mirth!
    _Fifth child_: In every home is joy profound,
    _Sixth child_: The echo of this merry sound.
  _Seventh child_: Yet Charity must remembered be,
                        And that is why we have this tree.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Merry Christmas.=

By M.D. STERLING.

    (Seven boys and seven girls with good voices and some
    sprightliness of manner are required. Each carries a wand,
    to the upper end of which is fastened an evergreen wreath
    surrounding a large, gilt letter. Ranged in order the letters
    will spell the word "Merry Christmas." The verse for each is
    sung to the air, "Buy a Broom." The children enter only one at
    a time, using a polka step, boys and girls alternately. While
    singing they take steps and wave wand in time to music. At
    third line of each stanza the boys bow and the girls make a
    courtesy, right and left. The chorus at the end of each verse
    is sung by the entire school. The boy with letter M comes in
    first, sings, and takes position on platform. He is followed
    by the girl with E. So continue until the line of children is
    complete.)

  _First boy_:
  M stands for merry--oh' let us be merry;
    M stands for merry--right merry am I.
  _(Bowing.)_ With a bow to the right, sir, and a bow to the left, sir,
    Come, now, and be merry, all sadness defy.

  _Chorus (by school, to the refrain of "Buy a Broom_").--

  Christmas dear now draws near,
  With song and with evergreen welcome it here.

  _First girl_:
  E stands for evergreen, beautiful evergreen,
    E stands for evergreen, never to fade.
  (_Courtesying.)_ With a courtesy to right, sir, and a courtesy to left, sir,
    Bring evergreen garlands for Christmas time made.--_Cho_.

  _Second boy_:
  R stands for rollicking--come, then, be rollicking;
    R stands for rollicking--fun's in the air!
  With a bow to the right, sir, and a bow to the left, sir,
    In Christmas-day rollicking take now a share.--_Cho_.

  _Second girl_:
  R stands for rally, a grand Christmas rally,
    R stands for rally, where Christmas trees grow!
  With a courtesy to right, sir, and a courtesy to left, sir,
    We rally where Santa is likely to go.--_Cho_.

  _Third boy_:
  Y stands for youthful--rejoice, now, all youthful;
    Y stands for youthful--quite youthful am I.
  With a bow to the right, sir, and a bow to the left, sir,
    The youthful make merry when Christmas is nigh.--_Cho_.

    (Leave a space in the line of children between the last letter
    of "Merry" and the first of "Christmas.")

  _Third girl_:
  C stands for Christmas--bright Christmas, merry Christmas;
    C stands for Christmas--the best of the year.
  With a courtesy to right, sir, and a courtesy to left, sir,
    Make merry at Christmas with good Christmas cheer.--_Cho_.

  _Fourth boy_:
  H stands for happy--at Christmas be happy!
    H stands for happy--right happy am I.
  With a bow to the right sir, and a bow to the left, sir,
    If you would be happy some Christmas gifts buy--_Cho_.

  _Fourth girl_:
  R stands for ready--for Christmas be ready;
    R stands for ready--are _you_ ready yet?
  With a courtesy to right, sir, and a courtesy to left, sir.
    To make ready for Christmas, oh! never forget.--_Cho_.

  _Fifth boy_:
  I stands for icy--for winter so icy;
    I stands for icy, when Kris drives along.
  With a bow to the right, sir, and a bow to the left, sir,
    Though icy the weather we'll give him a song.--_Cho_.

  _Fifth girl_:
  S stands for Santa--the children's own Santa;
    S stands for Santa, the jolly old dear.
  With a courtesy to right, sir, and a courtesy to left, sir,
    For Santy to fill we hang stockings each year.--_Cho_.

  _Sixth boy_:
  T stands for thoughtful--of all friends be thoughtful;
    T stands for thoughtful--your presents prepare.
  With a bow to the right, sir, and a bow to the left, sir,
    And be thoughtful those poorer than you have a share.--_Cho_.

  _Sixth girl_:
  M stands for magic--for Christmas-night magic;
    M stands for magic filling stockings and tree.
  With a courtesy to right, sir, and a courtesy to left, sir,
    Who does this fine magic, can any agree?--_Cho_.

  _Seventh boy_:
  A stands for all of us, old and young, all of us;
    A stands for all of us looking for Kris.
  With a bow to the right, sir, and a bow to the left, sir.
   And all of us hope that not one will he miss.--_Cho_.

  _Seventh girl_:
  S stands for smiling--on Christmas morn smiling;
    S stands for smiling--all smiling I'll be.
  With a courtesy to right, sir, and a courtesy to left, sir,
    All smiling, yes, smiling, when presents I see.--_Cho_.

    (The following verses are to be sung by the school to the air,
    "Wait for the Wagon." During the singing of the first stanza
    and chorus, the fourteen boys and girls divide off into
    couples and march around, elevating and lowering the wands in
    time to music. During the second stanza they form two opposite
    lines, with wands crossed overhead, couples marching under
    the arches formed and back again to places. Third stanza, the
    opposite lines pass forward and back, cross to other side,
    partners passing each other, then back once more, and turn
    partners into place in a line forming "Merry Christmas"
    again.)

  Oh, Christmas, merry Christmas!
    Thy call we must obey,
  And carry fadeless garlands
    In honor of the day.

  _Chorus_ (_to be sung after each verse_).--
  All hail, merry Christmas!
    Hail, merry Christmas!
  All hail, merry Christmas,
    The evergreen day.

  Oh, Christmas, merry Christmas!
    With laughter, song, and play,
  How gayly pass the hours
    Of that dear, happy day.--_Chorus_.

  Oh, Christmas, merry Christmas!
    Quite old, but never gray,
  Like thy own joys, unfading,
    The wreath we bring to-day.--_Chorus_.


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Christmas Lullaby.=

    (The children are seated in little rocking-chairs, each
    holding a doll dressed in a long white gown. They rock
    slowly in time to the music. At first 1. "hushaby" they raise
    forefinger of right hand, as if to insure silence.

    2. Kiss dolls.

    3. Very softly.

    4. Lay dolls in small cradles, standing near.

    5. At "hush" raise forefinger of right hand warningly.

    6. Very softly.

    7. Rock cradles slowly in time to music, children kneeling on
    floor.

    8. Turn toward audience.

    9. Very softly.

    The words are adapted to the music of the familiar hymn.
    "Silent Night.")


      Hushaby, hushaby, (1)
  Christmas stars are in the sky;
  Sweet the bells of Christmas eve,--
  Babies, each a kiss receive,--(2)
      Hushaby, good-night,
      Hushaby, good-night! (3)

      Lullaby, lullaby,
  Babies in their cradles lie; (4)
  Every one in white is gowned,
  Hush, make not a single sound! (5)
      Lullaby, good-night,
      Lullaby, good-night! (6)

          Rockaby, rockaby,
  Christmas-tide draweth nigh; (7)
  Quiet now the tiny feet,
  Babies sleep so still and sweet,--
      Sweetest dreams, good-night, (8)
      Sweetest dreams, good-night! (9)


       *       *       *       *       *

=Dance of the Snowflakes.=

By ALICE E. ALLEN.

    (The words of this motion song are adapted to the chorus of
    "Dream Faces." The children should be dressed in white gowns,
    white stockings and slippers, and wear caps made of white
    tissue paper, trimmed with silver stars.

    1. Raise both hands, look up.

    2. Move hand slowly back and forth, with floating motion.

    3. Lower hands, and motion as if swaying cradle.

    4. Drop head slowly to one side, close eyes as if sleeping.

    5. While pianist plays last half of song slowly, children take
    hold of corners of skirts, and with waltz step dance from side
    to side, still with sleepy look and motion.

    6. Stand erect, with eyes wide open.

    7. Use forefinger of right hand as if enforcing command.

    8. Raise both hands above head, and lower them slowly, with
    fluttering motion.

    9. Drop heads, sing very slowly.

    10. Shake heads sadly.

    11. Look down as if searching for flowers.

    12. While pianist plays as in 5 children repeat 5 very slowly,
    still looking down.

    13. Music much faster and brighter. Children look up over
    right shoulder, as if afraid of being caught.

    14. Whir round and round.

    15. Bend to right, and then to left.

    16. Fall lightly to floor.

    17. Spring up with hands upraised.

    18. Drop hands, smile.

    19 All clasp hands, raise them high above heads, and dance
    lightly backward and forward.

    20. Hold position 19; dance as in 5, only more rapidly.

    21. Dejected position, head bent down. Music very slow and
    sad.

    22. Raise and lower right hand slowly.

    23. Repeat with left.

    24. Music strong and faster. Children raise on tip-toe of
    right foot, reach forward with motion as looking in window
    above them on their right.

    25. Motion with forefinger of right hand as if counting
    stockings.

    26. With skirts distended dance as in 20, smiling.

    27. Right hand raised to ear, as if listening.

    28. Shade eyes with right hand and look expectant.

    29. Step forward, both hands extended as if in greeting,
    smiling.

    30. Throw kiss to audience.

    31. Pianist repeats all of song; children dance as in 26,
    singing verse beginning "Bright stars are gleaming," and at
    last "Merry Christmas" throw kiss to audience.)

  We lived in cloudland, (1)
  Floating here and there (2)

  Over the mountains
  And the valleys fair.
  Winds swayed our cradles, (3)
  Then we fell asleep, (4)
  While far above us
  Stars their watch did keep. (5)

  "Wake," cried the North Wind, (6)
  "You to earth must go." (7)
  Down we fell fluttering (8)
  Butterflies of snow.
  Silently and slowly (9)
  Through the winter hours,
  Falling so sadly, (10)
  Hiding grass and flowers, (11-12)

  Then the wind caught us, (13)
  Whirled us round and round, (14)
  Dashed us and drove us, (15)
  Piled us on the ground (16)
  Flying up in frolic, (17)
  Always glad and gay, (18)
  Dancing and drifting (19)
  All the stormy day. (20)

  Now our play is over, (21)
  Now the day is done,
  Falling so sadly, (22)
  Sadly one by one. (23)
  Peeping in the windows (24)
  Where the fires glow,
  See the children's stockings (25)
  Hanging in a row. (26)

  Hark, in the distance (27)
  Hear the merry bells!
  Santa Claus is coming, (28)
  Sweet their music tells!
  Go we now to greet him, (29)
  Listen as we call,--
  Glad merry Christmas,
  Merry Christmas all! (30)

  Bright stars are gleaming, (31)
  Christmas cometh soon.
  Joy bells are ringing,
  All in merry tune.
  We are Christmas snowflakes,
  Singing as we fall,--
  Glad, merry Christmas,
  Merry Christmas all!


       *       *       *       *       *

=Little Snowflakes.=

By ELLA M. POWERS.

    (Six primary children may sing these words to the tune, "Tiny
    Little Snowflakes" in "Golden Robin," with the following
    finger-play.

    _a_. Hands waving up and down, fingers moving rapidly.

    _b_. Imitate the waving with hands and heads to right and
    left.

    _c_. Quickly shake head and hands.

    _d_. One sweep of hand across the desk.

    _e_. Right hand raised as high as head, fist closed.

    _f_. Abruptly bring fist down on desk.

    _g_. Similar to (a).

    _h_. Hands clasped and eyes upturned as if gazing with
    admiration at the tree.)

  We are little snowflakes, _(a)_
    Falling gently down,
  On the fields and mountains
    In the busy town.

  Now the waving _(b)_ spruce trees
    Shaking _(c)_ gently say,
  Brush away this light snow, _(d)_
    It's nearly Christmas day.

  Then a man comes gayly
    With his axe so bright, _(e)_
  He chops down the spruce tree _(f)_
    Early one fair night.

  Then on Christmas morning
    Children dance to see, _(g)_
  Many lovely presents
    On that stately tree. _(h)_


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Stories.=

By LETTIE STERLING.

    (These stories may be said and done in concert, or each little
    child may give one verse by himself.

    _a_. Hands held straight up so tips of fingers point toward
    ceiling.

    _b_. Touch palm of hand with thumb, bring it back quickly.

    _c, d, e, f_. Repeat _b_ with 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th fingers.

    _g_. Double the hand up.

    _h_. Place the doubled-up hand on the back of the other.

    _i_. Lift thumb and hold it up.

    _j_. Lift 1st finger.

    _k_. Lift 2d finger.

    _l_. Lift 3d finger.

    _m_. Lift 4th finger.

    _n_. Hold hands in a listless way, with tips of fingers
    pointing toward floor for two first lines, and let the fingers
    gently swing. Near the close of the verse make the fingers
    still and rigid and hold them close together.

    _o_. Have hands doubled up and held so that the child's eyes
    can look down upon the palm or the hand and see the nails of
    the four fingers--thumb out of sight.

    _p_. Let fingers fly up quickly

    _q_. Hold left hand as in _a_. Use the index finger of the
    right hand as a match, scratching it on the palm of the left
    hand and lighting the tips of each finger as if the fingers
    were candles.

    _r_. Make a circle of a thumb and index finger of the right
    hand and slip it on and off each finger on the left hand.

    _s_. Bunch fingers of left hand together so they can all touch
    the tips of the thumb and form an opening for the window.

    _t_. Bring the fingers of the right hand near and let them be
    boys and girls peeping in.

    _u_. Double up hands, but instead of having thumb inside, let
    it stand straight up to be a tower.

    _v_. Snap the fingers of one hand, then of the other.

    _w_. Point far away with index finger.

    _x_. Point toward an imaginary star.

    _y_. Hold up the three middle fingers.)

  Chimneys standing in a row, _(a)_
  Down each one will Santa go.
  He goes down one, comes back alive, _(b)_
  And then tries two, _(c)_ three, _(d)_ four, _(e)_ and five. _(f)_

  Santa has a wondrous pack, _(g)_
  This he carries on his back; _(h)_
  From it he takes candies, _(i)_ drums, _(j)_
  Dolls, _(k)_ books, _(l)_ trumpets, _(m)_ when he comes.

  Near the chimney stockings swing,
  What to them will Santa bring?
  All of them I'm sure he'll fill,
  Make them round and stiff and still. _(n)_

  Morning kisses curly heads
  Lying snugly in their beds, _(o)_
  O how quickly they hop out, _(p)_
  Seizing stockings with a shout!

  On the hemlock and the pine,
  Light the candles, make them shine; _(q)_
  String the rows of corn so white _(r)_
  'Mong the gifts and tinsels bright.

  Storemen's windows all look gay,
  'Cause it's near to Christmas day. _(s)_
  Come and look in, girls and boys, _(t)_
  Get a peep at Christmas joys.

  In high towers out of sight
  Great bells ring with all their might; _(u)_
  Hear one, then another chime, _(v)_
  Telling it is Christmas time.

  In the distance, look afar, _(w)_
  With their eyes upon the star, _(x)_
  Come on camels wise men three, _(y)_
  They the Christmas King shall see.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Pictures.=

    (This set of pictures is suggested by Mrs. Kate Douglas
    Wiggin's story of "The Birds' Christmas Carol," published by
    Houghton, Mifflin & Company, Boston, Mass. Each picture should
    be preceded by descriptions from the book; these are indicated
    by the number of the page in the volume.

    DIRECTIONS.--A good reader must be chosen, who can bring
    out the light and shade in the story--one who can make the
    listeners feel the pathos of Carol's brief, helpful existence
    and the contrasting homely humor of "the Ruggleses in the
    rear." A reading-desk and lamp must stand below the platform,
    and the audience-room be left in darkness. The reader will
    give the signal for the opening and closing of the curtains,
    pausing long enough for a full recognition of the scene. As
    a repetition of a tableau is often more successful than
    its initial effort, the performers should be on the alert,
    prepared to give a second view.

    The characters in the story call for six young people to
    represent Mr. Bird, Mrs. Bird, the Grandmother, Physician,
    Mrs. Ruggles, and Uncle Jack, and fourteen children to take
    the parts of Donald, Hugh, Paul, Carol, Sarah Maud, Peoria,
    Cornelius, Elly, Kitty, Peter, Clem, Larry, Susan, and the boy
    singer.

    The first hymn, "Carol, Brothers, Carol," is to be sung
    behind the curtains, just before they are drawn for the second
    picture. A harp, violin, and triangle would assist the piano
    in making an orchestral effect. A solo voice supplies the
    closing air, "My Ain Countree." The piano may be played very
    softly whenever the reader pauses and the tableaux are shown.

    It is important that the arrangements for each scene be made
    in absolute quietness, with systematic forethought, else
    the attention of the listeners will be distracted from the
    reading.

    If a Christmas tree for the entire school is to close the
    entertainment, it should be in readiness at the rear of the
    platform, concealed by a curtain. In the sixth picture the
    tree appears, to illustrate the story, and remains lighted
    through the evening.)

FIRST PICTURE.

"They were consulting about it in the nursery." (Page 1 in "The Birds'
Christmas Carol.")

In this scene the children's belongings are scattered about: small
chairs, a cradle, toys, and picture-books. Mr. Bird stands in the
center of the platform holding a large doll dressed in infant's robes.
Grandma is seated near, and Uncle Jack, Donald, Paul, and Hugh are
discussing a name for the baby. The Christmas hymn is heard after the
curtains are drawn and before the


SECOND PICTURE.

"A famous physician had visited them." (Page 12.)

Mr. and Mrs. Bird and the doctor are seated around a library-table in
earnest conference.


THIRD PICTURE.

Carol's "Circulating Library." (Page 16.)

Carol is lying in an easy-chair beside a case filled with books. The
description of her room should be carried out on the stage as far as
practicable.


