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Christmas Entertainments by Alice Maude Kellogg

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_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.)_


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

_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

_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

(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.=


(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

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

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.=


[Illustration: sheet music]

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.

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.

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.

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.=


(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

_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.


(_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.

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.

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.=


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.=


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.=


(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.=


(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.=


(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.")

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.

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.=


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.=


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.=


(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.=


(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.=


(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.=


(At the three last words the speaker raises her finger

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.=


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.=


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

_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 closed 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.=


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

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

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.=

(Noel is the French word for Christmas.)

Holly standeth in ye house
When that Noel 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 Noel 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.)


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_.


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_.


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_


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_


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_


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_.


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 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_.


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_.


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



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 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.


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.=


_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

_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."

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