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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - December 12, 1907, Lethbridge, Alberta Christmas Gifts for A gentleman will appreciate notiiing better than lie will a box of excellent Cigars, A Good Pipe A Smoker's Set We have them all of the best quality and at the lowest price. Special delivery of goods on Christmas Eve. R. W.Wallace The Smoker's Headquarters. THE FRSr XNAS TREE BY JAMES A. VOSa It is difficult to trace the origin of j the iir.st Christmas tree and ahno.st I every mytholoBist lias a little different manner of explaining why the evergreen was chosen for this great festival day. A Scandinavian legend tells of the "Service tree" which sprung from tiie blood soaked earth where two lovers were killed by violence and thatmys-I teriouH lights, which the wind could not extinguish, were seen at Christ-' mas in the tops of the forest trees. In old Egypt there was a common cusiom of decorating the house at the ; time of the winter solstice with bran-I clies of the dutc palm. The date ' palm was the emblem of immortality i p.nd also of the star-lit firmament, i This tree puts forth a shoot every j month and a branch of it containing I twelve shoots was a symbol of the j year completed. It has also been suggested that this ! may be a revival of the pine trees of i the Roman Saturnalia, a December 1 feast, during which pines were decor-i ated with images of Bacchus. { The most plausible explanation, however, is that its earlier signifi-i cance arose from the paragon worship of trees, and that later. Christian ideals gave a fuller meaning to its use. When the apostles preached the gos-i pel in pagan lands, instead of iiiter-; dieting the idolatrous feasts os were I not intrinsically sinful, nature by ' Christian misrepresentation to the : various rites and ceremonies. Thus, when Pope Gregory I sent \ St. Augustine to convert Saxon Eng-! land in 596, he directed him to make . the change of religion, so far as ceremonials were concerned, as gradual i as possible, that the people might not , be s tartled. The Saxons called the feast of the midwinter solstice Yule, ' and on that occasion the Druids went ; into solemn procession to cut the mistletoe from the sacred oak tree. This ceremony, an old chronicle tells us took place on "the sixth day of the , moon nearest the new yeor." The evergreen, which they cull all-heal, ; wos afterwards sold at a high price I to their credulou.s followers. The peo pie .signified their joy at the cutting of the magic mistletoe by feasting on ' roasted oxen and dancing. In the December following St. .AugUBtin's : arrival he permitted his converts to join in the feasting, but forbade them , mingling with pagans in the dance, I and judging from his success in plant I ing the faith, it was probably but a i short time when he had weaned them I of their barbaric orgies to a saner celebration of the great Christian festi- I vbI oeeurring in the lame month, An old German legend makes St, Winnifred the Inventor of the idea, In the midst of a crowd of converts he is said to have been hewing down a great oak which had formerly been the object of Druidic veneration. As he chopped a whirlwind passed over the forest and tore the tree from Its foundation. Behind it stood a young fir, Mnharmed, pointing its spire towards tlie stars. The priest dropped his axe turning to the people and said: "This young tree, a young cliildof the forest, shall be your holy tree tonight. It is the wood of peace, for your houses are made of fir. It is the sign of an endless life for its leaves are ever green.. See how |t points upwards to Heaven. Let this bs called the tree of tlie Christ-Child; gather about it, not in the wood, but in your homes; there it will shelter no deeds of bloo time i the custom was spread through Bo- I hernia and Hungary. In 1840 the Duchess H.lcna ofOr-| leans brought it to the Tuileories. ; Twenty years later Germain residents i of Paris could only with preal difficulty procure a Christinas live. To- I day Paris uses almost 100,000 only about one fourth being bouglit by Germans, Swiss, and Alsutions. The French plant the tree with its roots in a tub so that it can be preserved until New Year, when it is shorn of I its decorations. The marriage of Queen Victoria to a German prince augmented the Christmas trees popularity in England. German immigrants brought tho tree to .\merica and It was soon adopted by all classes. McBRIDE TO RESIGN. ; Vancouver, Dec. The World newspaper publi.'fhes a stoiy that ' Premier McBride . will he compelled I to resign on account of his attitude in regard to l.ieut.-Governor Duns-muir's refusal to sign the Natal act, liiiul that Hon. W. J. Bowser, attor-I ney-goneral, will be the new premier. ' The story is not regarded .seriously. Bowser has gone to California on a month's holiday. Mr. Dooley on Corporal Panishinent (Concludpil from l^wvioiis I'liRi'l ill why it was so? 'Tis WVe livin' on this earth an' l)i'iir ruled ho th' inhabitant iv Mars. He luis his wiir-ild, ye can bet on that an' 'tis a mighty iiiiiiortaiit wurrld. Who Isnows why a kid wud rather ate jiotatocs cooked nice an' black on a fire made ! of sthraw an' old hoots thin th' de- � licious oatmeal so carefully an' so often prepared f'r him be hi.s kind parents? Who knows why he thinks a dark hole undher a sidewalk is a robber's eave!-' Who knows why he likes to collect In w.-in pocket a ball iv twine, glass marbles, chewin' gum, a dead sparrow an' half a lemon:- Who knows what his seasons are-' They're not mine, an' they're not ye'ers, fut he goes as reg'lar fr'm top lime to marble time an' from marble time to kite time as we go fr'm summer to autumn an' autumn to winter. Today he's thrying to annihilate another boy's stick top with his; tomorrow he's thrying to sail a kite out iv a tillygrawt wire. Who knows why he does it? "Faith we know nawthin' about him an' he knows nawthin' about us. 1 can raymiinber whin I was a little boy but I can't raymimber how I was a little boy. I call back as though 'twas yisterdah th' things I did but why I did thim I don't know. Faith if I cud look for'ard to th' things I've done since I cud no more alsily explain'why I di