FOURTH PICTURE.

"The children took their places." (Page 36.)

The nine Ruggles children are seated in a row facing the audience.
Mrs. Ruggles stands before them, giving instructions about their
behavior at Carol's dinner party. The costumes must be fantastic,
following the description in the story--green glass breastpin, the
purple necktie, and much-braided hair.


FIFTH PICTURE.

"The feast being over," etc. (Page 35.)

Carol's room is shown again. The Ruggles children are seated around
Carol, with Mr. Bird and Mrs. Bird and Uncle Jack in the background.


SIXTH PICTURE.

"There stood the brilliantly lighted tree." (Page 55.)

The same characters that appeared in the preceding scene are shown in
attitudes of delight and astonishment as the second curtain is drawn
aside to show the Christmas tree.


SEVENTH PICTURE.

"Softly, Uncle Jack." (Page 63.)

The library is shown again. Mr. and Mrs. Bird, Uncle Jack, Donald,
Hugh, and Paul are grouped as if listening attentively. At the right
of the platform a leaded-window effect is made with a slender wood
frame covered with black gauze. Behind this stands a small boy in
choir vestments, holding a music book and singing "My Ain Countree" to
organ accompaniment.


       *       *       *       *       *

=The Brownie Men.=

By M. NORA BOYLAN.

    (An exercise for four little boys. They wear padded trousers
    of some cheap brown material and a loose shirt of same
    material in place of the school jacket. Skull-caps of same
    material, worn jauntily. Broad white rings about the eyes and
    charcoal lines upon face to produce resemblance to pictured
    Brownies. Jolly smiles and capers. Join hands and hop on
    one foot around tree or leader, before, between, and after
    verses.)

  Merry, merry sprites are we,
  Dancing round the Christmas tree.
  We've a gift for every one
  Though the last one is just done.

  This has been a busy year,
  And we hope we bring you cheer,
  And when Christmas comes again,
  Look for us--The Brownie men.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Winter's Children.=

By J.D. MOORE.

    (The children should wear some indication of the several
    characters they impersonate. Most elaborate and beautiful
    costumes might be used, but the simple device of a placard
    upon each child's breast bearing the name of his part will
    answer the purpose.)

  _Wind_:   I come from the cold and stormy North,
            With a rush and a roar I hurry forth,
            I toss from the trees the dead leaves down,
            The withered leaves all sere and brown,
            And sway the branches to and fro
            As on my way I whirling go.
            At crack and crevice I slip in,
            And make a lively sounding din.
            Swift I come and swift away,
            With you I can no longer stay,
            For I am wanted elsewhere now,
            And so good-bye, I make my bow.

  _Frost (taking Wind's hand)_:
            Hand in hand we ever go
            Through the season to and fro.
            I breathe upon the streams. They cease
            Their murmurings and are at peace.
            Upon each window pane I trace
            The finest filmy glistening lace.
            Each boy and girl, 'tis plain to see,
            Hath still a welcome kind for me.
            For on the lake they whirl and wheel,
            You hear the click of polished steel
            As swift upon their skates they fly
            With joyous heart and flashing eye.
            My breath blows cold. Health, joy, delight,
            Follow my silvery sparkles bright.
            Now Snow, who is my guardian sweet,
            Will all my young friends fondly greet.

  _Snow (a little girl)_:
            Over the earth so bare and brown
            I spread a robe as soft as down.
            Drifting, drifting down through space,
            Hiding each unsightly place,
            Touched to shimmering radiance bright,
            In the moonbeam's mellow light,
            By my brother Frost, for we (_they join hands_)
            Both go hand in hand, you see.
            North Wind goes gaily with us both,
            To help us he is nothing loath.
            And he and Frost and Rain combine
            To give what in the clear sunshine
            Shimmers sparkling--pure and nice,
            Transparent, white, and glistening Ice.

  _Ice_:    I cling to lofty gables, I rustle 'mid the snow,
            I weave a gleaming covering
            For lakes and streams. They know
            That all must cease their murmuring
            When Frost and I appear,
            For we will hold them firm and fast
            As long as we are here.
            Gleaming, glistening, sparkling,
            Yet pure and clear and bright.
            You'll find me 'neath a silver moon,
            Each crisp, fresh winter night.

  (_Enter Old Winter_)

  _Winter_: What, ho! my children, here I am,
            I've sought you everywhere.
            And now to busy work away,
            For you must all prepare
            To do your duty while I hold
            In check your enemy,
            The great round sun, whose rays with you.
            My children, disagree.
            Now up, away! Wind, to the west
            And come again in glee;
            And join with Frost and Snow and Ice,
            In one grand jubilee.
            And paint the cheeks with roses
            Of all these children who,
            Right joyously will run and shout,
            _My_ children dear, with you.
            Away! to work, you must not shirk
            Your duties, dears; and now,
            To these, your firmest friends, make each
            Your most engaging bow.

  (_All bow and retire Old Winter following_.)


       *       *       *       *       *

=Santa Claus.=

    (Let the first line be given by a small boy as a herald,
    carrying a trumpet, and dressed in tunic, tights, and velvet
    cap. The second line it taken up by Santa Claus, in costume of
    fur, with white beard and hair.)

  A voice from out of the northern sky:
  "On the wings of the limitless winds I fly.
  Swifter than thought, over mountain and vale,
  City and moorland, desert and dale!
  From the north to the south, from the east to the west
  I hasten regardless of slumber or rest;
  O, nothing you dream of can fly as fast
  As I on the wings of the windy blast!

  "The wondering stars look out to see
  Who he that flieth so fast may be,
  And their bright eyes follow my earthward track
  By the gleam of the jewels I bear in my pack.
  For I have treasures for high and for low:
  Rubies that burn like the sunset glow;
  Diamond rays for the crownèd queen;
  For the princess, pearls with their silver sheen.

  "I enter the castle with noiseless feet--
  The air is silent and soft and sweet;
  And I lavish my beautiful tokens there--
  Fairings to make the fair more fair!
  I enter the cottage of want and woe--
  The candle is dim and the fire burns low;
  But the sleepers smile in a happy dream
  As I scatter my gifts by the moon's pale beam.

  "There's never a home so low, no doubt.
  But I in my flight can find it out;
  Not a hut so hidden but I can see
  The shadow cast by the lone roof-tree!
  There's never a home so proud and high
  That I am constrained to pass it by,
  Nor a heart so happy it may not be
  Happier still when blessed by me!

  "What is my name? Ah, who can tell,
  Though in every land 'tis a magic spell?
  Men call me that, and they call me this;
  Yet the different names are the same, I wish!
  Gift-bearer to all the world am I,
  Joy-giver, light-bringer, where'er I fly;
  But the name I bear in the courts above,
  My truest and holiest name, is--LOVE!"

JULIA C.R. DORR.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Father Christmas's Message.=

    (This speech may be given at the close of a Christmas
    entertainment. A white wig and beard, fur coat and gloves are
    worn, and sleigh-bells are sounded before Father Christmas
    appears on the platform.)

  Here I am again. The close of the year
  Brings Old Father Christmas with his good cheer
  I'm cheery myself, and cheery I make
  All folks who follow advice for my sake.
  My advice is the same to all my friends:
  Give and forgive, and quickly make amends
  For what you do wrong. Let love be the rule.
  Christians, be true at the season of Yule.
  Old Father Christmas every one welcomes;
  I bring peace and happiness to all homes.
  Away with the bad. Have nothing but good.
  Do what I tell you. If only you would,
  You'd all live at one in true brotherhood.
  I always brighten up all hearts. The spell
  Of Christmas can all gloomy thoughts dispel.
  My friends, right pleased am I to see you here.
  How are you all? Pray come again next year.
  I hope you've liked the fun we've had to-night;
  If so, then now applaud with all your might.

J.A. ATKINSON.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Mr. St. Nicholas.=

By ALICE M. KELLOGG.

    (The characters are Old-fashioned Santa Claus, dressed in the
    traditional costume of fur, white beard, and a Christmas pack;
    Mr. St. Nicholas, in evening dress with silk hat; Dora, Katie,
    Maggie, and little Bess; Harry, Charlie, Tom, and John in
    ordinary school clothes.

    The scene opens with a large fireplace arranged at the center
    of the platform, a dark curtain drawn before the opening
    to conceal Santa Claus. The accompaniment to "Nancy Lee"
    is heard, and the eight children march in, carrying their
    stockings.)

  Oh, Christmas time has come again,
    Tra la la la, tra la la la;
  We welcome it with glad refrain,
    Tra la la la la la.

  Of all the happy holidays this year
  There's none so joyous, none so dear,
  Then sing we all our song of festive glee,
  Of Santa Claus and Christmas tree.

_Chorus_.--Oh, ring the bells, the merry Christmas bells, Their music
all our pleasure tells. _(Repeat, singing tra la la whenever necessary
to give the rhythm. They pause in groups in center, right, and
left; some sit, others stand, and change their positions during the
dialogue)_

_Harry_: Oh dear, the same old thing again this year, I suppose! "Hang
up the baby's stocking, be sure you don't forget."

_Charlie_: _This_ baby's stocking is the biggest bicycle hose I could
buy. (_Pins it at one side of the chimney_.) I don't think old Santa
could miss it if he tried.

_Dora_: I made mine to suit the occasion, for I hope Santa Claus
will fit a zither into it. (_Displays a large, fantastically shaped
stocking of striking color, and fastens it beside Charlie's_.)

_Harry_: You ought to take a prize, Dora, for designing the
most--ahem!--unexpected-looking stocking. Generous sized, too! Here
goes my contribution to the chimney. (_Hangs up a sock_.) It's big
enough to hold a coin of gold that will buy me a new bicycle. I don't
care for any knick-knacks.

_Katie_: I must confess that I'm rather tired of this old custom of
hanging up our stockings on Christmas eve and crawling out of bed in
the cold dawn to see what is in them. I wish some one would invent a
new way.

_Maggie_: Just what I thought, Katie, last winter, though I never
spoke of it. But if you've hung your stocking up, I must have mine
there too. (_Goes to chimney_.)

_John_: Well, I refuse to fall in line this year. I'm tired of the
whole plan. It seems absurd for an old chap to come tumbling down the
fireplace and load up our stockings.

_Tom_: I agree with you, John! What we want is a new-fashioned
Christmas. A real, up-to-date Santa Claus, and no more of this
children's nonsense.

_Bess_: Not have Santa Claus any more? Isn't he coming to-night?
(_Cries_.)

_John_: Oh yes, he'll remember you if you're a good little girl and
stop crying. Dora, help Bess to fasten up her stocking.

(_After the stocking is fixed, Bess faces the audience and recites_.)

  _Bess_:      I do hope dear old Santa
                 Will come this way to-night,
               And come here to my stocking,
                 To fill it nice and tight.

               I'd like to watch and see him,
                 But I know I must wait
               Till shines the Christmas sunshine--
                 I hope he won't be late.

_Tom_: Let Bess have her old-fashioned Santa Claus, but the rest of us
vote for something different.

_Harry_: I used to think Santa a pretty jolly old duffer, who made
lots of sport for the infants, but I'm ready for a change myself.

_Dora_: Don't count me in to help out your majority; Santa Claus seems
to me the kindly spirit of Christmas appearing mysteriously to give us
greater pleasure.

_Katie_: Well, I'll side with the boys this time and see if there is
any improvement in holiday matters.

_Charlie_: You'll think me a baby to stick to the old style. I won't
venture an opinion at all.

_Tom_: Then we are agreed that of Santa Claus we have no need.

_John_:    }
_Kate_:    } Tis what we all concede.
_Harry_:   }
_Maggie_:  }

_(All sing to the tune_ of "_Maryland, My Maryland_.")

  Old Santa Claus is such a bore,
  Of him we've had too much and more;
  Now what we want is something new,
  But what is there for us to do?
  A new St. Nick would be the thing,
  Who would our Christmas presents bring.

(_Electric bell sounds, the door opens, and Mr. St. Nicholas comes on
the stage. He bows and takes off his hat_.)

_Mr. St. N_.: Good evening, young people! I see you are at your
old-time tricks of hanging up your stockings. This won't do. Don't you
know it's gone out of fashion? (_Goes toward fireplace; the boys rush
to protect their property_.)

_John_: Who are you, sir? And how dare you interfere with our fun?

_Mr. St. N_.: I am the new, up-to-the-times Santa Claus. My proper
name is Mr. St. Nicholas. I am on my rounds to take the names of
all the young people who deserve a remembrance at Christmas time.
I haven't a moment to lose. My telephones are overburdened with
messages, my men are distracted with the work to be done between now
and daylight. _(Pulls out a book and pencil and prepares to write
while he addresses Tom and speaks rapidly without waiting for a
reply_.) Your name, young man? Your age, birthplace, parents' names?
Residence? Attendant at what school? What specific tastes? List of
last year's presents. Make haste, time is money.

_Katie_: But Santa--I mean Mr. St. Nicholas--here are our stockings.

_Mr. St. N_.: Christmas stockings! trash and nonsense. They belong to
the dark ages.

_Harry_: Pray, how do you bestow your gifts?

_Mr. St. N_.: By district messenger service, of course! Next boy
_(to Charlie_), give me your name, age, birthplace, parents' names,
residence, school, specific tastes, last year's presents.

_Charlie_: How did you come here, Mr. St. Nicholas? I heard no
sleigh-bells at the door.

_Mr. St. N. (scornfully)_: More nonsense to explain. I came down from
the north pole in an air-ship of the latest pattern. Come, now, here
are these girls waiting to be classified. _(To Dora.)_ Name, age--

_Dora_: I won't be put in statistics, even if it is Christmas and you
are the patron saint.

_Charlie_: Nor I. I didn't vote for any improvements. Take them away.

_John:_ You seem a trifle ahead of the age, Mr. St. Nicholas, or else
we made a great mistake in being discontented with our old-fashioned
Christmas.

_Tom_: Allow me to call down your air-ship.

_(Mr. St. Nicholas is ushered to the door. The others turn back at the
sound of sleigh-bells. Santa Claus appears at the fireplace_.)

_Children (greeting him with enthusiasm_): Jolly _old_ Saint Nicholas!

_Santa Claus_: Oh! ho! ha! ha! Are you really glad to see such an
old-fashioned specimen as I am?

_John_: Indeed we are! We have just shown your usurper the door.

_Bess_ (_clasping S.C.'s hand_): You are the real Santa Claus.

_Santa Claus_: Yes, I am the real Santa Claus, and I cannot get to
work until you children are fast asleep. So scurry away as fast as you
can, and a merry, merry Christmas when you awake!

_Children_ (_singing to the tune of "Nancy Lee," end at the end
leaving the stage_):

  Oh! Christmas time has come again,
        Tra la la la, tra la la la.
  We welcome it with glad refrain,
        Tra la la la la la.
  Of all the happy holidays this year,
  There's none so joyous, none so dear,
  Then sing we all our song of festive glee,
  Of Santa Claus and Christmas tree.

_Chorus_.--O ring the bells, the merry Christmas bells, Their music
all out pleasure tells. (_Repeat._)

(_Santa Claus unpacks his goods, and as he fills the stockings he
performs various antics, holds up the objects, and dances about. Any
local expressions that will create amusement he can bring in with
running commentaries. The piano is heard softly till he is through,
and then bursts out loudly as the curtain is drawn._)


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Offerings by Children from Other Lands.=

By ELLA M. POWERS.

    (DIRECTIONS.--This exercise may be given by six little girls.
    The platform may be decorated with evergreen trees or boughs,
    and flags should be used freely. The American girl should be
    dressed in an American flag and wear a cap of red, white, and
    blue. The costumes of the others may be as follows:

    The Eskimo girl should procure a boy's fur coat, or wrap a fur
    rug about her and wear a fur cap or hood and fur mittens.

    The Indian girl can throw about her a gay-colored blanket,
    and wear strings of beads about her neck, arms, and head. Her
    straight dark hair should be parted in the middle, plaited
    in two braids in the back, and decorated with short pieces of
    bright ribbons. Moccasins and dark brown stockings may be worn
    on the feet. Bracelets, earrings, chains, beads, quills, and
    brooches may be used as ornaments. The hands, arms, and face
    should be stained. To color the skin get a stick of Hess
    Grease Paint No. 17. Rub a little vaseline into the skin to
    be tinted. Then rub a portion of the paint on the palm of the
    left hand and with the fingers of the right hand transfer
    it evenly to the skin surface until the required tint is
    obtained.

    The Chinese girl should be dressed brightly with large,
    square, loose hanging sleeves, a broad sash tied on one side,
    her hair brushed flat, coiled in the back, with haircomb and
    pins thrust into the coil. She may have a Japanese parasol and
    carry a fan.

    The African girl may be dressed in red and black, with black
    hair and red handkerchief over her head and large rings in her
    ears. Face and hands blackened with burnt cork.

    The Arabian girl can wear a tunic or bright shawl draped about
    her, a turban of a bright silk handkerchief, and wear feathers
    in her hair. She should be very dark-complexioned

    The American girl enters, takes her seat in the center of the
    platform, saying:)

_American girl_:

    And this again is Christmas day;
      My invitations all
    Have gladly been accepted;
      Let us see who first will call.

    (Eskimo girl enters, bows, comes forward with a fur bag filled
    with presents, which she passes to the American girl as she
    mentions them.)

