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A Christmas carol. Illustrated by Frank Bindley (1890)8

Christmas, 1897

Bridges, Robert Seymour, 1844-1930; Daniel, C. H. O. (Charles Henry Olive), 1863-1919

Blessed Mother ! in whose Womb 
Lay the Light that exiles gloom, 
God to earth descending : 
Blessed Maid ! whose spotless breast 
Gives the King of Glory rest, 
Nurture, warmth and tending .
A Christmas carol - Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870GHOST

A Christmas dream - Brady, James T. (James Topham), 1815-18692

Keeping Christmas (1888]) GOLDWIN SMITH


"CHRISTMAS comes but once a year " were words familiar 
and dear to English childhood. They were uttered 
by the band of mummers who came into the halls of the gen- 
try on Christmas Eve to exhibit their rude traditional dis- 
guises and play their uncouth antics, earning thereby 
the half-crowns wherewith to make themselves a merry 
Christmas. If you had traced the pedigree of the mum- 
ers, probably you would have found that they, like Punch, 
represented the actors of some mediaeval mystery or 
morality play, now fallen in its estate, since the Church 
of the Middle Ages, with all its sacred pageantry and 
dramaturgy, had passed away. Punch will die only with 
Shakespeare, but the mummers probably by this time the 
policeman of a refined civilization has ordered to u move 
on." Besides the roughness and absurdity of the exhi- 
bition, these fooleries enacted by the lower class to amuse 
the upper class and draw money from them did smack 
somewhat of the old regime and even reminded one a little 
of the Saturnalia of the Roman slave. More than two 
centuries before, Puritanism had banished forever the Lord 
of Misrule, under whose reign of tipsy jollity and folly 
the lawyers of the Temple were once fined for having 
failed to perform their customary dance before the judges. 


Christmas books (1898, c1892)

Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870


the Christmas Kalends of Provence 

Supper is served on Christmas Eve that is 
to say, on the feast of the Winter Solstice 
green growing grain in symbol or in earnest 
of the harvest of the new year that then begins. 
The association of the Trinitarian Saint 
Barbara with this custom the Vidame 
continued, 'I fear is a bit of a makeshift. 
Were three plates of grain the rule, some- 
thing of a case would be made out in her 
favour. But the rule, so far as one can be 
found, is for only two. The custom must be 
of Pagan origin, and therefore dates from 
far back of the time when Saint Barbara 
lived in her three-window red tower at Heli- 
opolis. Probably her name was tagged to it 
because of old these votive and prophetic 
grain-fields were sown on what in Christian 
times became her dedicated day. But what- 
ever light-mannered goddess may have been 
their patroness then, she is their patroness 
now; and from their sowing  date the be- 
ginning of our Christmas feast.