Old Christmas Recalled - online book

Washington Irving's description of Old Christmas, Illustrated

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NOTES
Note A, p. 53.
The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas ; and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked, the privilege ceases.
Note B, p. 58.
The Yule-clog is a great log of wood, sometimes the root of a tree, brought into the house with great ceremony, on Christmas eve, laid in the fireplace, and lighted with the brand of last year's clog. While it lasted there was great drinking, singing, and telling of tales. Sometimes it was accompanied by Christmas candles, but in the cottages the only light was from the ruddy blaze of the great wood fire. The Yule-clog was to burn all night; if it went out, it was considered a sign of ill luck.
Herrick mentions it in one of his songs :
" Come, bring with a noise
My merrie, merrie boyes, The Christmas log to the firing :
While my good dame, she
Bids ye all be free, And drink to your hearts' desiring."
The Yule-clog is still burnt in many farm-houses and kitchens
M
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