_Eskimo girl_:

    I'm a little Eskimo girl,
      I live in the land of ice,
    We never saw a Christmas tree
      Nor fruits and candies nice;
    But we run races o'er the snow,
      Beneath the big, bright moon,
    And from this far away ice-land,
      I've brought you a nice bone spoon.
    My father hunts all through the day
      For reindeer, seal, and bear,
    And sends away in ships so strong
      These furs so rich and rare,
    And fish, and birds, and whales, you know,
      I've seen them many a time,
    And here's a pretty fur for you
      That came from the arctic clime.

    (Eskimo girl offers presents and steps to one side. American
    girl turns and places presents on the boughs beside her. Enter
    Indian girl.)

_Indian girl_:

    I'm a little Indian girl,
      I live in the far Northwest,
    In the land of the Dakotas,
      In the land I love the best.
    I've brought a nice bead-basket,
      I made it all. You see

    I know about your Christmas
      A happy day to thee.
    And here's an arrow-head for you,
      And a piece of pottery queer,
    And here are herbs for medicine good,
      To make you strong, my dear.

    We children shoot and fish and hunt
      Just as our fathers do,
    The whole wide forest is our home:
      It feeds and clothes us, too.

    (Steps aside. Enter Chinese girl.)

_Chinese girl_:

    I'm a little Chinese girl,
      They say I've almond eyes,
    I live in a boat, on a river we float,
      And often eat rice and rat pies.

    And here is a bamboo basket,
      Filled with choicest tea,
    I picked and dried it all myself
      It comes from Ken See Lee.   (_Bows low_.)

    With us we have no Christmas,
      No presents nor a tree;
    But there in the boat, I made this toy,
      This, too, comes from Ken See Lee.

    (Chinese girl bows low and takes a seat on low stool in front
    of American girl. Enter African girl.)

_African girl_:

    I'm a dark little African girl,
      I live in a forest land,
    With kinky curls and jet black eyes,
      I watch the elephant band.

    My father hunts these animals,
      From one of them I bring
    An elephant's tusk to you, my friend,
      'Twill make you a pretty ring.

    And here is ebony wood for you,
      A cocoanut from the palm,
    And dates to eat, so very sweet,
      All from our African farm.

    (Offers presents, which American girl hangs on the boughs.
    African girl steps to her left. Enter Arabian girl.)

_Arabian girl_:

    I'm a little Arabian girl,
      I live in a desert land,
    In tents on the plain so hot and dry,
      And I play on the burning sand;

    Here is a pretty pearl I've brought,
      And an ostrich's egg so rare;
    An Arab pony you should have
      And a cloak of camel's hair.

    I never hear about Christmas,
      And don't know what you mean,
    But hope you will accept these gifts,
      And this ostrich feather green.

    (Offers gifts. American girl accepts them, rises, places them
    on tree; then turns and repeats.)

_American girl_:

    And I'm a happy American girl,
      How thankful I should be,
    That Christmas is so bright a day
      And means so much to me.

    I thank you, friends, for all these gifts,
      Of presents I've my share;
    And _you_ show _your_ good-will to men
      With generous gifts so rare.

    (All stand in line and repeat together)

    _All_: Our countries all are glorious lands,
      So great, so rich, so rare;
    Our people all are glorious bands;
      So true, so good, so fair.

    Whatever country we are from,
      Whatever life we lead,
    We'll do our best; be good and true.
      And do some noble deed.


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Christmas Reunion.=

By M.D. STERLING.

    (CHARACTERS REPRESENTED. _Father Christmas_, a large boy
    dressed in long belted robe; he carries a staff, and wears
    a white wig and beard. _Mother Goose_, a tall girl wearing
    a peaked soft hat tied over an old lady's frilled cap; also
    neck-kerchief and apron, spectacles on nose, and a broom of
    twigs, such as street-cleaners use, complete her costume.
    _Mother Goose's_ son _Jack_ and her _Children_ may be costumed
    according to the pictures in any good illustrated copy of
    "Mother Goose." The _Children of the Nations_ are sufficiently
    represented by boys and girls each carrying one of the flags
    of all nations, but elaborate costumes in keeping with the
    national character may be used, if desired. _Thanksgiving_
    and _Happy New Year_, large girls in white Grecian dresses,
    flowing sleeves; their children, _Peace_ and _Plenty_, _Good
    Resolutions_ and _Hope_ are represented by smaller girls
    in white, _Peace_ carrying an olive branch. _Plenty_ a
    cornucopia, _Good Resolutions_ a diary and pen, and _Hope_
    wearing a wreath of golden stars and carrying a gilt anchor
    (cut from heavy cardboard); _Santa Claus_, a stout, roly-poly
    boy, if possible, wearing a long overcoat flaked with cotton
    (to represent snow) and a round fur cap and mittens; an empty
    pack should hang carelessly from one shoulder.)

    (Enter _Father Christmas_ and _Mother Goose_, arm in arm.
    While conversing, they walk up and down the platform. At the
    end of Mother Goose's second speech, they seat themselves
    in two large arm-chairs, which should be ready in middle of
    platform.)

  _Mother Goose_:

    Well, well, Father Christmas, I'll do as you say,
    And put off my trip for the frolic to-day.
    Your thought of a Christmas reunion is fine
    For all of our relatives--yours, sir, and mine;--
    So, though greatly disposed at this season to wander
    Afloat in the air on my very fine gander,
    Instead of such exercise, wholesome and hearty,
    I've come with great pleasure to your Christmas party.

  _Father Christmas (bowing):_

    Thanks, thanks, Mother Goose, for the honor you pay
    To me your old friend now this many a day;
    Tho' we may not, of course, on all questions agree,
    We're alike in our love for the children, you see:
    To give them delight is our greatest of pleasures,
    And freely we share with them best of our treasures;
    Our energies each of us constantly bends
    To keep our loved title "The Children's Two Friends."

  _Mother Goose_:

    Ah, yes, Father Christmas, my jingles and rhymes,
    The boys and girls know in far separate climes,
    And sometimes I think that your son Santa Claus
    Earns me more than my share of the children's applause;
    For wherever he goes with his wonderful pack
    Santa always has some of my books on his back;
    When from Christmas-eve dreams children's eyelids unloose
    Oft they find in their stockings my book, "Mother Goose."

  _Father Christmas_:

    Tis true, my dear madam, that I and my son
    Respect most profoundly the work you have done.
    The boys from our store-rooms in Christmas-tree Land,
    Get the bonbons we make on the Sugar-loaf Strand;
    The children enjoy them,--I cannot deny it,--
    But still need your writings as part of their diet;
    Your rhymes, wise and witty, their minds will retain
    When their toys and their candy are done,--that is plain.

    (Enter Jack, the son of Mother Goose. He carries a large
    golden egg.)

_Jack_: Oh, there you are, Mother Goose, hobnobbing with Father
Christmas! My goose must have known there was going to be a reunion
of the Goose and Christmas families! She was so obliging as to lay
another egg in honor of the occasion. You shall have it, Father
Christmas, and may good luck go with it. (_Hands egg._)

_Father Christmas_: Thank you, Jack. That's a present worth having! I
wish my son Santa Claus had as fine a gift to put in every poor body's
stocking. He is out on his rounds now, but expects to be back, as he
said, "before the fun begins."

_Jack_: Santa's always ready for fun!

_Mother Goose (taking Jack's hand, as he stands beside her_):

  "This, my son Jack,
  Is a smart-looking lad;
  He is not very good,
  Nor yet very bad."
_(Sound of voices outside_.)

_Jack_: Dear me, mother! I can't stir without those young ones
following me! _(Sound of voices and knocking.)_

_Children (outside):_ Jack! Jack!

_Jack (calling):_ All right. Come in. I'm here, and Mother Goose and
Father Christmas, too. Surprise us all by being good, won't you?

    (Enter, two by two, Little Bo-Peep with a bundle of lamb's
    wool suspended from a shepherdess crook; Little Jack Horner,
    carrying carefully a deep pan covered with paper pie crust;
    Little Miss Muffett, carrying a bowl and spoon; Peter Pumpkin
    Eater, with a pumpkin under his arm; Curly Locks, with a
    piece of needlework; Little Boy Blue, with a Christmas horn;
    Contrary Mary, with a string of bells for bracelets, and
    carrying shells; Little Tommy Tucker, with a sheet of music;
    Jack and Jill, carrying a pail; Simple Simon, finger in mouth,
    looking as idiotic as possible; Polly Flinders, in a
    torn dress, sprinkled with ashes. The children march
    and countermarch to music around Mother Goose and Father
    Christmas, bowing as they pass them. When Mother Goose
    claps her hands the children group themselves on her side of
    platform, not in a stiff row, but as naturally as possible.
    As one after another comes forward for his or her speech, the
    others appear to be conversing among themselves, making the
    by-play in keeping with their characters.)

_Mother Goose:_ Tell Father Christmas your names now, my pretty ones,
and give him the presents you have brought in his honor.

_Little Bo-Peep (coming forward)_: I'm little Bo-Peep who lost her
sheep. I bring you some fine lamb's wool to keep you warm, Father
Christmas.

_(Father Christmas receives with a gracious air this gift and those
that follow, handing them afterward to Jack Goose, who puts them into
a large box or basket previously provided for the purpose.)_

_Jack Horner:_ I'm little Jack Horner who sat in a corner, eating a
Christmas pie. I've brought you one just like it, Father Christmas.
This pie is full of plums, and I haven't put in my thumb to pull out
one! (_Goes back to place after handing pie_.)

_Miss Muffet_: I'm little Miss Muffet, sir. I sat on a tuffet, eating
some curds and whey; but there came a big spider, and I was frightened
away. Do you like curds and whey, Father Christmas? I hope so, for
here are some in a bowl. (_Hands gift, and returns to place_.)

_Peter Pumpkin Eater_: Here come I, Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater. But
I've saved a nice pumpkin for _you_, Father Christmas, and here it is.
(_Returns to place_.)

_Curly Locks_: Just little Curly Locks who sits on a cushion and sews
a fine seam, and feeds upon strawberries, sugar, and cream! Here's
some of my sewing, Father Christmas. (_Presents needlework, and
returns to place_.)

_Little Boy Blue_ (_blowing several blasts on his horn as he comes
forward_): Here's Little Boy Blue! I blow my horn when sheep's in the
meadow and cow's in the corn. I've brought you my very best horn for
a present, Father Christmas. It's a good one, I can tell you! (_Blows
again, and hands to Father Christmas, who smilingly tries the horn
before handing on to Jack_.)

_Contrary Mary_: "Mary, Mary, quite contrary," they call me, Father
Christmas. I'm not contrary at all. Don't you believe it. Only I
_don't_ like to do just the same as other folks. That's the reason I'm
not going to give you one of my silver bells or my pretty shells. I'll
keep them myself for the present. Perhaps when it's Fourth of July,
or some other time when nobody else is thinking about giving you
anything, you'll hear from Contrary Mary. (_Flounces herself away to
place_.)

_Mother Goose_: Fie, fie, my child! Give your presents to Father
Christmas as you should. This contrariness grows upon you apace,
and must be checked at once. _(Mary obeys Mother Goose reluctantly,
pouting and muttering to herself.)_

_Little Tommy Tucker_: I am only little Tommy Tucker who sings for his
supper. All I can give you is a song, Father Christmas.

  TOMMY TUCKER'S SONG.

  (Air: "Ben Bolt.")

  Oh, don't you remember when children were old,
    And money grew up on the trees,
  How we lived upon nothing but cake and ice-cream.
    And had none but our own selves to please?
  We went to bed late every night of our lives,
    And we played every day all day long;
  And we never did sums, and could spell anyhow,
    And nobody said it was wrong!

  Oh, don't you remember the naughty child grew,
    The good one was good all in vain,
  Till dear Father Christmas and Mother Goose, too,
    To children their duty made plain?
  So now we can cipher and spell with a will,
    And at nine we are snug in our beds,
  With good Father Christmas in all of our dreams,
    And Mother Goose songs in our heads!

_Father Christmas_: Bravo, Tom Tucker! Be sure you shall have the
supper for which you have sung so well. Bless my eyes! Who comes here?

_Jack and Jill (together):_ We are Jack and Jill, Father Christmas.
And here's a pail for you. It is the one that we had when "Jack fell
down and broke his crown, and Jill came tumbling after." _(Hands a
pail_.)

_Simple Simon (drawling):_ Simple Simon, I am. I met a pieman going to
the fair. Says Simple Simon to the pieman, "Let me taste your fare."
Says the pieman to Simple Simon, "Show me first your penny." Says
Simple Simon to the pieman, "Indeed, I have not any."

_Father Christmas_: So you did not get the pie? My boy, let it be
a lesson to you that in this world nobody can have something for
nothing.

_Polly Flinders (sobbing):_ I don't look fit to come to a party,
Father Christmas, for I burnt my best dress sitting among the cinders.
Please excuse me this time, and let me stay, though I have no gift.

_Father Christmas_: Certainly, my dear, certainly.

_Mother Goose (severely}:_ You are entirely too indulgent, Father
Christmas! Polly Flinders, who sat among the cinders, ought to have
stayed at home. _(Polly begins to cry.)_

_Father Christmas_: Oh, we must overlook her appearance this time,
Mother Goose. Christmas is no time for tears. Go back among your
brothers and sisters. Polly. Mother Goose and I will let you stay, but
don't sit again among the cinders, Polly Flinders!

    (Sound of singing outside. Children of All Nations enter,
    waving: flags. At the conclusion of their song they stand in a
    semi-circle behind Father Christmas and Mother Goose.)

  SONG OF ALL NATIONS.

  (Air--: "Upidee," page 68, Franklin Sq. Coll No. 1.)

  Dear Father Christmas, you we greet,
    Tra la la, tra la la,
  And Mother Goose, his friend so meet,
    Tra la la, la la.
  From every nation on the earth
  We hail you both with Christmas mirth.

  _Chorus_.--Merry, merry Christmas, all.
    Christmas gay, happy day!
  Merry, merry Christmas, all!
    Merry Christmas day!

    (Pointing to Mother Goose and Father Christmas.)

  "The Children's Friends" their name is known,
    Tra la la, tra la la;
  Oh, long may they that title own,
    Tra la la, la la.
  Wherever in the whole wide world
  The flag of childhood is unfurled.--_Cho_.

    (Taking places.)

  Above our two most loving friends,
    Tra la la, tra la la,
  The banner of each nation bends,
    Tra la la, la la.
  Hurrah for Father Christmas dear!
  And also Mother Goose we'll cheer!--_Cho_.

    (Enter Thanksgiving, carrying a basket of fruit, and
    accompanied by her children, Peace and Plenty.)

_Father Christmas_: Why, here's my dear niece Thanksgiving, with her
two fine youngsters, Peace and Plenty! Thanksgiving, my dear, permit
me to present you to Mother Goose, her son Jack, and all the rest
of her family. _(Mutual recognitions.}_ Also, to the Children of All
Nations. _(Bows.)_

_Thanksgiving_:

  With Peace and with Plenty, my children, I bring
  To good Father Christmas our small offering.
_(Presents basket.)_

_Peace and Plenty (together):_

  Long live Father Christmas and Mother Goose, too!
  Their fame is world-wide, and their friends not a few.

    (Thanksgiving, Peace, and Plenty now take places near Father
    Christmas, while Happy New Year enters, carrying a bunch
    of keys. She is accompanied by two children, Hope and Good
    Resolutions.)

_Father Christmas (rising to greet her_): My dear daughter Happy New
Year, we are glad to see you, with Hope and Good Resolutions looking
so bright and well. Permit me to introduce my guests. _(Mutual
recognitions.)_

_Happy New Year_:

  With Good Resolutions quite close to my side,
  And sweet little Hope with me whate'er betide,
  I bring Father Christmas the bright golden keys
  That will open my door '98 with ease.

_Hope and Good Resolutions (together)_: Good cheer, Mother Goose!
Father Christmas, good cheer! We wish each and all of you happy New
Year!

    (Happy New Year and her children group themselves next to
    Thanksgiving. Enter Santa Claus, bustling about and shaking
    hands with everybody while speaking.)

  _Santa Claus_:

    What ho, Father Christmas! What ho, Mother Goose!
    At last from my Christmas-eve duties I'm loose.
    Not a stocking from north pole to south but I've filled,
    Books, candies, and toys by each mantlepiece spilled.
    My pack is quite empty, my reindeer done out,
    But on Christmas morning there'll be such a shout
    From the east to the west, from the south to the north,
    When their gifts from their stockings the children pull forth,
    That it's worth all my trouble--that hearty good cheer,
    "Hurrah! In the night Santa Claus has been here!"
    But, folks, I am hungry, I freely confess,
    So on to the dining-room now I will press.
    Roast turkey and cranberry sauce and mince pie
    Are there on the table, I saw passing by.

  _Father Christmas_:

    Now Santa has come, let the banquet be shared
    That for our reunion I've ordered prepared.
    To the dining-room we will adjourn, Mother Goose;
           _(Takes her arm)_
    Come, all the rest, follow--I'll take no excuse.
    Santa Claus, lead Thanksgiving; Jack, Happy New Year;
    Away now, my friends, to our good Christmas cheer!

    (All go out, two by two, singing the following stanza to the
    air of "Upidee.")

  _All together_:

  Come to the Christmas feast so gay,
    Tra la la, tra la la;
  Good Father Christmas leads the way,
    Tra la la, la la.
  Come, children, he'll "take no excuse;"
  Come, follow him and Mother Goose.

      Merry, merry Christmas, all!
        Christmas gay, happy day!
      Merry, merry Christmas, all,
        Merry Christmas day.



       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Waits.=

By KATHERINE WEST.

