“Everyone remembers the severity of the Christmas of 187- . . . ”
“Then they all went to church, as a united family ought to do on Christmas Day, and came home to a fine old English early dinner at three o’clockâ€”a sirloin of beef a foot-and-a-half broad, a turkey as big as an ostrich, a plum pudding bigger than the turkey, and two or three dozen mince-pies. “That’s a very large bit of beef,” said Mr. Jones, who had not lived much in England latterly. ‘It won’t look so large,’ said the old gentleman, ‘when all our friends downstairs have had their say to it.’
‘A Plum-pudding on Christmas Day can’t be too big,’ he said again, ‘if the cook will but take time enough over it. I never knew a bit go to waste yet.’
~Anthony Trollope, Christmas At Thompson Hall, from Christmas Stories
Today’s gifts from Semicolon:
The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every ‘long-shore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.
The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it’s just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessÃ¨d Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard’s was the house where I was born.
O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother’s silver spectacles, my father’s silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.
And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessÃ¨d Christmas Day.
~from Christmas At Sea by Robert Louis Stevenson