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Friday, December 24, 2010

1859 Christmas :: Time-Honored Holiday



This time-honored holiday is again at hand, and many stockings, we opine, will be hung to-night with light hearts and tiny hands for presents rich, which the old man with the reindeer and sledge [sic] has for time out of mind had credit for bringing. Christmas, the most widely observed, perhaps, of all holidays, is to the children of Christendom an event fraught with peculiar interest and happiness. In the minds of them it is connected with visions of sugar candy, mince pies, and other sweetmeats too tedious to mention; and in large cities, perhaps, with hopes of a visit to the "Christmas Tree" — an institution which we admire. Nor are the "children of a larger growth" indifferent to the advent of Christmas day, as the avidity with which they swallow glasses of egg-nogg abundantly bears witness to. Indeed, in the minds of Americans the idea of Christmas and egg-nogg are utterly inseparable, albeit that of egg-nogg and Christmas are not. Our greatest poet has not failed to notice this beautiful trait in our nationality, as may be seen from the following verse:


He that on Christmas day hath no egg-nogg in himself,
Nor is not moved by a bowl of this sweet beverage,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
The motions of his spirits are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted.



Christmas day to us brings many pleasant recollections. . . . from the YAZOO DEMOCRAT [Yazoo City, MS], December 24, 1859, p. 2, c. 2




Song for a Winter's Night



The lamp is burning low upon my table top
The snow is softly falling
The air is still in the silence of my room
I hear your voice softly calling.


If I could only have you near
To breathe a sigh or two
I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
On this winter night with you. . . .


The fire is dying now, my lamp is growing dim
The shades of night are lifting
The morning light steals across my windowpane
Where webs of snow are drifting.


February 2010 Snow at My House 



If I could only have you near, to breathe a sigh or two
I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
And to once again be with you
On this winter night with you.


Gordon Lightfoot