    (Dress four boys, or six, in a quaint costume,--full
    knee-breeches, low shoes with bright buckles, tunic or doublet
    with white frills at the throat and wrist; a short full cape
    hanging from the shoulders, and soft caps with plumes. Old
    garments may be re-arranged to give a picturesque effect, or
    some new, inexpensive material bought. Each boy should have
    a voice of pleasing quality, and be taught the Christmas song
    perfectly.

    Arrange a frame like a window casement at the back of the
    platform a little to one side. Behind this let a light burn
    dimly until a signal is given for full illumination. If
    practicable, leave the rest of the stage and audience-room in
    darkness.

    The boys begin to sing behind closed doors, and are heard
    coming nearer singing the first verse of "On this Happy
    Birthday." They enter and approach the centre of the platform.
    The casement is thrown open and half a dozen children's heads
    appear. There is a clapping of hands till the second verse is
    begun by the waits. At the last line the children throw out
    pennies and candies wrapped in paper. The singers scramble for
    them, and then give the third verse of the carol. The fourth
    verse may be sung as the boys move away and disappear in the
    distance. As a preliminary to this little performance a few
    words may be said about the old English custom of the waits
    coming to sing under the windows on Christmas eve.)


       *       *       *       *       *

=On This Happy Birthday.=

By Mrs. CHARLOTTE B. MERRITT. Mrs. SARAH L. WARNER.

[Illustration: sheet music]

  1.
  On this happy Birthday
   Of our Saviour King,
  Come, dear little children,
   Sweetly let us sing
     Of the Christ Child;
     Of the Christ Child,
     We will glad-ly sing.

  2.
  Bethlehem's star is shining,
    Ho-ly is its ray,
  To the world proclaiming
    Christ was born to-day.
      Of the Christ Child,
      Of the Christ Child,
      We will glad-ly sing.

  3.
  Wise men came to worship,
    Wise men from a-far,
  Guided by the glo-ry
    Of that ho-ly star.
      Of the Christ Child,
      Of the Christ Child,
      We will glad-ly sing.

  4.
  Now He reigns forever.
    Loving you and me;
  Joyful, let as praise Him
    Round our Christmas tree.
      To the Christ Child,
      To the Christ Child,
      We our tribute bring.


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Christmas Party.=

By LIZZIE M. HADLEY.

    (CHARACTERS: _1897_, a bent and feeble old man with skull-cap
    and white beard, leaning on a cane. The number 1897 across his
    forehead or breast. _South Wind_, a slender brunette in veil,
    mantle, and cape of green cheese cloth, cape belted down in
    the back. As she enters she flourishes her arms to throw
    out veil and cape. _Messenger_, in lettered uniform. Four
    _Heralds_, uniformed somewhat like messenger. Nine _Fairies_,
    very small girls. Coronets of silver paper. Flowing robes
    of cheese cloth with angel sleeves worn over clothing
    sufficiently warm for the season. Colors to present the plants
    whose leaves they carry. Silver belts, shoe-buckles, and
    necklaces. Leaves cut from green paper, and letters from gilt.
    _Kriss Kringle, Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Knight Rupert_,
    and _Babousca_ in appropriate costumes. Nine _Children_, in
    ordinary clothes. _North Wind, East Wind_, and _West Wind_ in
    costumes similar to _South Wind_, but varying in color,--white
    for north, blue for east, and red for west. The Winds stand
    behind St. Nicholas and keep up a restless blowing; that is,
    a fluttering and ballooning of capes and veils by flourishing
    arms.)

           _1897_: I'm growing old and feeble,
                     So much excitement's wrong;
                   Folks should have had their Christmas
                     When I was young and strong.
                   Instead of that, they take it
                     When I really ought to rest.
                   My last days should be peaceful
                     But--Father Time knows best

                   And now I must be stirring,
                     And call for Santa Claus;
                   I almost dread his coming,
                     There's always such a noise.
                   The winds shall be my heralds--
                     Come, North Wind, where are you?
                   Just whisper to old Santa
                     That here he'll soon be due.

                   Now while I am about it,
                     Perhaps it would be best
                   To call that windy herald
                     Whose home is in the west.
                        (_Enter South Wind_)
                   Here comes my daughter, South Wind.

     _South Wind_:
                   I'm almost out of breath,
                     I really fear the North Wind
                   Intends to be my death.

           _1897_: I'll bid him treat you kindly;
                     He should not be so rough;
                   He's getting much too boisterous,
                     I know that well enough.
                   You're all here now but East Wind
                     I'll call for him again.

  _Messenger (entering)_:
                   The East Wind says his health demands
                     A little snow or rain.

           _1897_: Well, well, just tell the storm clouds
                     To send us rain or snow.
_(Snowflakes begin to fall, seen through a window,--cotton or bits of
  paper_)                 Well done! Now are you ready
                     Upon your way to go?
                   For some one must be bidding
                     Knight Rupert come this way,
                   To give the German children
                     Their presents, Christmas day.
                   And then there's old Babousca--
                     In Russia she'll be found;
                   Kriss Kringle and St. Nicholas,
                     They, too, must both be round.

        _Heralds_: We know where each one liveth,
                     Full soon they shall appear.
                   We go to do your bidding.
                     Farewell, farewell, Old Year.
                     (_Exit Heralds. Enter Fairies_)

           _1897_: Bless me! what little people!
                   _(Speaks to first one_.)
                     Why, who are you, my dear?
                   I ne'er before have seen you.
                     What are you doing here?

        _Fairies_: Oh, we are little fairies
                     From out the ether blue.
                   Here is a Christmas posy
                     We are bringing unto you.
                   And the initial letters
                     Will a starry chaplet make.
                   Each trusts you will receive it,
                     And wear it for her sake.

[Illustration: CHRISTMAS]

  _First Fairy (pointing to first leaf in chaplet)_:
                   This is for Cypress.
  _Second Fairy_:  And this for Holly.
  _Third Fairy_:   And this for Rose of Jericho.
  _Fourth Fairy_:  And this for Ivy.
  _Fifth Fairy_:   And this for Speedwell.
  _Sixth Fairy_:   And this for Thyme.
  _Seventh Fairy_: And this for Mistletoe.
  _Eighth Fairy_:  And this for the quivering Aspen.
  _Ninth Fairy_:   And this for Star of Bethlehem.

(_They place chaplet upon the head of 1897._)

           _1897_: Here's thanks, my little people,
                     For this your posy sweet;
                   Your loving thought has surely
                     Made my happiness complete.

(_Enter Kriss Kringle, Santa Claus, Prince Rupert_, and _Babousca._)

                   Why here is old Kriss Kringle;
                    And Santa's coming, too;
                   Knight Rupert and Babousca,
                    I welcome both of you.
                   And from the frozen Northland,
                    I see a-riding down
                   The cheery old St. Nicholas,
                     Clad in his friar's gown.

[Illustration]

(_Enter St. Nicholas._)

(_Enter children, singing. They march around the stage, and finally
stop in front of 1897 and the others._)

      See how the children, so happy and gay,
      Come marching together this glad Christmas day.

  _Children_:
  With hands on our heads, while the bells sweetly chime,
  All blithely we're keeping the glad Christmas time.
  Marching and singing, so gayly we go,
  Turning and winding in lines to and fro.
  Clap all together, and sing, sing away,
  So merrily keeping this glad Christmas day.

           _1897_: Oh, children, little children,
                     You're welcome here alway;
                   I'm glad to see you coming
                     To keep our Christmas day.
                       (_Bells outside._)
                   Oh, children, little children,
                     Why do the joy-bells chime?

(_Singing heard outside. The following words, to the tune of "Ring, Ye
Happy Christmas Bells."_)

                   Carol, O ye children all,
                     With no thought of sadness;
                   Welcome in the Christmas time
                     With your songs of gladness.

             _Chorus_--Sing, O sing,
                       Bells all ring,
                         Let us now be merry,
                       Let us welcome Christmas day
                         With our songs so cheery.

           _1897_: Hark, how the winds are blowing,
                     What music do they bring.

       _Children_: You hear the little children
                     Their Christmas carols sing.

           _1897_: O children, little children,
                     What light is that afar?

       _Children_: 'Tis shining from the heavens,
                     A glorious Christmas star.

           _1897_: O children, little children,
                     What means its glorious rays?
                   And why is Christmas better
                     Than many other days?

       _Children_: Oh, don't you know the story
                     Of the first Christmas time?
                   Then listen, we will tell it,
                     While the bells so sweetly chime.

    _First child_: We count the years by hundreds
                     Since that first Christmas day.
                   When in a lowly manger
                     The little Christ-child lay.

   _Second child_: That night some shepherds tending
                     Their flocks upon the hill,
                   Heard heavenly voices singing,
                     "Peace, peace! On earth, good will."

   _Third child_:  All bright as noon-tide splendor.
                     A light about them shone,
                   While louder sang the angels,
                     "A Saviour hath been born!"

   _Fourth child_: And then a sudden darkness--
                     The voices died away,
                   The wondering shepherds hurried
                     To where the young Child lay.

    _Fifth child_: Their flocks were all untended,
                     While filled with love and awe,
                   They bent above the manger
                     And the Baby Jesus saw.

    _Sixth child_: Then, too, the wise men watching
                     Beheld a star that shone,
                   In the blue heavens above them
                     To tell that Christ was born.

  _Seventh child_: And with their camels laden
                     With spices and gold.
                   They came from eastern countries
                     The young King to behold.

   _Eighth child_: The star still went before them,
                     And pointing out the way,
                   It shone upon the stable
                     Where the Babe of Bethlehem lay

    _Ninth child_: And then, all lowly bending,
                     They worshipped the young King,
                   And gave him from their treasures
                     Full many an offering.

  _Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Kriss Kringle, etc.:_
                   O children we have numbered
                     Long centuries since then,
                   But we see at every Christmas
                     That little Child again.
                   And we bring to all good children
                     In memory of that time,
                   Some pretty Christmas present,
                     While the joy-bells gayly chime.

  _1897_:          O children, little children,
                     I soon must pass away,
                   But 'tis good to have the memory
                     Of this blessed Christmas day.

  _Santa Claus and others_:
                   We, too, must now be going.
                     And as we march along,
                   O let us sing together
                     A happy Christmas song.

(_All march out singing. Tune "Yankee Doodle."_)

                   O the merry Christmas time
                     Now is in the way, sir,
                   Ev'ry sweet and happy chime
                     Tells of Christmas day, sir.

                   _Chorus._--
                   Christmas it is coming, now,
                     Don't you hear the bells, sir?
                   Happy Christmas time is here,
                     To the world we tell, sir.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Santa's Helpers.=

By M. NORA BOYLAN.

  The fairies and brownies on last Christmas-tide
  Decided to open their hearts very wide,
  And spend extra time, throughout the whole year,
  In helping their grandfather--Santa Claus dear.

  "Our fingers are nimble. We'll quickly make toys
  Enough to supply all the girls and the boys,
  And Santa may watch us to see if it's right,
  So all will be ready before Christmas night."

  Then bravely they all went to work with a will,
  And soon all was quiet in workshop and mill;
  For old Santa said, "Enough, and well done,
  We've toys enough now to make all kinds of fun."

  We thank you, old Santa, and your helpers, too,
  For all of the many kind things that you do;
  And should you need more help in making your toys,
  Just call on your small friends, the girls and the boys.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Eve.=

    (This must be spoken as if singing a lullaby to a baby, with
    motions indicating the sleeping child near.)

  Oh, hush thee, little dear, my soul,
    The evening shades are falling;
  Hush thee, my dear, dost thou not hear
    The voice of the Master calling?

  Deep lies the snow upon the earth,
    But all the sky is ringing
  With joyous song, and all night long
    The stars shall dance with singing.

  Oh, hush thee, little dear, my soul,
    And close thine eyes in dreaming,
  And angels fair shall lead thee where
    The singing stars are beaming.

  A shepherd calls his little lambs,
    And he longeth to caress them;
  He bids them rest upon his breast,
    That his tender love may bless them.

  So, hush thee, little dear, my soul,
    Whilst evening shades are falling,
  And above the song of the heavenly throng
    Thou shall hear the Master calling.

--_Eugene Field._


       *       *       *       *       *

=Santa Claus's Visit.=

By SUSIE M. BEST.

  With a click and a clack
  And a great big pack,
  Down through the chimney,
  Pretty nimbly
  Somebody comes on Christmas eve!

  If we are real nice
  And as still as mice,
  If we never peep,
  And are sound asleep,
  He'll fill our stockings, I do believe!

  And when we arise
  Next day our eyes
  Will grow big to see
  How perfectly
  He knew what we all wished to receive!

       *       *       *       *       *

=To Santa Claus.=

By JENNIE D. MOORE.

    (Recitation for a little boy.)

  Dear Santa Claus, I'll let you know
    The few things that I need,
  And if you'll bring them to me
    I'll be much obliged indeed.

  I want a horse and wagon,
    And a boat that's painted red,
  An elephant, a jumping-jack--
    You need not bring a sled,

  For I have one very pretty;
    But I want a trotting-horse,
  A man who wheels a wheel-barrow,
    And candy, too, of course.

  Now, Santa dear, you'll not forget.
    I wish you'd write them down,
  And leave them all at my house
    When you journey through the town.


       *       *       *       *       *
=What I Should Like.=

By JENNIE D. MOORE.

    (Recitation for a little girl.)

  On Christmas eve I'd like to lie
  Awake, when stars are in the sky,
  And listen to the sound that swells
  From Santa Claus's jingling bells.

  I'd like to hear upon the roof
  The patter of each tiny hoof
  Of Santa's reindeer overhead,
  When I am snug and warm in bed.

  But mamma says I must not lie
  Awake, or he will pass me by;
  He does not like the girls or boys
  To watch him when he brings the toys.

  I think I'd better go to sleep.
  I guess the presents all will keep,
  Then in the morning I shall be
  Glad to think I did not see.


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Gentle Reminder.=

  Something new about Christmas?
    Why, what were half so sweet
  As the old, old way of keeping
    The day our glad hearts greet?

  The old, old chimes are dearest;
    The old, old songs are best;
  It's the old, old gladness welling
    Within each joyous breast.

  Then my little lad said slyly,
    "Remember, if that's true,
  That your old, old way, mamma dear,
    Was to give _me_ something new."

  _Alice W. Rollins._


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Time.=

By M.N.B.

    (An introductory recitation for a Christmas program.)

    Christmas time for boys and girls
      Is a happy day,
    For we go to grandmamma's
      And eat and sing and play.

    Grandma does not say to us--
      "Stop that horrid noise,"
    'Cause she understands we can't,
      When we're _"only boys."_

    And she lets the girls play house,
      In the garret old,
    And when they strew things around,
      Grandma doesn't scold.

    But we ought to pick them up,
      Even on Christmas day,
    For we shouldn't make kind friends
      Trouble with our play.

    Yes, we love the Christmas time
      Best of all the year,
    We have waited for it long,
      Now, at last, it's here.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Wishes.=

By C. PHILLIPS.

    (These couplets may be given by three primary children to open
    Christmas program.)

  _First child:_
      Dear teachers and friends, allow me to say
      That we wish you a very glad Christmas day.

  _Second child:_
    That our darling old "Santa," as sly as a fox,
    May leave at your door both bundle and box.

  _Third child:_
    And that beautiful gifts for one and for all
    From the evergreen boughs may happily fall!


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Morn.=

By M.N.B.

    (Recitation and chorus. A semi-circle of primary children is
    formed on the stage. They sing first verse of the familiar
    church tune, "Joy to the World.")

  _Chorus.--_
    Joy to the world, the Lord has come,
      Let earth receive her King,
    Let every heart prepare him room,
      And heaven and nature sing.

  _Recitation (one child steps forward).--_
    In Bethlehem, the story goes,
      A little Child was born,
    Low in a manger He was laid
      The first glad Christmas morn.

    That Child is now our Saviour King,
      Of Him we sing to-day;
    And may glad bells o'er all the earth
      Ring out a gladsome lay.

  _Chorus.--_
    Joy to the world, a Saviour reigns,
      Let men their tongues employ,
    While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and vales
      Repeat the sounding joy.


       *       *       *       *       *

=My Christmas Secrets.=

By S.C. PEABODY.

  Hurry Christmas! How you creep,
  I've some presents I can't keep,
  Just this morning I forgot,
  And told baby what I'd bought.

  All he answered was, "Goo goo!"
  So I don't think that he knew,
  I told mamma hers was white,
  And she'd wear it every night.

  That she'd need it getting tea.
  Then my mamma smiled at me,
  And she whispered, "Isn't May
  Letting secrets fly away?"


       *       *       *       *       *

=Kriss Kringle.=

By SUSIE M. BEST.

  If there's any one here who ever has seen
  The face of Kriss Kringle, I'll think he is mean
  If he is not willing at once to arise
  And tell the real color and shape of his eyes!

  Somehow I much doubt if the gentleman looks
  Like the pictures we see in the shops and the books.
  I've a sort of a notion we'd all be surprised
  If we suddenly saw him, by day, undisguised!

  Is he big, is he little, is he young, is he old?
  There are some things, I know, that can't always be told,
  But I'd much like to know why it is he must keep
  Himself hidden securely till we are asleep?

  I've made up my mind that I'm going to watch,
  And see if I cannot by any means catch
  One glimpse of his face as he comes down the flue,
  And if I succeed I'll describe him to you!


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Message.=

By ELLA M. POWERS.

    (For three primary children to recite.)

