BY ALICE M. KELLOGG
FANCY DRILLS, ACROSTICS, MOTION SONGS, TABLEAUX, SHORT PLAYS, RECITATIONS IN COSTUME
FOR CHILDREN OF FIVE TO FIFTEEN YEARS
* * * * *
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
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.
* * * * *
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.")
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!
(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.
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.
(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.)
* * * * *
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.
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.
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?
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.)
* * * * *
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.
* * * * *
(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
* * * * *
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.
* * * * *
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!
* * * * *
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)
* * * * *
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.
* * * * *
(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.)
"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
"A famous physician had visited them." (Page 12.)
Mr. and Mrs. Bird and the doctor are seated around a library-table in earnest conference.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
* * * * *
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.)
* * * * *
(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 crowned 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.
* * * * *
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:)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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."
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."
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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.")
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.
* * * * *
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.
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.
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.
(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.
* * * * *
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.
* * * * *
(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.
* * * * *
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.
* * * * *
(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.
* * * * *
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!
* * * * *
(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?"
* * * * *
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!
* * * * *
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."
* * * * *
(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."