1st December

Advent Calendar: 26 days of Christmas 2020

1. Peppermint Stick & Old Christmas

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Peppermint Stick

 

I took a lick
Of a peppermint stick
And oh it tasted yummy!
It used to be
On the Christmas tree
But now it’s in my tummy!

-Anonymous

 

Old Christmas

 

Now he who knows old Christmas,
He knows a carle of worth;
For he is as good a fellow,
As any upon the earth.

He comes warm cloaked and coated,
And buttoned up to the chin,
And soon as he comes a-nigh the door,
We open and let him in.

We know that he will not fail us,
So we sweep the hearth up clean;
We set him in the old armed chair,
And a cushion whereon to lean.

And with sprigs of holly and ivy
We make the house look gay,
Just out of an old regard to him,
For it was his ancient way.

We broach the strong ale barrel,
And bring out wine and meat;
And thus have all things ready,
Our dear old friend to greet

And soon the time wears round,
The good old carle we see,
Coming a-near; for a creditor
Less punctual is than he!

He comes with a cordial voice
That does one good to hear;
He shakes one heartily by the hand,
As he hath done many a year.


And after the little children
He asks in a cheerful tone,
Jack, Kate, and little Annie,
He remembers them every one!

What a fine old fellow he is,
With his faculties all as clear,
And his heart as warm and light
As a man in his fortieth year!

What a fine old fellow, in troth!
Not one of your griping elves,
Who, with plenty of money to spare,
Think only about themselves!

Not he! for he loveth the children;
And holiday begs for all;
And comes, with his pockets full of gifts,
For the great ones and the small!

With a present for every servant –
For in giving he doth not tire –
From the red-faced, jovial butler
To the girl by the kitchen fire.

And he tells us witty old stories,
And singeth with might and main
And we talk of the old man's visit
Till the day that he comes again!

 

Oh, he is a kind old fellow,
And though that beef be dear,
He giveth the parish paupers
A good dinner once a year!

And all the workhouse children,
He sets them down in a row,
And giveth them rare plum-pudding,
And two pence a piece also.

Oh, could you have seen those paupers,
Have heard those children young,
You would wish with them that Christmas
Came oft and tarried long!


He must be a rich old fellow,
What money he gives away!
There is not a lord in England
Could equal him any day.

Good luck unto old Christmas,
And long life, let us sing,
For he doth more good unto the poor
Than many a crowned king.

2. How the Fir Tree Became the Christmas Tree

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This is the story of how the fir tree became the Christmas tree.

 

At the time when the Christ Child was born all the people, the animals, and the trees, and plants were very happy. The Child was born to bring peace and happiness to the whole world. People came daily to see the little One, and they always brought gifts with them.

 

There were three trees standing near the crypt which saw the people, and they wished that they, too, might give presents to the Christ Child.

 

The Palm said: "I will choose my most beautiful leaf, and place it as a fan over the Child."

 

"And I," said the Olive, "will sprinkle sweet-smelling oil upon His head."

 

"What can I give to the Child?" asked the Fir, who stood near.

 

"You!" cried the others. "You have nothing to offer Him. Your needles would prick Him, and your tears are sticky."

 

So the poor little Fir tree was very unhappy, and it said: "Yes, you are right. I have nothing to offer the Christ Child."

 

Now, quite near the trees stood the Christmas Angel, who had heard all that the trees had said. The Angel was sorry for the Fir tree who was so lowly and without envy of the other trees. So, when it was dark, and the stars came out, he begged a few of the little stars to come down and rest upon the branches of the Fir tree. They did as the Christmas Angel asked, and the Fir tree shone suddenly with a beautiful light.

 

And, at that very moment, the Christ Child opened His eyes—for He had been asleep—and as the lovely light fell upon Him He smiled.

 

Every year people keep the dear Christmas Child's birthday by giving gifts to each other, and every year, in remembrance of His first birthday, the Christmas Angel places in every house a fir tree, also. Covered with starry candles it shines for the children as the stars shone for the Christ Child. The Fir tree was rewarded for its meekness, for to no other tree is it given to shine upon so many happy faces.

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