  _First pupil_:
    One true thing I have to say,
    Clap your hands now, for you may.
    It's very happy, very dear,
    This Christmas day will soon be here;
    But children learn to understand,
    That loyal heart and loving hand,
    Can pray, "Oh, Saviour, so divine,
    Make our lives so much like thine."

  _Second pupil_:
    Yes, far away that Christmas night,
    A star above the Christ shone bright,
    And led the shepherds from afar
    To seek that bright and glorious star.

  _Third pupil_:
    The shepherds came with presents rare
    And knelt with tender love and care,
    Before that child so sweet and true,
    And loved Him as we all should do;
    And that grand song we hear again,
   "Peace on earth--good will to men."


       *       *       *       *       *

=The Mousie.=

By M.N.B.

    (A very small primary boy may recite these lines.)

  A mousie got into a great Christmas pie,
  Two little boys heard him, and then they did cry,
  "O mousie! O mousie! come quickly away!
  That pie is not for you, 'tis for our Christmas day."


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Letter from Santa Claus.=

By WILLIAM HOWARD.

    (A little girl is seated with her slate and pencil. A
    postman's whistle is heard, and she exclaims, "There is the
    letter-man!" She runs to the door and returns with a large
    envelope, made of white wrapping-paper sealed with red wax,
    which she tears open, announces it is written by Santa Claus
    to the pupils of the school, and then reads it aloud. In
    the last verse the names of the children present are to be
    substituted for the printed ones.)

    Merry Christmas! little children,
      From my home so far away
    Send I loving Christmas greetings
      To you on your holiday.

    You may watch and wait till midnight,
      Looking at the falling snow,
    But be sure you won't discover
      When I come or when I go.

    For I come when all is silent,
      Not a breath will then be heard,
    And I softly through the chimney
      Enter, saying not a word.

    Quickly to the stockings step I,
      And I place in every one
    Something for the Christmas frolic,
      Something for the Christmas fun.

    Hark! my reindeer out the window,
      Prance and shake a warning note;
    Santa Claus will speed away then,
      Wrapping close his cap and coat.

    Your surprise, when comes the morning,
      Gladness which your bright eyes tell,
    Grateful, merry, happy children,
      Pleases Santa Claus full well.

    Willie, Alice, Harry, Mary,
      Christmas greetings now I send.
    Cora, Freddie, Sadie, Johnnie,
      Don't forget Santa Claus, your friend.


       *       *       *       *       *

=The Christmas We Like.=

By ELLA M. POWERS.

    (A recitation for two primary children.)

  _First pupil:_
    Just a little stocking,
      Very small indeed.
    Hang it by the chimney,
      Santa Claus will heed.

    Then on Christmas morning
      I will run and see
    All the lovely presents
      He has left for me.

  _Second pupil:_
    I never think that Christmas
      Is quite so full of joy,
    Unless I find a poor child
      And give her a nice toy.

    For don't you know at Christmas
      We must be happy then,
    And love to do for others
      As Christ did to all men.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Saint Nick.=

By M.N.B.

    (For the youngest pupil to recite.)

  When cold the winds blow,
  And comes the white snow,
  Then look out for good Saint Nick.
  He comes in a sleigh
  From miles, miles away,
  And vanishes very quick.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Merry, Merry Christmas.=

    (Over the platform against the wall hang the words "Merry,
    Merry Christmas." They may be simply made of dark-colored
    pasteboard twelve inches high, or the cardboard may be covered
    with red berries and evergreen. The five children who recite
    in turn point to the words whenever they speak them.)

  _First child:_
    Oh! "merry, merry Christmas,"
      Blithely let us sing,
    And "merry, merry Christmas,"
      Let the church-bells ring.
        Lo! the little stranger,
        Smiling in the manger
      Is the King of Kings.

  _Second child:_
    Oh! "merry, merry Christmas,"
      Weave in fragrant green,
    And "merry, merry Christmas,"
      In holly-berries' sheen.
        Opened heaven's portals,
        That by favored mortals
      Angels might be seen.

  _Third child:_:
    Oh! "merry, merry Christmas,"
      Carol bright and gay,
    For "merry, merry Christmas"
      Is the Children's day;
        Morning stars revealing
        Shepherds humbly kneeling
      Where the Christ child lay.

  _Fourth child:_
    Oh! "merry, merry Christmas,"
      Day of sacred mirth;
    Oh! "merry, merry Christmas,"
      Sing the Saviour's birth.
        Christ, the high and holy,
        Once so meek and lowly,
      Came from heaven to earth.

  _Fifth child:_
    Oh! "merry, merry Christmas,"
      Shout the happy sound,
    Till "merry, merry Christmas,"
      Spreads the world around;
        Wonderful the story,
        Unto God may glory
      Evermore abound.

_Carine L. Rose, in Good Housekeeping._


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Questions.=

BY WOLSTAN DIXEY.

    (At the three last words the speaker raises her finger
    impressively.)

  How old is Santa Claus? Where does he keep?
  And why does he come when I am asleep?
  His hair is so white in the pictures I know,
  Guess he stands on his head all the time in the snow.
  But if he does that, then why don't he catch cold?
  He must be as much as,--most twenty years old.
  I'd just like to see him once stand on his head,
  And dive down the chimney, as grandmother said.
  Why don't his head get all covered with black?
  And if he comes head first, how can he get back?
  Mamma knows about it, but she wont tell me.
  I shall keep awake Christmas eve, then I can see.
  I have teased her to tell me, but mamma she won't,
  So I'll find out myself now; see if I don't.

       *       *       *       *       *

=A Catastrophe.=

BY SUSIE M. BEST.

  If old Kriss Kringle should forget
    To travel Christmas eve,
  I tell you now, I think next day
    The little folks would grieve.

  There wouldn't be a single toy,
    A single box or book,
  And not a bit of candy in
    Their stockings when they'd look

  Because, you see, Kriss Kringle has
    A "corner" on these things,
  'Tis he, and he alone, who in
    The night our presents brings.

  Then let us all try to avert
    This sad catastrophe,
  And hope Kriss Kringle may at least
    Remember you and me.


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Christmas Gift.=

By MABEL L. PRAY.

  It seems that dear old Santa Claus
    One day in old November
  Received a note from Dottie D--,
    With words and phrases tender,
  In which she asked the dear old man
    With many words of warning,
  To bring her a new Paris doll
    On the next Christmas morning.

  Just as he started for his sleigh
    One eve, in old December,
  He turned to Mistress Santa Claus
    And said, "Did you remember
  About that fine new Paris doll
    For wee Dot in the city?
  I must not fail to take that gift,
    'Twould be a dreadful pity."

  It was early in the morning,
    One day in old December;
  A very happy, joyous day
    That children all remember,
  When Santa, on his mission fleet,
    To the nursery came creeping,
  And left the fine new Paris doll
    Among the others, sleeping.

  The holly and the mistletoe
    Were bright this winter morning;
  One stocking filled from top to toe
    The mantel was adorning.
  A Christmas tree hung full with gifts,
    While underneath, reposing
  On an upholstered rocking chair,
    The Paris doll was dozing.

  Then suddenly from out the gloom
    Dot's other dolls came peeping,
  Their hair uncombed, their dresses torn,
    And noses red with weeping;
  They talked in whispers soft and low,
    But tones that grew quite scornful,
  About the fate that was to greet
    This stranger, sad and mournful.

  There were Annabel and Bessie,
    That came one cold December;
  They hobbled round with broken backs
    From falling on the fender.
  Then Tommy, Grace, and baby Ruth,
    All came one birthday party,
  And Rose and Don a year ago,
    With Santa Claus so hearty.

  They all assembled round the tree,
    And then with manners shocking
  They pinched and shook the Paris doll,
    And cried in words so mocking--
  "Why, don't you know, you stupid thing,
    Dot won't care for another,
  She has received this Christmas morn
    A dear, sweet baby brother!"


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Christmas Thought.=

    (To be recited with careful regard to smoothness, without a
    sing-song effect.)

  Oh Christmas is coming again, you say,
    And you long for the things he is bringing;
  But the costliest gift may not gladden the day,
    Nor help on the merry bells ringing
  Some getting is losing, you understand,
    Some hoarding is far from saving;
  What you hold in your hand may slip from your hand,
    There is something better than having;
      We are richer for what we give;
      And only by giving we live.

  Your last year's presents are scattered and gone;
    You have almost forgot who gave them;
  But the loving thoughts you bestow live on
    As long as you choose to have them.
  Love, love is your riches, though ever so poor;
    No money can buy that treasure;
  Yours always, from robber and rust secure,
    Your own, without stint or measure;
      It is only love that we can give;
      It is only by loving we live.

  For who is it smiles through the Christmas morn--
    The Light of the wide creation?
  A dear little Child in a stable born,
    Whose love is the world's salvation.
  He was poor on earth, but He gave us all
    That can make our life worth the living;
  And happy the Christmas day we call
    That is spent, for His sake, in giving;
     He shows us the way to live,
     Like Him. Let us love and give!

--_Lucy Larcom_


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Merry Christmas Eve.=

  It chanced upon the merry, merry Christmas eve
    I went sighing past the church across the moorland dreary:
  "Oh! never sin and want and woe this earth will leave,
    And the bells but mock the wailing round, they sing so cheery.
  How long, O Lord! how long before Thou come again?
    Still in cellar, and in garret, and on moorland dreary
  The orphans moan, and widows weep, and poor men toil in vain,
    Till earth is full of hope deferred, though Christmas bells be cheery."

  Then arose a joyous clamor from the wild fowl on the mere,
    Beneath the stars, across the snow, like clear bells ringing,
  And a voice within cried: "Listen!--Christmas carols even here!
    Though thou be dumb, yet o'er their work the stars and snows are singing.
  Blind! I live, I love, I reign; and all the nations through
    With the thunder of my judgments even now are ringing;
  Do thou fulfill thy work, but as yon wild fowl do,
    Thou wilt hear no less the wailing, yet hear through it angels singing."

--_Charles Kingsley_.


       *       *       *       *       *

=The Christmas Stocking.=

  In the ghostly light I'm sitting, musing of long dead Decembers,
  While the fire-clad shapes are flitting in and out among the embers
  On my hearthstone in mad races, and I marvel, for in seeming
  I can dimly see the faces and the scenes of which I'm dreaming.

  O golden Christmas days of yore!
    In sweet anticipation
  I lived their joys for days before
    Their glorious realization;
      And on the dawn
      Of Christmas morn
  My childish heart was knocking
      A wild tattoo,
      As 'twould break through,
  As I unhung my stocking.

  Each simple gift that came to hand,
    How marvelous I thought it!
  A treasure straight from wonderland,
    For Santa Claus had brought it.
      And at my cries
      Of glad surprise
  The others all came flocking
      To share my glee
      And view with me
  The contents of the stocking

  Years sped--I left each well-loved scene
    In Northern wilds to roam,
  And there, 'mid tossing pine-trees green,
    I made myself a home.
      We numbered three
      And blithe were we,
  At adverse fortune mocking,
      And Christmas-tide
      By our fireside
  Found hung the baby's stocking.

  Alas! within our home to-night
    No sweet young voice is ringing,
  And through its silent rooms no light.
    Free, childish step is springing.
      The wild winds rave
      O'er baby's grave
  Where plumy pines are rocking
      And crossed at rest
      On marble breast
  The hands that filled my stocking

  With misty eyes but steady hand
    I raise my Christmas chalice;
  Here's to the children of the land
    In cabin or in palace;
      May each one hold
      The key of gold,
  The gates of glee unlocking,
      And hands be found
      The whole world round
  To fill the Christmas stocking

_Clarence H. Pearson in The Ladies' Home Journal_.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Hymn.=

    (During this recitation let the piano be played very softly in
    running chords that resolve into the key of a Christmas carol
    which is taken up and sung by the entire school at the end of
    the poem.)

  Sing, Christmas bells!
    Say to the earth this is the morn
  Whereon our Saviour King is born;
    Sing to all men-the bond, the free,
  The rich, the poor, the high, the low,
    The little child that sports in glee,
  The aged folk that tottering go,--
      Proclaim the morn
      That Christ is born,
  That saveth them and saveth me!

  Sing angel host!
    Sing of the stars that God has placed
  Above the manger in the east.
    Sing of the glories of the night,
  The Virgin's sweet humility,
    The Babe with kingly robes bedight,--
  Sing to all men where'er they be
      This Christmas morn
      For Christ is born,
  That saveth them and saveth me!

--_Eugene Field_.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Bells Across the Snow.=

    (This poem may be recited by one pupil, or divided as
    follows:)

  _First pupil_:
  Christmas, merry Christmas!
    Is it really come again?
  With its memories and greetings,
    With its joys and with its pain
  There's a minor in the carol,
    And a shadow in the light,
  And a spray of cypress twining
    With the holly wreath to-night.
  And the hush is never broken
    By laughter, light and low,
  As we listen in the starlight
    To the "bells across the snow."

  _Second pupil_:
  Christmas, merry Christmas!
    'Tis not so very long
  Since other voices blended
    With the carol and the song!
  If we could but hear them singing
    As they are singing now,
  If we could but see the radiance
    Of the crown on each dear brow;
  There would be no sigh to smother,
    No hidden tear to flow,
  As we listen in the starlight
    To the "bells across the snow."

  _Third pupil:_
  O Christmas, merry Christmas!
    This never more can be;
  We cannot bring again the days
    Of our unshadowed glee.
  But Christmas, happy Christmas,
    Sweet herald of good will,
  With holy songs of glory,
    Brings holy gladness still.
  For peace and hope may brighten,
    And patient love may glow,
  As we listen in the starlight
    To the "bells across the snow."

--_F.R. Havergal_.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Eve.=

  Outside my window whirls the icy storm,
    And beats upon its panes with fingers white;
  Within, my open fire burns bright and warm,
    And sends throughout the room its ruddy light.

  Low on the hearth my good grimalkin lies,
    His supple, glossy limbs outstretched along;
  Now gently sleeps with softly closèd eyes,
    Now, half awakened, purrs his even-song.

  Near to the fire, touched by its gentle heat,
    A silent, welcome friend, my armchair stands.
  Its cushioned depths invite me to its seat,
    And promise rest for weary head and hands.

  Within its depths mine eyes unheeded close,
    And comes to me a vision wondrous sweet.
  Such sights and sounds no wakeful hours disclose
    As then my resting, dreaming senses greet.

  I am where gentle shepherds on the plain
    Keep sleepless, faithful watch o'er resting sheep;
  I hear them chant the Psalmist's sweet refrain,
    That Israel's God will sure his promise keep.

  Then quick the air is full of heav'nly song,
    And radiant light illumines all the ground,
  While angel voices sweet the strain prolong,
    And angel faces shine in glory round.

  I see the shepherds' faces pale with fear,
    Then glow with joy and glad surprise, for then
  "Glory to God!" from angel lips they hear,
  And "Peace on earth good will to men."

  And then the light marks out a shining way,
    And swift the shepherds are the path to take.
  I long to go! O laggard feet, why stay?
    Alas! the vision fades, and I awake.

  Within, the smold'ring fire is burning dim;
    Without, the whirl and beat of storm have ceased.
  I still can hear the angels' peaceful hymn,
    And know the vision hath my peace increased.

_--Frank E. Broun in The Outlook_.


       *       *       *       *       *

=The Little Christmas Tree.=

  The Christmas day was coming, the Christmas eve drew near,
  The fir-trees they were talking low at midnight cold and clear
  And this is what the fir-trees said, all in the pale moonlight,
  "Now which of us shall chosen be to grace the holy night?"

  The tall trees and the goodly trees raised each a lofty head.
  In glad and secret confidence, though not a word they said
  But one, the baby of the band, could not restrain a sigh--
  "You all will be approved," he said, "but, oh! what chance have I?"

  Then axe on shoulder to the grove a woodman took his way.
  One baby-girl he had at home, and he went forth to find
  A little tree as small as she, just suited to his mind.

  Oh, glad and proud the baby-fir, amid its brethren tall,
  To be thus chosen and singled out, the first among them all!
  He stretched his fragrant branches, his little heart beat fast,
  He was a real Christmas tree; he had his wish at last.

  One large and shining apple with cheeks of ruddy gold,
  Six tapers, and a tiny doll were all that he could hold.

  "I am so small, so very small, no one will mark or know
  How thick and green my needles are, how true my branches grow;
  Few toys and candles could I hold, but heart and will are free,
  And in my heart of hearts I know I am a Christmas tree."

  The Christmas angel hovered near; he caught the grieving word,
  And, laughing low, he hurried forth, with love and pity stirred.
  He sought and found St Nicholas, the dear old Christmas saint,
  And in his fatherly kind ear rehearsed the fir-tree's plaint.

  Saints are all-powerful, we know, so it befell that day,
  The baby laughed, the baby crowed, to see the tapers bright;
  The forest baby felt the joy, and shared in the delight.

  And when at last the tapers died, and when the baby slept,
  The little fir in silent night a patient vigil kept;
  Though scorched and brown its needles were, it had no heart to grieve.
  "I have not lived in vain," he said; "thank God for Christmas eve!"

_--Susan Coolidge_.


       *       *       *       *       *

=The Russian Santa Claus.=

By LIZZIE M. HADLEY.

  Over the Russian snows one day,
  Upon the eve of a Christmas day,
  While still in the heavens shone afar,
  Like a spark of fire, that wondrous star,
  Three kings with jewels and gold bedight
  Came journeying on through the wintry night.

