Weekly Chemawa American. (Chemawa, Or.) 189?-198?, December 30, 1910, Image 1

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    Weekly gbemawa American
VOL., 13 DECEMBER 30, 1910 NO.
Christmas Eve
From an exchange published on the
day before Christmas we glean the follow
ing relative fo the observation of Christ
mas Eve and the advent of the tree:
Tonight is Christmas Eve, the begin
ning of the greatest festival of all church
festivals. In all parts of the world
preparations will be concluded tonight
for the fitting celebration of the birth of
our Saviour tomorrow. The eves or
virgils of the different ecclesiastical
festivals of the Christmas year are, ac
cording to the strict letter of canonical
rule, times of fasting and penance but as
in the case of All Saints' Eve and of
Christmas Eve, common custom has
ignored and. incontinently transformed
them into seasons of mirth and jollity.
Perhaps nothing better can describe
this than Sir Walter Scott does in "Mar
mion:" On Christmas Eve the bells were rung;
On Christmas Eve the mass was sung;
That only night in all the year,
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear,
The damsel donned her kirtle sheen;
The hall was dressed with holly gteen;
Forth to the wood did merry men go;
to gathd in the mistletoe."
Tonight in all parts of the world
where Christmas is celebrated, and there
are very few countries in which it is not,
the Christmas tree will be set up in the
home, the stockings will be hung by the
fireplace, and the. Christmas carols will
be sung on the streets. The time and
manner of introduction of the Christmas
tree into any land is extremely indefinite;
legends exist in many countries, which,
though of no historical value, suggest at
least the age of custom. In a French ro
mance, as far back as the thirteenth cen
tury, the hero finds a gigantic tree whose
branches are covered with burning can
dles, and on the top the . vision of a child
with a hilo around his curly head. It
was explained that the tree represents
; mankind, the child the Saviour and the
candles good and bad human beings. By
an old German legend, St Winifred is
made the deviser of the idea. In the midst
of a crowd of converts, according to
his story, he attempted to hew down an
oak which had been the object to their
druidic worship when a whirling wind
passed over the forest, rending the giant
tree from the ground, but leaving behind
the ruin a young fir tree.
St. Winifred then said to the people:
(Continued on page 8.)