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May 18 , 2011

Trifles for the Christmas Holidays


Christmas! What worldly care could ever lessen the joy of that eventful day? At your first waking in the morning, when you lie gazing in drowsy listlessness at the brass ornament on your bed-tester, when the ring of the milkman is like a dream, and the cries of the bread-man and newspaper-boy sound far off in the distance, it peals at you in the laughter and gay greetings of the servants in the yard. Your senses are aroused by a promiscuous discharging of pistols, and you are filled with a vague thought that the whole city has been formed into a line of skirmishers. You are startled by a noise on the front pavement, which sounds like an energetic drummer beating the long roll on a barrel-head; and you have an indistinct idea that some improvident urchin (up since the dawn) has just expended his last fire-cracker. At length there is a stir in the room near you. You hear the patter of little feet on the stairs, and the sound of childish voices in the drawing-room. What transports of admiration, what peals of joyous clamor, fall on your sleepy ears! The patter on the stairs sounds louder and louder, the ringing voices come nearer and nearer; you hear the little hands on your door-knob, and you hurry on your dressing-gown; for it is Christmas morning. What a wonderful time you have at breakfast! There are a half-dozen silver forks for ma, a new napkin-ring for you, and what astonishing hay-wagons and crying dolls for the children! Jane, the house-maid, is beaming with happiness in a new collar and black silk apron; and Bridget will persist in wearing her silver thimble and carrying her new work-basket, though they threaten utter destruction to the beefsteak-plate. You sit an unusually long time over your coffee that morning, and say an unusual number of facetious things to everybody. You cover Jane with confusion, and throw Bridget into an explosion of mirth, by slyly alluding to a blue-eyed young dray-man you one evening noticed seated on the kitchen steps. Perhaps you venture a prediction on the miserable existence he is some day destined to experience,—when a look from the little lady in the merino morning-wrapper checks you, and you confess to yourself that you are feeling uncommonly happy
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