  Out of the East they rode amain,
  With servants and camels in their train.
  Laden with spices, myrrh, and gold,
  Gems and jewels of worth untold,
  Presents such as to-day men bring,
  To lay at the feet of some Eastern king.

  Wrinkled and feeble, old and gray,
  Dame Babousca, that Christmas day,
  Looked from her hut beside the moor,
  Where the four roads crossed by her cottage door,
  And saw the kings on their camels white,
  A shadowy train in the wintry night.

  They knocked at her cabin door to tell
  That wonderful story we know so well,
  Of the star that was guiding them all the way
  To the place where the little Christ-Child lay,
  And they begged that she, through the sleet and snow,
  To the nearest village with them would go.

  But naught cared she for that unknown Child,
  And winds about her blew fierce and wild,
  For the night was stormy, dark, and cold,
  And poor Babousca was weak and old,
  And in place of the pitiless winter's night,
  Her lowly hut seemed a palace bright.

  So to their pleadings she answered "Nay,"
  And watched them all as they rode away.
  But when they had gone and the night was still,
  Her hut seemed lonely, and dark, and chill,
  And she almost wished she had followed them
  In search of the Babe of Bethlehem.

  And then as the longing stronger grew,
  She said, "I will find Him," but no one knew,
  Where was the cradle in which He lay
  When He came to earth upon Christmas day,
  For the kings and their trains were long since gone,
  And none could tell of the Babe, new born.

  Then filling a basket with toys, she said,
  As over the wintry moor she sped,
  "I will go to the busy haunts of men,
  There I shall find the kings, and then,
  Together we'll go that Child to meet,
  And jewels and toys we'll lay at His feet.

  The kings with their trains have long been clay.
  The hut on the moor has mouldered away,
  But old and feeble, worn and gray,
  Every year upon Christmas day,
  It matters not though the winds blow chill,
  Old Babousca is seeking still.

  And every year when the joy-bells chime,
  To tell of the blessed Christmas time,
  When in Holland they tell to the girls and boys,
  Of good Saint Nicholas and his toys,
  In Russia, the little children say,
  "Old Babousca has passed this way."


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Christmas Garden.=

    (A prose recitation, or suggestion for composition.)

There is a story told of a magician who conjured up a garden in the
winter time. The wand of the wizard, however, is not necessary to
disclose even in a northern climate in the cold months the beautiful
contents of Nature's world. The varieties of evergreen, pine, hemlock,
fir, cedar, and larch provide a variety of green foliage through the
dreary weather. The rich, clustering berries, besides their ornamental
character, furnish food for the snowbirds. The Christmas rose,
wax-like in its white purity, will bloom out of doors long after frost
if a glass is turned over the plant on cold nights. The ivy remains
glossy, its green berry another addition to our winter bouquet.

Farther south, but still within our United States, the scarlet holly
grows in luxuriance. So full of holiday association is this tree that
its branches are carefully transported a thousand miles for use during
Christmas week. Its crisp leaves, lively color, and happy sentiment
make the holly, pre-eminent as a winter ornament, prince in our
Christmas garden.

A contrast is furnished by the delicate sprays of the mistletoe
growing upon the limbs of the oak, elm, and apple trees. The white
berry attaches itself, curiously enough, without roots of any kind,
and becomes an enduring plant.


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Christmas Carol.=

  "What means this glory round our feet?"
    The Magi mused, "more bright than morn?"
  And voices chanted clear and sweet,
    "To-day the Prince of Peace is born!"

  "What means that star?" the shepherd said,
    "That brightens through the rocky glen?"
  And angels answering overhead,
    Sang, "Peace on earth, good will to men!"

  'Tis eighteen hundred years and more
    Since those sweet oracles were dumb;
  We wait for Him, like them of yore;
    Alas, He seems so slow to come!

  But it was said, in words of gold.
    No time or sorrow e'er shall dim,
  That little children might be bold
    In perfect trust to come to Him.

  All round about our feet shall shine
    A light like that the wise men saw,
  If we our loving wills incline
    To that sweet Life which is the Law.

  So shall we learn to understand
    The simple faith of shepherds then,
  And clasping kindly hand in hand,
    Sing, "Peace on earth, good will to men!"

  And they who do their souls no wrong,
    But keep at eve the faith of morn,
  Shall daily hear the angel-song,
    "To-day the Prince of Peace is born!"

_J.R. Lowell_


       *       *       *       *       *

=The Power of Christmas.=

Even under the pressure of battle the influence of the Christmas
season has exerted a powerful effect. In 1428, during the war of the
roses, while Orleans was under siege, the English lords, history tells
us, requested the French commanders to suspend hostilities, and let
the usual celebration of Christmas eve take their place. This was
agreed to, and the air was filled with the song of the minstrels and
the music of trumpets, instead of the discordant sounds of battle.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Peace on Earth.=

    (Recitation for a high-school pupil.)

  The shepherds went their hasty way,
    And found the lowly stable shed
  Where the Virgin-Mother lay;
    And now they checked their eager tread,
  For to the Babe that at her bosom clung
  A mother's song the Virgin-Mother sung.

  They told her how a glorious light,
    Streaming from a heavenly throng,
  Around them shone suspending night,
    While, sweeter than a mother's song,
  Blest angels heralded the Saviour's birth,
  Glory to God on high and Peace on Earth.

  She listened to the tale divine,
    And closer still the Babe she prest;
  And while she cried, The Babe is mine!
    The milk rushed faster to her breast;
  Joy rose within her like a summer's morn;
  Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of Peace is born.

  Thou Mother of the Prince of Peace,
    Poor, simple, and of low estate!
  That strife should vanish, battle cease,
    O why should this thy soul elate?
  Sweet music's loudest note, the poet' story--
  Didst thou ne'er love to hear of fame and glory?

  And is not War a youthful king,
    A stately hero clad in mail?
  Beneath his footsteps laurels spring;
    Him Earth's majestic monarch's hail
  Their friend, their playmate! and his bold bright eye
  Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.

  'Tell this in some more courtly scene,
    To maids and youths in robes of state!
  I am a woman poor and mean,
    And therefore is my soul elate.
  War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled,
  That from the aged father tears his child!

  "A murderous fiend, by fiends adored,
    He kills the sire and starves the son;
  The husband kills, and from her hoard
    Steals all his widow's toil had won;
  Plunders God's world of beauty; rends away
  All safety from the night, all comfort from the day.

  "Then wisely is my soul elate,
    That strife should vanish, battle cease;
  I'm poor and of a low estate,
    The Mother of the Prince of Peace.
  Joy rises in me like a summer's morn;
  Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of Peace is born."

_--S.T. Coleridge._


       *       *       *       *       *

=The Christmas Tree.=

    (Recitation for a boy to give before a Christmas tree is
    dismantled.)

  Of all the trees in the woods and fields
    There's none like the Christmas tree;
  Tho' rich and rare is the fruit he yields,
    The strangest of trees is he.
  Some drink their fill from the shower or rill;
    No cooling draught needs he;
  Some bend and break when the storms awake,
    But they reach not the Christmas tree.
  When wintry winds thro' the forests sweep,
    And snow robes the leafless limb;
  When cold and still is the ice-bound deep,
    O this is the time for him.
  Beneath the dome of the sunny home,
    He stands with all his charms;
  'Mid laugh and song from the youthful throng,
    As they gaze on his fruitful arms.
  There's golden fruit on the Christmas tree,
    And gems for the fair and gay;
  The lettered page for the mind bears he,
    And robes for the wintry day.
  And there are toys for the girls and boys;
    And eyes that years bedim
  Grow strangely bright, with a youthful light,
    As they pluck from the pendant limb.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Old English Christmases.=

The court celebrations of Christmas were observed with great splendor
during the reign of King Charles the First. The royal family, with the
lords and ladies, often took part themselves in the performances,
and the cost to prepare costumes and sceneries for one occasion
often amounted to ten thousand dollars. During Charles's reign, and
preceding his, Ben Jonson wrote the plays, or masques, for Christmas.
The court doings were, of course, copied outside by the people, and up
to the twelfth night after Christmas, sports and feastings held high
carnival.

So important were these Christmas court celebrations held by our
ancestors, and of such moment were the preparations, that a special
officer was appointed to take them in charge. To him were accorded
large privileges, very considerable appointments, and a retinue equal
to a prince's, counting in a chancellor, treasurer, comptroller,
vice-chamberlain, divine, philosopher, astronomer, poet, physician,
master of requests, clown, civilian, ushers, pages, footmen,
messengers, jugglers, herald, orator, hunters, tumblers, friar, and
fools. Over this mock court the mock monarch presided during the
holidays with a reign as absolute as the actual monarch.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Holly and Ivy.=

    (Noël is the French word for Christmas.)

  Holly standeth in ye house
    When that Noël draweth near;
  Evermore at ye door
  Standeth Ivy, shivering sore,
    In ye night wind bleak and drear.

  "Sister Holly," Ivy quoth,
    "What is that within you see?
  To and fro doth ye glow
  Of ye yule-log flickering go;
    Would its warmth did cherish me!
  Where thou bidest is it warm;
  I am shaken of ye storm."

  "Sister Ivy," Holly quoth,
    "Brightly burns the yule-log here,
  And love brings beauteous things,
  While a guardian angel sings
    To the babes that slumber near;
  But, O Ivy! tell me now,
  What without there seest thou?"

  "Sister Holly," Ivy quoth,
    "With fair music comes ye Morn,
  And afar burns ye Star
  Where ye wondering shepherds are,
    And the Shepherd King is born:
  'Peace on earth, good will to men,'
  Angels cry, and cry again."

  Holly standeth in ye house
    When that Noël draweth near;
  Clambering o'er yonder door,
  Ivy standeth evermore;
    And to them that rightly hear,
  Each one speaketh of ye love
  That outpoureth from Above.

--_Eugene Field_.


       *       *       *       *       *

=Holiday Chimes.=

    (When it is impossible to prepare a regular Christmas program
    for the friends of the pupils to enjoy with the school, the
    entrance to holiday week may be signalled by the impromptu
    reading and recitation of Christmas sentiments.)

CHRISTMAS DAY.

  Feathery flakes are falling, falling
    From the skies in softest way,
  And between are voices calling,
    "Soon it will be Christmas day!"
_--Mary B. Dodge_.


OLD DECEMBER.

  With snowy locks December stands
  'Mid sleet and storm; his wasted hands
  A frosty scepter grasp and hold;
  His frame is bent, his limbs are old;
  His bearded lips are iced and pale;
  He shivers in the winter gale.
  Come then, O day of warm heart-cheer,
  Make glad the waste and waning year,
  While old December shivering goes
  To rest beneath the drifted snows!

_--Benj. F. Leggett_.


CHRISTMAS-TIDE.

  O happy chime,
  O blessed time,
  That draws us all so near!
  "Welcome, dear day,"
  All creatures say,
  For Christmas-tide has come.

--_L.M. Alcott_


CHRISTMAS EVE.

  The time draws near the birth of Christ:
    The moon is hid; the night is still;
    The Christmas bells from hill to hill
  Answer each other in the mist.

  Rise, happy morn! rise, holy morn!
    Draw forth the cheerful day from night:
    O Father! touch the east, and light
  The light that shone when hope was born.

--_Alfred Tennyson_


FATHER CHRISTMAS.

  Here comes old Father Christmas,
    With sound of fife and drums,
  With misteltoe about his brows,
    So merrily he comes!

  Hurrah for Father Christmas!
    Ring all the merry bells!
  And bring the grandsires all around
    To hear the tale he tells.

--_Rose Terry Cooke_


CHRISTMAS IN ENGLAND.

  Well our Christian sires of old
  Loved when the year its course had rolled,
  And brought blithe Christmas back again,
  With all his hospitable train.

       *       *       *       *       *

  England was merry England when
  Old Christmas brought his sports again.
  'Twas Christmas broached the mightiest ale;
  'Twas Christmas told the merriest tale,
  A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
  The poor man's heart through half the year.

_--Sir Walter Scott_.


MUSIC OF CHRISTMAS.

    What do the angels sing?
    What is the word they bring?
  What is the music of Christmas again?
    Glad tidings still to thee,
    Peace and good will to thee
  Glory to God in the highest!

_--F.R. Havergal_.


A CHRISTMAS WISH.

  A bright and blessed Christmas Day,
    With echoes of the angels' song,
  And peace that cannot pass away,
    And holy gladness, calm and strong,
  And sweetheart carols, flowing free!
    This is my Christmas wish to thee.

--_F.R. Havergal_.


THE FIRST CHRISTMAS.

  Where love takes, let love give, and so doubt not:
      Love counts but the will,
  And the heart has its flowers of devotion
      No winter can chill;
  They who cared for "good will" that first Christmas
      Will care for it still.

--_A.A. Procter_.


ONCE A YEAR.

  At Christmas play and make good cheer,
  For Christmas comes but once a year.

--_Tusser_.


OLD ENGLISH SONG.

  When Rosemary and Bays, the poet's crown,
  Are bawled in frequent cries through all the town,
  Then judge the festival of Christmas near,--
  Christmas, the joyous period of the year!
  Now with bright holly all the temples are strow;
  With Laurel green and sacred Mistletoe.


OLD FATHER CHRISTMAS.

  Old Father Christmas is passing by,
  His cheeks are ruddy, he's bright of eye;
  His beard is white with the snows of time.
  His brow is hoary with frost and rime.
  It's little he cares for the frost and the cold,
  For old Father Christmas he never grows old.


EVERGREEN AND HOLLY.

  Bring the evergreens and holly,
    Bring the music and the song,
  Chase away the melancholy,
  By the pleasures bright, and jolly,
    Which to Christmas time belong.

--_E.O. Peck_


       *       *       *       *       *

=Christmas Dolls.=

By ELIZABETH J. ROOK.

_Children come skipping in, singing_:

  "Here we come with our Christmas dolls
  Christmas dolls, Christmas dolls,
  Here we come with our Christmas dolls,
    Wouldn't you like to see them?"

(Tune--"Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.")

_The children then form a semi-circle on the stage, and each one steps
to the front as she gives her recitation, and then back to her place
again_.

_First Child_:

  This is my Christmas dolly;
    Her name is French--Celeste;
  And of my many children,
    She is the very best.
  This dress, you see, is finest silk,
    Her shoes are dainty kid,
  And underneath this cunning hat
    Her pretty curls are hid.
  And do I love my precious doll?
    Well, I just guess I do _(hugging it_)!
  I'll love her even when she's old
    As well as while she's new.

_Second Child_:

  When I awoke on Christmas morn
    I jumped right out of bed,
  And ran into the nursery,
    And not a word I said,
  Until I saw my Christmas tree,
    And then I laughed in glee;
  For on it hung this pretty doll;
    I knew it was for me,
  And so I took it in my arms
    And kissed its lovely face.
  And then I said, "Now, dolly dear,
    I'm going to call you Grace."

_Third Child (Black doll_):

  This is Miss Lucindy Ann--
    And though she's black as jet
  She's just as good as any doll
    To love, and hug, and pet.
  I found her in my stocking, dressed
    In this gay calico,
  With bright bandanna on her head,
    And orange ribbon bow.
  I think she's very pretty,
    And I guess that you do, too;
  And don't you wish that I would give
    Lucindy Ann to you?

_Fourth Child (Japanese doll_):

  I wrote a note to Santa Claus,
    And this is what I said:
  "Please bring to me a brand-new doll;
    The last you brought is dead."
  And so on Christmas morning
    I found this Jappy here,
  It made me laugh to see her,
    She looked so very queer.
  But I said to her politely,
    "Good morning, Miss Yum-Yum.
  This, you know, is Christmas day;
    I'm very glad you've come."

_Fifth Child (Rag doll_):

  My dolly did not come from France,
    Nor faraway Japan;
  She's neither Spanish, Dutch nor Swiss,
    She's just A-mer-i-can.
  I know she is not beautiful,
    Nor very finely dressed,
  But I don't care for that--I think
    American dolls are best.

_Sixth Child (Eskimo):_

  My dolly is an Eskimo
    From near the Arctic Sea;
  Kris Kringle brought her in his sleigh
    On Christmas eve for me.
  She always wears this dress of fur,
    Because where she was born
  It is so very, very cold,
    No light clothes can be worn.
  But when she's been with me awhile
    I think I'll make a change
  And dress my doll in colors bright;
    Then she'll not look so strange.

_Seventh Child (Holding a Teddy bear behind her_):

  Now you all think your dolls are fine.
    Of that I'm well aware;
  But I have one to beat them all--
    For mine's a Teddy bear _(holding it up_).
  He doesn't wear a fancy dress,
    He likes his coat of brown,
  And he is just as handsome
    As any doll in town.
  I like to hold him in my arms,
    And rock him in my chair,
  Because he looks so cunning--
    My little baby bear.

_Eighth Child (Doll dressed as infant_):

  My doll's so very sleepy
    She can't hold up her head;
  She's just a wee, small infant,
    And it's time she was in bed.
  Your dollies all look sleepy, too,
    And so I'm going to say,
  "Let's sing our little lullaby
    And carry them away."

SONG.

(Tune--"There is a Happy Land.")

_(To be sung very slowly and softly_.)

  Here comes the old Sand Man,
    Close, close your eyes;
  He'll catch you if he can,
    So now be wise.
  Then while you sweetly sleep,
  Angels their watch will keep,
  Bright stars will o'er you peep
    Down from the skies.

_(Tiptoe softly off the stage, holding the dolls as though asleep, and
humming the tune very faintly_.)


       *       *       *       *       *

Red Pepper.

BY A. CONSTANCE SMEDLEY.

    CHARACTERS.

