460 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
tolling of midnight a voice from an unseen singer may thrill the auditors with the stirring notes of Adam's " Cantique de Noel," which seem to be the very utterance of the herald-angel. Or Gounod's "Messe Solennelle" on piano or organ would be most impressive, and with its triumphant proclamation would make an effective climax.
A CHRISTMAS DINNER
The accounts that have come down to us of the feasts and revels of the olden days—"giving time a tongue"— are full of suggestions for our own merrymakings.
Good cheer is inseparable from the thought of Christmas, so the fittest form of hospitality is perhaps a dinner, followed by a gathering about a "roaring" wood fire— the nearest approach to a Yule-log available—where songs, stories, anecdotes, legends, and ghostly tales are exchanged and enjoyed in the sympathetic glow. A country house is the ideal setting for such festivities.
The Christmas spirit, however, may find entrance anywhere, and a modern city dining-room may be transformed into a bower with boughs of hemlock, pine, laurel, box, and holly, and with a few small Christmas trees in the windows and corners will give one quite a sense of remoteness from our prosaic century.
"The world is very young for its age," and, like the children, we like to "make believe."
The table should be lighted with candles only—white or scarlet—but without shades. These, with the fire, will give just the soft radiance that pleases both the eye and the imagination.
In the centre of the table, with a generous mass of holly forming a mound at its base, a tiny Christmas tree