    _Princess Fadeaway_.

    _Greening, Sweeting_, Ladies to the Princess.

    _The Kitchenmaid._

    _The Cooklet_.

    _Red Pepper_, the scullion _(Prince Fairasday)_.

    _Head Cook_.

    _Frip, Tip, Snip, Pip_, Brownies.

    Chorus of Cooks and Brownies, if desired.

    TIME. Christmas Eve.

    SCENE: The Kitchen in the Castle of Princess Fadeaway. Open
    fireplace down R. in which the fire burns, and casts a red
    light on the scene. Dresser against wall L. on which stands
    a pile of dirty plates, tin basin and soap, various culinary
    utensils, and a huge pepper-pot. Door up back L. Table centre,
    which is spread with white cloth, bordered with a quaint
    design. An old-fashioned wooden armchair R. of fireplace. Door
    up R. Stool by dresser. Chair behind table. As the curtain
    rises, the stage is quite dark, lit by a faint gleam from
    fireplace. Mysterious music, which resolves itself into the
    air of "Whist, whist, whist. Here Comes the Bogie Man." The
    _Brownies_ heard singing behind the scenes. They dance in one
    by one mysteriously round stage, in follow-my-leader fashion,
    over chair and stool, and crawl under table, round and round
    room as they sing.


    OPENING CHORUS. (Air: "Whist, whist, whist! Here Comes the
    Bogie Man!")

_Brownies_:

  Whist, whist, whist!
  Here comes the Brownie man!
  The Christmas pie is made to-night!
  We'll steal it if we can.
  Whist, whist, whist!
  The scullions will be fled!
  Oh, what a time we'll have to-night
  When everyone's in bed.

_(Enter Frip dramatically L.)_

_Frip:_ Whist!

_Brownies_: Frip! _(All prostrate themselves, touching ground with
their foreheads_.)

_Frip_: The deed is done! The scullions all are packing!

_Brownies_: Oh, noble Frip!

_Tip_: How did you manage it?

_Frip (seating himself on arm of chair. Brownies sit on floor centre,
facing him, sideface to audience):_ I bellowed so--Oooooooh!!!!
_(groans)_ and tweaked their ugly noses, and whispered through the
keyhole, "Wait till you guard the Christmas pie to-night!" until they
all fled shivering to the cook, to give him notice! And now none will
be left to guard the pie!

_Brownies_: 'Tis ours! 'Tis ours! _(Brownies rub themselves
delightedly.)_

_Frip_: Hush! Now the kitchenmaid and cooklet come, to make all ready
for his highness the head cook! We must leave them in peace until the
pie is made! But then--

_Brownies_: We'll steal it! _(Singing.)_

  Whist, whist, whist!
    Here comes the Brownie man,
  The Christmas pie is made to-night
    We'll steal it if we can!
  Whist, whist, whist!
    The scullions will be fled!
  Oh! what a time we'll have to-night
    When everyone's in bed!

_(They dance off_ R. _Music changes to a bright march. Enter the
Kitchenmaid and Cooklet. The Kitchenmaid is a short, fat, rosy, brisk
little girl. The Cooklet is a lanky, lazy, sentimental-looking girl.
The Kitchenmaid carries pasteboard, with pie-disk, rolling-pin, basin
of pastry, mince meat, etc., and enters staggering under her burden.
The Cooklet carries a small basin with three apples and a knife, and
eats apples as she peels them.)_

_Kitchen_: Oh, my eye and Betty Martin! What a pie we're going to make
to-night! Now look sharp, Cooklet, and peel the apples, for the head
cook will be here in half a minute, and the Princess, too, to give the
final stir-about; and if things aren't ready for her, we shall have
our heads chopped off. Oh, dearie, dearie, dearie, dear! _(Takes
apples from Cooklet and peels them briskly.)_

_Cooklet (sitting on stool, yawning)_: Ah, it's all very well for the
Princess! Nothing to do but eat and sleep all day. I wish I were she!

_Kitchen_: My word! I thank my stars I'm not! There she sits all day
with those stuck-up ladies, who rule her and fool her and manage her
and bully her till she can't call her soul her own! And all the nice
young princes who come riding to the castle are sent away without
getting so much as a peep at her, because her ladies are so afraid
she'll marry one, and then their turned-up noses would be out of
joint!

_Cooklet_: They tell the princes that the Princess is too weary to be
troubled with them!

_Kitchen_: Trouble, indeed! She'd find it no trouble to choose a
sweetheart from those nice young men if she were allowed to see them,
but she'll never do that, if her ladies have a word in the matter!
_(Furious talking outside.)_

_Kitchen_: Oh dearie, dearie, dearie, dear! If it isn't the head cook!
And oh, my stars, what's happened?

_(Enter Head Cook, angrily. Kitchenmaid and Cooklet both stand
trembling with fright.)_

_Head Cook_: Nevaire did I hear such impertinence. Who has gone, do
you sink? Who has packed up their traps and left me to-night--to-night
of all nights! Ze night I make ze Christmas pie! Ze night ze Princess
comes with all her ladies to give ze final stir-about! Who? Vat? Ven?
Vy? Vy?? vy???

_Cooklet and Kitchen (falling on their knees, clasping their hands
entreatingly)_: O sir, pray calm yourself!

_Head Cook (dancing about with rage, and shouting)_: Calm! I am
nevaire so perfectly calm in my life! My scullions have gone! Zey vill
not vatch ze pie! Because zey fear ze Brownies!

_Kitchen_: The scullions gone?

_Cooklet_: Then who's to guard it?

_Head Cook_: You--of course--you earthworms!

_Both_: O dear, kind cook, we daren't! _(They grovel with fear.)_

_Head Cook (thunderously)_: Daren't?

_Cooklet_: We're afraid of the dark!

_Kitchen_: And oh, we're afraid of the Brownies!

_Head Cook_: Afraid--afraid--but vat is zere to be afraid? If ze
Brownies come, you have only to sprinkle zem with ze magical red
pepper!

_Cooklet_: I should faint directly I saw them!

_Kitchen_: O dear, good, handsome, gentle cook, please don't leave us
alone down here to-night!

_Head Cook (almost speechless with rage)_: But vat you vant? Do
you mean to say--you--vant--Me--so gr-r-r-reat--so gr-r-rand--so
mightiful--Me--Chief Head Cook--you vant zat I should keep my eyes
avake all night--ven I have a kitchenmaid and cooklet to suffaire for
me? Is zat vat you mean, heh?

_(They nod sheepishly.)_

_Cooklet_: You're a man!

_Head Cook_: Me--a man! Vat nonsense! I am cook! You have ze
most enormous cheek I've ever hit upon! Bah! _(Hits them with
rolling-pin.)_ Get up--you cr-r-r-rawling caterpillars! _(Knock at the
door; they scream.)_ Vat! now you make a noise, you squeaking beetles!

_Kitchen_: There's some one at the door. _(They stand trembling.)_

_Cooklet_: Oh, it sounds like a man!

_Head Cook (excitedly)_: A man--my scullions--they have retur-r-rned
to me!

_Cooklet_: The scullions! Saved! _(Runs to door_ R; _opens it.)_

_Kitchen_: Oh, it's only a beggar! Be off! _(About to shut door.)_

_Prince (outside)_: Nay, mistress, I come in search of work!

_(Enter Prince Fairasday, disguised in ragged tunic. He is red-haired,
and very handsome.)_

_Cooklet_: Work! O sir, here is a scullion for you!

_Head Cook_: Tut, tut, tut! Zat is for me to say, impertinence! You
may come in, young man. _(Prince comes down stage. Cook seats himself
importantly at table.)_ Now! Why have you come so late to ask for
work?

_Prince_: I lost my way in the forest.

_Cook_: Sir! Say, "Sir" ven you spik to me if you do not say "Most
Royal Sir." Vatever you like--but do be respectful.

_Prince (furious)_: Sir!!!!!

_Head Cook_: Zat is better--

_Prince_: Nay--sir--I--meant--

_Head Cook_: It does not matter vat you mean so long as you say,
"Sir." Now answer, if you wish for a place here! You do--eh?

_Prince_: Why--why, yes!

_Head Cook:_ Ver' good. Zen vere is your last place?

_Prince:_ I lived in the castle of Prince Fairasday--_(Cook raps on
table, annoyed.)_ Eh?

_Head Cook (shouting furiously):_ Sir!

_Prince:_ Oh--oh, yes, I beg your pardon _(humbly, laughing),_ sir.

_Head Cook:_ Vell, zen, I must know vy you leave.

_Prince:_ Why--sir--my master has fallen in love with the Princess
Fadeaway--and so I thought I would come and see what sort of a
princess she was--for my master in his love-sick fever is sad company
for any one.

_Head Cook:_ But if he is so in lof, vy does not your master come to
woo the Princess?

_Prince:_ Why, sir _(bowing)_, he had heard of too many who had been
denied admittance, and as my master is proud and determined, he made
up his mind he would not risk being turned away like the others.
But, sir, if you will let me stay and work for you, in whatever post,
however humble, I promise you if my answers do not satisfy, my service
shall.

_Head Cook:_ You are villing--ah, but zey all say that. H'm--let me
see what you can do. Vash up these. _(Points to dirty plates.)_

_Prince:_ Those! Why, that is scullion's work!

_Head Cook:_ Yes, and there is a scullion's place all ready.

_Prince (indignantly):_ A scullion! I had meant a place with
horses--in the garden--where I might work out-of-doors.

_Kitchen:_ O dear, kind young man, pray, pray do not speak like that.

_Cooklet:_ Oh, we beseech you, take the place! _(Both fall on knees
before him.)_

_Prince_: Why, what's the matter?

_Kitchen_: If there's no scullion here we have to guard the Christmas
pie, and if we guard the pie we d-d-die!

_Prince_: What danger threatens you?

_Both_: The Brownies!

_Prince_: Brownies! What are Brownies?

_Head Cook_: Vy, vat sort of kitchen have you lived in, if you have
never seen ze Brownies?

_Prince_: Oh, I was more like a friend than a page to my master, sir,
and the fact is, I've never been in a kitchen before. Er--what are
Brownies?

_(Brownies cackle with laughter outside.)_

_Head Cook_: Zey are ze evilest leetle beasts in all ze vorld! Venever
you sink you are rid of zem, zere zey are at your elbow. (_Brownies
laugh again_.) Vey steal, zey pinch, zey poke, zey pry, and at night,
ven all ze house is still, zey come out, and if you do not keep your
eyes ver' wide awake zey vill pinch you till you die--zat is, ven you
guard the Christmas pie.

_Prince_: I? Oh, this pleasant little job is meant for me--me? I thank
you, sir? (_Indignantly takes up his cap, preparing to go_.)

_Head Cook_: Not so fast, young man. Zey will come, yes; zey vill
try to steal, yes--but zere is vun sing zat vill send them avay
quick--slick--like zat. It is--RED PEPPER!

_Prince_: Red Pepper! How dare you call me that?

_Head Cook_: Eh?

_Prince_: Who told you I was called Red Pepper?

_Head Cook_: You?

_Prince_: Why, yes. Did you not mean me?

_Head Cook_: Why no. I mean red pepper, from the pepper-pot (_taking
it off shelf_).

_Prince_: Strange, for that's the name by which I'm known among my
people. Why--sir--how can red pepper help me against the Brownies.

DUET (_Cook_ and _Prince_).

(Air: "There Lived a King, as I've Been Told."--_The Gondoliers_.)

  _Cook_: Now very hard it is to make
  A Brownie his bad ways forsake,
  For it's a fact he takes the cake,
    If he can't find the candy!
  And if you clap your hands and shoo,
  He'll only make a face at you;
  There's only one thing you can do--
    Just keep the pepper handy!
  For, as a Brownie hates to sneeze,
  Or blow his nose if it should tease,
  Or any wholesome acts like these,
    He can't abide Red Pepper!

  _Prince_: Yet that's the name that's given me,
  For, as you all can plainly see,
  My hair is red as red can be--
    In fact it's fiery scarlet!
  And as my hair, my temper is;
  So if a page my hair should quiz,
  I waste no time, but straight pull his,
    And thrash the saucy varlet!
  So that is why the name I've got,
  And as, when I am waxing hot
  I frequently dismiss the lot,
    They can't abide Red Pepper!

(_A dance can be arranged here with Prince, Cook, Kitchenmaid and
Cooklet_.)

_Kitchen_: Ah, sir, you will be brave and take the place?

_Cooklet_: Oh, yes, dear, brave, kind handsome man! Say, "Yes," and
calm our fluttering hearts!

_Kitchen_: For if we saw a Brownie we should only scream!

_Cooklet_: And die!

_Prince_: Why, then, if there's no choice save between myself and you
poor maids, why--I must do it. So, sir, I'll guard your pie to-night.

_Cooklet_: O dear, good, kind young man!

_Kitchen_: O noble, bold young man! (_Both kneel gratefully_.)

_Head Cook_: Get up, I say, get up! You kneel to me--not to zis beggar
fellow! And you, sir, get these dishes washed quick, slick, for here
ze Princess Fadeaway is coming with her ladies!

_Prince_: The Princess coming! (_He is agitated_.)

_Head Cook_: Yes. Every Christmas night she comes to pat ze crust wiz
her own fair fingers!

_Prince_: Then I shall see her!

_Head Cook_: Yes--but you need not let zat discompose you--she vill
not notice you. It is only to me she vill spik! Because I am Head
Cook! I am like royalty--only more so. She comes--she comes--let each
be in your place! Now bow, all bow!

(_A graceful march played. Enter Princess Fadeaway, attended by
Greening and Sweeting. The Princess is a sweet-voiced, gentle little
girl. Her ladies are gorgeously attired, and walk and talk in a
disagreeable, affected manner_.)

_Head Cook_: Welcome, Princess; the pie awaits your pleasure!

_Princess_: Good! (_She comes to the table, sees Prince, who starts,
and drops dishes. He stands staring at her; does not pick dishes up_.)

_Princess_: Why--who is this strange gentleman--

_Head Cook (shocked)_: Hush--hush--Your Highness, it is only the new
scullion!

_Princess (amazed)_: Scullion!

_Greening_: O Princess, how could you take that ragged creature for a
gentleman?

_Sweeting_: I think he looks too fierce for safety. Look how the
jackanapes eyes Your Highness!

_Princess_: He is, indeed, in sorry plight.

_Prince_: Sorry, indeed, if my rags offend Your Highness--

_Greening_: Address yourself to us, fellow! 'Tis not for such as you
to speak to the Princess!

_Prince_: Nay, I am in her service, ladies, and it is her I answer if
she desires to question me!

_Greening_: Insolent! I'd have him put in the stocks.

_Sweeting_: Or whipped at the whipping-post!

_Princess_: Peace, ladies! I would hear him. How is it you are not in
my livery, if you are in my service?

_Prince_: I have but just this moment reached the castle. I have been
traveling in the forest, where the wolves and brambles alike delayed
me.

_Princess_: The wolves? Oh, they have hurt you

_Ladies (trying to stop her)_: Your Highness!

_Princess_: But see--his wrist is bleeding. I am sure it hurts you!
Let me bind it for you (_to Prince_).

_Greening_: Princess! how can you stoop to touch a scullion?

_Sweeting_: Your Highness is strangely forgetting yourself!

_Princess_: Nay, ladies, it is you who forget yourselves!

DUET (_Princess_ and _Prince_).

(Air, "When We Are Married."--_Belle of New York_.)

  _Princess_: You should be thinking what you can do
  To help the people who live to serve you!
  Though I'm a princess, plainly I see
  I must act kindly to those who serve me!

  _Prince_: Long was my journey, I'm weary and sore,
  But such a princess I've ne'er seen before!
  Nothing I ask for, save only to be
  Here in the castle, my Princess to see!

  _Princess_: Though I am a princess, plainly I see,
  I must act kindly to those who serve me!

  _Prince_: Nothing I ask for, save only to be
  Here in the castle, my Princess to see!

(_The Princess binds up his wrist up stage_.)

_Greening (furiously to Head Cook)_: How did you come to engage such a
scurvy-looking fellow?

_Head Cook_: Of a truth, madame, I vould not have done so, madame, but
my scullions have all gone, and I had none to guard ze Christmas pie
to-night!

_Sweeting_: The Christmas pie!

_Head Cook_: Yes, madame, from ze Brownies. He has consent, now I have
told him of ze pepper-pot.

_Greening_: The pepper-pot! You may go, fellow!

(_The Cook retires up back, annoyed; bullies Kitchenmaid and Cooklet_,
R. _Prince and Princess center, making pie. Prince helps her. Head
Cook furious_.)

_Greening_: Listen, I have an idea! That man is no scullion!

_Sweeting_: No scullion?

_Greening_: I am sure of it! See how he holds himself! How easily he
talks with the Princess! I believe he is some prince who has made his
way into the castle in disguise--

_Sweeting_: Yes, look! His sword peeps out beneath his rags! When did
a scullion ever wear a sword? Oh, what are we to do?

_Greening_: I told you I had an idea. (_To dresser_.) He is to watch
the pie to-night! We'll take the pepper-pot!

_Sweeting_: But they'll see us!

_Greening_: Not if you stand before me!

(_Sweeting stands before Greening, holding out her dress while
Greening reaches down pepper-pot from dresser_.)

_Greening_: Now when the Brownies come, he'll find his sword will be
of little use! See, let us make the Princess come, or she will talk
all night!

_Sweeting_: Your Highness--

_Greening_: Your Highness!

_Sweeting_: If Your Highness is quite finished, I pray that Your
Highness will not tarry longer in this odious kitchen! The heat is
overpowering!

_Greening_: And I could never stand the smell of raw pastry!

_Sweeting_: So if Your Highness has quite finished--

_Princess (regretfully)_: Oh, dear, I suppose I must go then! And you
will guard the pie to-night! You are sure you are not afraid!

_Prince_: Afraid! Of course not! If the Brownies come I have the
pepper-pot!

_Greening (vindictively, aside, and holding the pepper-pot)_: Have
you. (_To Princess_) Princess, I faint for want of sleep!

_Sweeting_: And I expire! (_Yawning_) I droop--I yawn!

_Princess_: Yes, I see you do! As you're so sleepy, I must consider
you and go to bed (_sighing_). But oh, I shall be glad when morning
comes (_to Prince_), and I am sure you're safe again!

(_Graceful march again played. The Princess goes out, followed by
ladies; she turns at door, and looks at Prince and sighs, then exit
followed by Greening and Sweeting. The Prince stands gazing after
her_.)

_Head Cook_: Come, come, come, young man; 'tis time the lights were
out and other folk in bed besides Her Highness! And if, instead of
staring after her, you'd lend a hand and set the kitchen straight, it
would be more seemly.

(_Cook, Kitchenmaid and Cooklet bustle about, putting cooking things
away from table, leaving only pie_.)

_Prince (dreamily)_: Eh? Did you speak?

_Head Cook_: Shall I tell you what it is? Your head is turned right
around! When royalty speaks to me, do I swell out? No! I know
my place! I take no notice! But you--you are nosing but a
crawling--snail!

_Prince_: Why, sir, I've been engaged to guard the Christmas pie, and
not to listen to your rating, so the sooner you are off to bed the
better am I pleased!

(_Lights candles and hands them to Cooklet and Kitchenmaid_.)

_Head Cook (furious, spluttering with rage_): Vat--vat--vat--how dare
you?

_Kitchenmaid_: O dear, good, kind young man, how can we leave you?
(_Both tearfully fall on knees_.)

_Cooklet_: Oh, pray, dear, good young man, be careful.

_Kitchen_: Yes, dashing, bold young man--don't--don't be careless!
(_Both howl loudly_).

_Head Cook_: Hussies! Arise! You concern yourselves much too much for
zis young man! I cannot sink why so much notice should be taken of
a scullion! Yes! (_To Prince_.) 'Twere better fit I should have told
your tale unto Her Highness; and if she questioned you, it was for you
to bow and say, "My gr-r-racious master, ze Head Cook, vill spik for
me!" In future--please--r-r-remember! (_Exit, with dignity, followed
by Kitchenmaid and Cooklet. The Brownies cackle with laughter outside.
The stage is now dark, lit only by firelight_.)

_Prince_: And so my lady sleeps above, and I am in the kitchen, her
humblest scullion! Well, at least I have the chance to serve her now,
and guard the dainty pie her dainty fingers touched! _(Brownies
cackle outside_.) What's that? The rats, perhaps, that scutter in the
wainscot. Still, if the Brownies come, I'd best have the pepper-pot.
_If they come_--there's little fear of that! I've never seen a
Brownie, and what I've never seen, I own, I've little faith in.
(_Yawning, sitting in armchair_.) Well, as I'm to stay all night here,
I might as well make myself at ease! (_Yawning again_.) Oh, dear; I'm
very sleepy. (_Stretches himself_.)

SONG.

(Air: "Little Dolly Daydream.")

  _Prince_: Now every one has gone to rest,
  To guard the pie I'll do my best;
    But all are sleeping,
    No one's peeping;
  To take a little nap myself were best.
  And if by chance the Brownies come,
  The pepper-pot will drive them home.
    For if I should be sleeping,
    I'm sure to hear them creeping,
  And then I can wake up before they come.
  Little sleeping Princess now I'll dream of thee!
    So sweet you be,
    And soon you'll see
  That I love you, darling, tenderly.
  Little sleeping Princess, dream of me!

(_Prince sleeps in armchair. Soft music outside. Enter Brownies,
mysteriously, to the air: "Whist! whist! whist_!")

  _Brownies (pianissimo)_: Whist! whist! whist!
    Here comes the Brownie man!
  To catch the rascal sleeping
    Is now our little plan.
  We'll tie the nasty scullion fast
    And pinch him till he's sore.
  The Christmas pie is ours at last;
    The waiting time is o'er.

  _Frip (softly)_: As we are so full of fun,
  Ere the feasting is begun,
  For a pleasant little game
  We will make him blind and lame.

  _Snip_: Pull his hair and poke his eyes--
  Anything we can devise.

  _Tip_: Kick him till he's black and blue.

  _Pip_: Run with pins his fingers through.

  _Frip_: And, because he's dared to scoff,
  We will pull his toe-nails off!!!

(_They surround Prince. He wakes_.)

_Prince_: Why, what's this? (_Rising_) The Brownies! Where's the
pepper-pot! (_To dresser_) Gone! (_Brownies cackle_.)

  _Frip_: Now you cannot sprinkle us.
  It's no use to make a fuss!

(_Brownies dance about impishly_.)

  _Tip_: Yes! In vain you squeal and cry.
  We shall eat the Christmas pie!

  _Snip_: Proud you may be, as Mazeppa!
  But we only fear RED PEPPER!

DUET (_Prince_ and _Brownies_).

(Air: "There Lived a King."--_The Gondoliers_.)

  _Prince_: If that is so, you'd better trot,
  For if you stay you'll get it hot!
  I swear that I will thrash the lot
    For I'm the Prince, Red Pepper!

  _Brownies (cowering, afraid)_: Now if we stay, we plainly see
  That very soon there'll ructions be!
  Observe his hair, how fi-er-y!
    Oh, yes! He's a high-stepper!
  And, though he cannot make us sneeze,
  His sword will tickle and will tease;
  I think the pie we'd better seize,
    And run from this Red Pepper!

(_Music. Brownies seize pie_.)

  _Prince_: Now, put that pie down straight away,
  Or very rude things I shall say,
  And run you through and through I may
    If I become excited!

  _Brownies (consulting together by table)_: I really think he means it, too!
  Now what on earth are we to do?
  We do not care to be run through!
  _(Howling pitifully)_We don't like being fighted.

  _Prince_: If that is so, I think you'll see
  You'd better kneel at once to me,
  And humbly beg for clemency!
    For so is vice requited!

  _Brownies (repeating chorus, kneeling round Prince)_: Oh, yes, dear sir, we plainly see
  That we had better kneel to thee,
  And humbly beg for clemency!
    For so is vice requited!

  _Prince (brandishing sword)_: Now, one, two, three, and off you fly,
  Or ev'ry one of you shall die!

(_Brownies scream, and are about to run off as enter Princess_ R.
_with pepper-pot_.)

_Prince_: Princess! What brings you here?

_Princess_: They took the pepper-pot away from you! I found it
underneath my ladies' pillow, because they sneezed so much it wakened
me. But, oh, I see you have not needed it!

_Brownies_: Oh, no, no, no! Pray, do not pepper us! (_Brownies turn
and kneel to Princess imploringly_.)

_Prince_: And you came to save me?

_Princess_: Is it not my duty to protect my scullions?

_Prince_: Princess, I am no scullion (_throws off ragged cloak_.) This
was a disguise to help me gain admittance to your castle! It was
the only way in which I could find a means to woo you. But my name's
Prince Fairasday--or, if you like, or as my servants say--Red Pepper.
Am I forgiven?

_Princess_: Oh, yes, indeed you are! (_He embraces her_.) In the
strictest confidence I don't mind telling you I'm longing to be
married and get away from all these girls!

_Prince_: Then we'll be married in the morning!

_Princess_: As soon as you like--Oh (_screams_), my ladies! Look,
they're coming!

(_Enter Sweeting, Greening, Kitchenmaid, Cooklet and Head Cook, in
nightgowns and nightcaps, with candles. Stage light. The candles may
be blown out. Prince and Princess stand in center; Brownies kneel
before them humbly, backs to audience; Head Cook, Kitchenmaid and
Cooklet_, R. _of Princess and Prince. Greening and Sweeting disgusted
L.)_

FINALE. _Cook, Kitchenmaid, Cooklet, Sweeting, Greening (as they
enter_):

  CHORUS. (Air: "Bogie Man.")Dear, dear, dear!
    Now, what is all this fuss?
  And what's the Princess doing here?
  It really puzzles us!

  _Brownies_: She came to save her scullion,
    And found a Prince instead.
  And we are kneeling down because
    He nearly killed us dead!

DUET (_Prince_ and _Princess_). (Air: "When We Are Married.")

  _Princess_: Now all is over, you will agree
  The moral is plain as a moral can he:
  If you act kindly, rewarded you'll be.
  Have a prince for your husband, and end happily!

CHORUS. (Air: "There Lived a King.")

  _Prince_: And boys must be both brave and strong,
  And ever quick to right the wrong;
  And now, ere I conclude my song,
    I'll speak of pepper quickly!
  For pepper stirs and brisks you up,
  And makes you more inclined to sup,
  And seasons many a loving cup
    Which else would be too sickly!

  _Brownies_: And though we are not killed quite dead,
  With honest shame we hang our head,
  And much regret the lives we led,
    Before we met Red Pepper!

  FULL CHORUS. So now our little play is done,
  Before you people homeward run,
  We hope to hear from every one
  That you have liked Red Pepper!

(CURTAIN.)


       *       *       *       *       *

=A Game of Letters.=

MERRY CHRISTMAS.

BY ELIZABETH J. ROOK.

(_For fourteen little ones. Each has a large card, his letter printed
on it in bright colors. As he recites, he holds it up in plain view,
but drops it to his side at the close of his recitation. S takes his
place to the Right, the others following in the order here given until
a straight line is formed_.)

  S
  We have a game of letters
    Which we're going to show to you,
  And each will name his letter
    As he holds it up to view.
  I have an S--a crooked S,
    It stands for sugar sweet.

  A
  And here's an A for apple pie.

  M
  And M for good mince meat.

  T
  T stands for turkey, fat and brown,
    We have on Christmas day.

  S
  And here is S for Santa Claus,
    And also for his sleigh.

  I
  I stands for icicles and ice,

  R
  And R for reindeer gay.

  H
  H stands for home and happiness,

  C
  And C for Christmas day.

  Y
  And next in line comes letter Y;
    It stands for youth and you;
  We couldn't do without it,
    It's in the New Year, too.

  R
  I have an R, it stands for Right,
    And I will hold it high;

  R
  And mine I'll place beside it,
    For R also have I.

  E
  I like the letter E the best,
    For what is Earth without it?
  And Everything begins with E--
    Does anybody doubt it?

  M
  I hold in hand a great big M,
    It suits me to a T;
  M stands for mother, money, too,
    And, yes, it stands for me.

(_All now stand close together and hold their letters at the same
height. Then the following lines may be given in concert or spoken by
the leader [S] alone_.)

  Now if you read our letters down
    From left hand to the right,
  You'll find a Christmas greeting
    For one and all to-night.


Then beginning at the the left, each child may name his letter--

M-E-R-R-Y C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S.

(_Exit_.)


       *       *       *       *       *

=Under the Christmas Tree.=

A DOLLYDRAMA.

BY ARTHUR GUITERMAN.

    TIME: Christmas Eve. CHARACTERS: _Arabella_, a heartless
    French doll; _Koko_, a melodramatic Japanese doll;
    _Jackski-in-the-Boxovitch,_ the Muscovite Mystery. SCENES: The
    children's room. A Christmas tree, properly decorated, L. A
    box or hamper with a hinged cover, large enough to contain
    _Jack_, center. An entrance, R. _Arabella_ is costumed as
    a lady doll should be. _Koko_ is attired in Japanese style,
    either old or modern military, and wears a sword. _Jack_
    should have abundant black hair and beard and should
    be provided with a gilded club. When the curtain rises,
    _Arabella_ is discovered seated under the Christmas tree,
    eating comfits. The action should be stiff-jointed and
    doll-like throughout.

  _Arabella (rising)_: Oh, marvelous is Nature! Only see
  How bounteous the spreading Christmas tree
  That bears upon its branches sugar-plums,
  With candy canes and baskets, balls and drums
  And trumpets, whistles, candles, pop-corn strings,
  And countless kinds of gilt and tinsel things!
  Beneath its shade I'll sit me down a while
  And read, an idle moment to beguile,
  These tender letters penned by suitors three
  Who seek my hand--What _can_ they see in me?
  (_Seating herself, she takes out three letters, opening one_.)
  That sailor doll! He talks of foreign lands
  And sings; but I can't bear his tarry hands!
  Besides, 'tis rash to trust these roving men.
(_Tearing the letter_.)
  So, Bobbie Shafto, go to sea again.
(_She opens another letter_.)
  Poor Koko! How that soldier boy does tease!
  To tell the truth, I like that Japanese:
  But, no! 'twould never do. I can't afford
  To wed a doll with nothing but a sword.
(_She sighs, folds the letter, and opens the third_.)
A crest! The Marquis!--Yes, he's dull, alas!
  But think!--the Marchioness of Carabas!

(_Rising, she marches majestically_ R. _Koko enters hurriedly. He
throws himself at her feet and seizes her hand_.)

  _Koko_: Hail, Arabella. (_She draws away_.) Nay, be not so nice!
  Though I said "Hail!" yet do not turn to ice.
  That chilly manner fairly makes one freeze.
  Behold me down upon my Japan knees!
  He bends to thee who never knelt before!
  Thou art my all.

  _Arabella (aside)_: Oh, sawdust! What a bore!

  _Koko_: One word from thee would lift me to the skies.
  Pray speak that word!

  _Arabella_: I'll try to, sir. Arise!

  _Koko_: Nay, mock me not! You know the word I mean.

  _Arabella_: Oh, Captain Koko! please don't make a scene.

  _Koko_: What! Do you spurn me?

  _Arabella (soothingly)_: Now, I wouldn't care
  To put it that way. Captain, don't despair!
  That German doll would make a model wife.
  But, frankly, I don't fancy army life.

  _Koko_: Ha! scorned! I know what brings it to this pass.
  That stupid Marquis--he of Carabas.
  False girl, beware! You'll find, ere years have rolled,
  That honest steel is better far than gold.
  Farewell! (_Exit tragically_.)

  _Arabella_: Good-by! Drop in some night for tea.
(_She stands_ L. _of box, musing_.)
  I wonder what an "honest steal" can be!
  Perhaps he'll soon return to make it clear.
  I hope he does; it's awful lonely here.

(_Jack springs up in the box, holding his gilded club in his right
hand. With his left he seizes Arabella by the hair_.)

  _Jack_: Be mine! be mine! I'm handsome, wise and rich;
  My name is Jackski-in-the-Boxovitch!
  In token of my boundless wealth, behold
  This weighty war-club, made of massy gold.
  My noble castle's built of wood and glue;
  Within its walls is ample room for two;
  Then be my bride and all my treasure share!
  You know, I always fancied auburn hair.

  _Arabella_: Help! help! Oh, save me from this horrid fright!

  _Jack_: Now, don't call names; it's dreadful impolite.

(_Re-enter Koko_.)

  _Koko_: What cries are these? What horror meets my view?
  Unhand her, caitiff giant!

  _Jack_: Not for you!

  _Koko_: Then draw! (_Unsheathing his sword_.)

  _Jack_: I can't. I'm not an artist, man. But I can fight.

  _Koko_:'Tis time then we began.

  _Jack_: Come on!

  _Koko_: Come on!

  _Jack_: Come on! I said it first

  _Koko_: False traitor!

  _Jack_: Feeble pigmy, do your worst!

(_They fight. Koko strikes the club from Jack's hand and drives him
down into the box_.)

  _Koko_: Down! down! In the vile casket whence you sprung
  Remain, unwept, unhonored, and unsung!

(_He picks up the golden war-club_.)

  _Arabella_: My hero! (_She falls into Koko's arms_.)

  _Koko_: Lady, thus the Fates reveal
  How conquered gold is won by honest steel.
  The tyrant's hoard is ours; and, if you'll deign
  To say your Koko's suit is not in vain,
  Within this lordly castle, warmed by steam,
  We'll live on sugar, strawberries, and cream.

(_Jack pops up with a white handkerchief in one hand and stretches his
arms over the pair in front of his box_.)

  _Jack_: Bless you, my children!

  _Koko (hands on sword)_: What, again!

  _Jack (waving the handkerchief)_: Hold, hold!
  A truce to war! I would a tale unfold;
  So, never let your angry passions rise.
  In me you see a fairy in disguise--
  A kindly fairy. Thus, with open hands,
  I give to valiant Koko wealth and lands.
  Fair Arabella! Nature, Fortune, Art,
  Have made her perfect--lacking but a heart;
  So let her take, that want to cure, I say,
  These pleasant tablets, three times every day.
(_He gives her a handful of heart-shaped sugar-candies which she
  obediently begins to eat_.)Now for your futures: Koko shall belong
  To Master Lee; and, being very strong,
  He won't be broken for a month or so.
  But Arabella,--her I do bestow
  On Baby Maud. Them shall you serve by day;
  But oft at night, when toys are tucked away,
  When all the house is hushed and no one sees,
  We'll here enact such pleasant plays as these
  Beneath the Christmas tree.
  You've held the floor

  _Arabella_ and _Koko (shutting down the cover)_:
  For half an hour, Jack. Don't be a bore!

[QUICK CURTAIN.]





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Christmas Entertainments" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home